Crescia al Formaggio (Italian Easter Cheese Bread)

Crescia al Formaggio (Italian Easter Cheese Bread)

1 Loaf

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water, 105-115 degrees F
298 grams (~2 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces (85 grams) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 ounces (85 grams) finely grated Pecorino

 

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over water. Stir to combine and allow to sit until frothy, 5-10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, eggs, egg yolk, butter, and yeast with water until a smooth, shiny dough forms.

If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix in the cheeses until thoroughly combined, smooth, and elastic. Grease a large bowl with oil and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover and allow to rise for an hour.

Gently deflate the dough, then cover and allow to rise for another hour.

Butter and flour a panettone, pandoro, or deep 6 inch round cake pan. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place in prepared pan. Cover and allow to rise for another 2 hours, until puffy.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the pan in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and lightly place a tent of foil over the top of the bread. Continue to bake until cooked through, 190 degrees F, and golden brown.

Allow to cool in pan before removing onto wire rack to cool to room temperature.

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