Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pizza dolce di Pasqua from Pesaro

Another sweat bread for Easter. This recipe is from Pesaro in the Marche region. I saved this recipe quite a few years ago from the forum of la Cucina Italiana, posted by Gisellla Mancini. I scaled down the recipe a little bit to adjust it to my limited consumption.
Gisella explains that traditionally the fat used was lard, she usually prepares it on Good Friday to be eaten for Pasqua.

330 g of flour (I used one with 9.5 protein contempt)
2 large eggs
50 g of old dough (or make a "biga" starter the night before with some flour water and the very tip of a knife of yeast)
70 ml milk
1 and 3/4 of a teaspoon of instant yeast (I use Saf gold, but you can use 15 g of fresh cake yeast)
1/3 of a glass wine of dry marsala
lemon zest
25-30 g of rasins
25-30 g of chopped candied fruit (optional)
70 g of coarsely chopped walnuts
100 g sugar
50 g of extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Gisella didn't give many directions on the execution. I basically sifted the flour, added the instant yeast, salt, sugar, the old dough in chunks, all other ingredients exect raisin and walnuts in my stand mixer, when the dough roughly combined added the walnuts and raisin. It's like a dense cake batter. I poured the content in a spring for pan, 20 cm diameter, and, just to be safe, I made a collar with parchment paper. It took maybe 3 hours to get to the rim, it doubled in bulk, I baked it in a preheated oven a 170 C (I have a ventilated oven!), after 10 minutes I covered it to prevent fast browing. It took maybe 40 minutes to be fully cooked, I tested with a long skewer. I let it cool on a grate and waited one day to cut it.

It tastes more like a cake, than a brioche dough, not too sweet, a very pronounced hint from Marsala, I don't mind it but I would consider cutting it down.

Edited to add this: I exchanged some e-mails with Gisella, very likely I misunderstood her directions and I should have been a little more conservative with the liquids, it's more like a soft brioche dough. Maybe next time I will cut a little bit on marsala and add only the milk necessary. To compliment me, Gisella told me that my pizza dolce looks better than hers!

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