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Schiacciata di Pasqua (Tuscan easter cake)

Schiacciata di Pasqua
Schiacciata di Pasqua
  “Schiacciata di Pasqua” is a Tuscan sweet bread flavored with anise seeds and orange. It is a 19th century countryside tradition and a way of using up the abundance of springtime eggs. Its name is schiacciata because to make it it is necessary to break (schiacciare in Italian) many eggs. Beyond the eggs you also need lot of patience: it is necessary to wait five times and many hours for the dough to raise. Here is Serena Angelini's (Pici e Castagne) schiacciata di Pasqua, inspired by Pellegrino Artusi’s recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • eggs 12
  • flour 1.8 kg
  • sugar 600 g
  • extra virgin olive oil 200 g
  • butter 70 gr
  • yeast 30 gr
  • anise seeds 20 gr
  • Vin Santo 1 and 1 \ 2 dl
  • Marsala 1 \ 2 dl
  • 1 egg yolk
  • orange juice or orange flower water - 1 dl

 Preparation

1. Weigh all the ingredients ready for use. 2. Mix the two types of wine in a bowl, (Vin Santo and Marsala) add the anise seeds and leave them to soak for a whole day. 3. Dissolve the yeast in 1 \ 2 cup of water and add 4 or 5 tablespoons of flour. The consistency should be similar to that of bread dough. Put the dough in a bowl, sprinkle the surface with flour and seal tightly with plastic wrap. 4. First rising (one hour) - Wrap the container in a warm cloth and allow to rise until it has doubled in volume (depending on the temperature of the room normally it could take one hour) 5. Second rising (2 1/2 hours) - Combine 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, one of sugar, one of wine and the flour to the dough (again, the consistency should be similar to that of bread dough). Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour and allow to rise until it has doubled in volume. 6. Third rising (4 - 5 hours) - Combine 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons oil, 3 of sugar, 3 of wine and enough flour to proceed as before. Let it rest until the dough has tripled in volume. 7. Fourth rising (8 hours) – Add again to the dough 5 eggs, 5 tablespoons sugar, 5 oil, 5 of wine and the flour (as before, the consistency should be similar to that of bread dough). Let it rise again until doubled in volume. 8. Fifth rising  (8 hours) - Finally incorporate the remaining 3 eggs, all the other ingredients including the melted butter and if the dough becomes too soft a little extra flour. Divide the 'dough into 3 moulds of the same capacity. Cover the moulds with a cloth and leave the dough to rise overnight. 9. Preheat the oven to +180 °, 10. When the cakes have risen brush them with orange juice and then with egg yolk, 11. Bake for about 1 hour, 12. If the schiacciate has too much surface colour, then cover them with a sheet of 'aluminum, and continue cooking.