Tasty Tuesday–Easter Bread (calzone) with Susan Rae and the DeLuca Family
Tasty Tuesday— I recently had the chance to share this recipe on the Musa Publishing blog. I thought I would repost it here for my followers to enjoy!
The DeLuca’s are the strong Italian cop family in my novel, heartbeats. Like most Italian matriarchs, Mama DeLuca is an excellent cook. Easter Bread is just one of her specialties. Easter bread is actually a special family size calzone that is called Easter Bread because it is baked and served mainly at Easter. This takes a bit of time to put together, but it is well worth it. The aroma alone while it is baking will make your mouth water. Enjoy! Want to know more about the DeLucas? Please check it out at MusaPublishing.com or Amazon.com.
(I have seen a couple of different versions of Easter Bread recipes, but this is the old family recipe that my husband’s grandmother used to make every Easter, along with the dozens of handmade ravioli she would assemble and lay out on a clean sheet on her bed to dry. She’d cover half the bread with that ravioli. Come Sunday, the clan would gather—aunts, uncles, and cousins—and feast on Grandma Jeannie’s Easter Bread and ravioli and meat sauce. Our family continues the tradition, but this delicious calzone is too good to have just once a year, so we often bake it for an appetizer for special family gatherings—like my daughter’s wedding. I borrowed Grandma Jeannie’s recipe for the DeLuca Family in heartbeats.)EASTER BREAD
From Grandma Jeannie
Bread: 7 Cups sifted flour
1 ½ TBS. salt
2 TBS. sugar
1 cake active dry yeast (or 2 pkgs., or 4 ½ Tsp. of jarred)
1 Pint lukewarm water
2 eggs beaten
½ lb. (2 sticks) butterFilling:
5 #s ricotta cheese
3 #s pepperoni or 4-5 sticks
1 ½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. pepper (to taste)
2 Cups grated Romano cheese
Fresh parsley- 1 bunch, cleaned, allowed to dry, and chopped (or dried parsley flakes)
Bread: Dissolve yeast in water. Cream butter. Beat in eggs, salt, and sugar. Add yeast and blend. Add flour gradually. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl. Let rise until double (appx. 1 hour), punch, rest 10 minutes. Divide in two (or 4 if making half calzones.) Roll each into rectangle the length and double the width of pan (1/4 ” thick.) Place ½ of rectangle in jelly roll pan (15” x 10” x 1”.) (Or can use slightly larger 18” x 12” x 1”, especially if making 4, because then 2 will fit nicely on one pan.) Spread filling over dough, then fold second half of rectangle over first. Seal edges with a little water between. Perforate top with tines of fork at ½” to 2” intervals. Brush tops with egg beaten with 1 TBS. of water. Bake in 400 degree oven for 45 min. to 1 hr. until crust is golden brown.
Filling: Slice pepperoni very thin. Blend cheese and beaten eggs, salt, pepper, and parsley. Add pepperoni slices and blend well.
This can be made ahead of time and the loaves wrapped in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and stored in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator for two or three days before cutting. We usually cut it into 1” by 2” slices.
Copyright © 2012 by Susan Rae