Casatiello Napoletano (Easter Bread from Naples)

Casatiello is the most famous Easter bread in Italy. Typical of Naples, it is served on Easter morning with cheese and cured meat. It’s a rich bread made with rustic ingredients as the tradition calls for, and is decorated with the classic trapped eggs.



Step: 1

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.

Step: 2

Sift flour and salt onto a clean work surface; make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and 1/4 cup lard to the well. Mix, adding remaining 1 cup water gradually, until dough comes together. Knead until dough is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes.

Step: 3

Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 90 minutes.

Step: 4

Place dough back on the work surface. Punch gently to deflate; roll into a big rectangle. Brush 1/4 cup lard on top; cover with Parmesan cheese and pepper. Fold dough in half to make a smaller rectangle. Brush 1/4 cup lard on top; cover with pecorino Romano cheese and pepper.

Step: 5

Fold dough again into a smaller rectangle. Brush remaining 1/4 cup lard on top; cover with salami chunks. Cut off a small portion of the dough; reserve.

Step: 6

Roll dough into a long cylinder. Place cylinder a grease ring cake mold. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until more than doubled in volume, about 3 hours.

Step: 7

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Step: 8

Tuck whole eggs into the ring of dough at even intervals. Divide reserved dough into 12 pieces; roll into small ropes. Lay 2 ropes in a cross shape over each egg to hold them in place.

Step: 9

Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 1 hour. Let cool before slicing.


Per Serving: 661 calories; protein 18.1g; carbohydrates 65.6g; fat 35.4g; cholesterol 181mg; sodium 673.2mg.

The quality of the flour could make a real difference to your bread. Different brands do vary. Extra-strong or Canadian flours, which are naturally higher in gluten, may give you a better rise than standard bread flours – especially if you’re making wholemeal bread , which not always getting bigger as well as clear bread.

To make this in a dough , add all the ingredients to your breadmaker and follow the makers instructions.

A dough’s first rising can be done in the fridge overnight . This slows down the time it takes to rise to double its size, giving it a deeper flavour. It’s also a great limit , as you can work it yesterday , then clear it off the next day.

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