Neapolitan Easter Bread

READY IN: 5hrs




  • Combine the lard, yeast, and salt with the flour, adding as much water as necessary to get a rather soft dough. Work it steadily for about 10 minutes Place it into a bowl previously sprinkled with olive oil, cover with a woolen cloth and leave it to raise in a lukewarm place. After about 1 1/2 hours, when the dough has leavened, place it on a pastry board, punch it with your hands to stop it swelling and flatten it out into a large square (about 15" x 24"). Spread on some lard and sprinkle with a lot of fresh cracked pepper.
  • Now add 1/4 lb each of chopped up salame and chopped up prosciutto. Sprinkle with coarsely grated pecorino romano or parmigiano. Roll up into a tube. Grease an angel food cake pan with lard and place tube inside (forming a ring).
  • Lay 5 eggs (wash them but do not boil them first) on top and top with a criss cross of dough (2 strips of dough, forming an X, laid on top to hold down the eggs). Let rise for another hour or more (again, should be more than doubled). When ready, place in oven at 375 - 400 F (185-200 C) until the top is nice and brown and looks ready. This normally takes about an hour to an hour and a half. The smell in your house should tell you it is ready (my mouth starts watering and I know it is time :-).
  • Now the hard part. Let bread cool. Place in a paper bag (NOT PLASTIC) and leave it for the following day (do not refrigerate). It really needs a day to get full flavor. Leftover is great toasted the following day or even topped with a mild cheese and tomato slices and toasted in the oven.