Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Italian Easter Bread AKA Pupi, Titola, or Pupa Cu L'ova

Recipe from a family friend. 

This recipe is usually only made once a year, the day before Easter.  We traditionally eat this as breakfast Easter morning, but it can also be served as a dessert.  This is a very sweet, dense bread that really tastes more like a cross between cake, bread, and an Italian cookie.

Ingredients for Easter Bread :
  • 10-12 cups flour (usually I use 11, 12 is usually too much)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 11 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks butter), room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 dozen (12) eggs, room temperature
  • optional: about 18 colored raw eggs (color like you would hard-boiled eggs)

Ingredients for Frosting : 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, to start
  • food coloring (I like to make my frosting pink)
  • decorate with nonpareil sprinkles

Directions for Bread:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start by combining all the dry ingredients in a very large bowl - combine 10 cups of flour, 2 cups sugar, 11 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Wisk the dry ingredients together well and set aside while you prepare the wet ingredients.

In a medium sized bowl, make sure your butter is well softened, past room temperature, but not melted.

Mix the butter up well and add in 12 room temperature eggs (if the eggs are too cold, they will firm the butter back up, and you don't want that!).

Mix the eggs and butter together well with a wooden spoon.

Pour the egg and butter mixture into the center of the flour mixture.

Using the wooden spoon, slowly stir the wet and dry ingredients to combine them.

Once it is too difficult to mix with a spoon, start to knead the the dough with your hands.  It is very important that you not over mix or overwork the dough at this point.

If the dough seems too wet and sticky, add an additional cup of flour. 

Flour your work surface, and start with clumps of dough just larger than your fist. 

Roll out the dough into a long snake, about 3/4 inches in diameter (or about the diameter of a small carrot).

Fold the dough in half, and twist it.

You can either leave the dough alone and bake it as a twisted loaf or you can wrap it around the colored eggs. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-25 minutes, depending on the size of your final product.

Allow them to cool completely before frosting and decorating with sprinkles.

Directions for Frosting:

In a very small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.

Once melted, add in about 1 cup of confectionery sugar and whisk it in. 

Then, add in 2 tablespoons of whole milk.

Add in an additional cup of confectionery sugar slowly while you mix until you reach your desired consistency.

The final product should be fairly thin to make it easy to spread, but not so watery that it will not stick to the bread and maintain some shape.  I like to brush the frosting on with a brush.

Finish with sprinkles.

Be sure to store bread with cooked colored eggs in the fridge to keep the eggs from going bad.

Serve and enjoy!