Il Casatiello. A crown on the table during the Easter holidays. It’s not Easter if there is no Casatiello. And how can you call it Easter Monday without Casatiello? It is part of the Easter Saturday lunch. And the left over, because there is always leftover, is part of the Easter Monday’s picnic. It is a complex and rich bread, for someone it could be heavy . That’s why “casatiello” is also used to describe a person who is
annoying, difficult, depressing.
Since I moved to Melbourne, every Easter I made it. Actually I made my first one here in Australia. Even mia Zia Antonietta, my Auntie Little Tonia, said to me: “Bravo, uaglio’ ‘, “Well done, boy”.
And if it is not Easter without Casatiello, there would be no Casatiello without Zia Antonietta.
Let’s talk about Zia Antonietta.
Zia Antonietta and the Casatiello’s recipe
The first time I asked Zia Antonietta her Casatiello’s recipe was when I was here in Melbourne in 2014. Now imagine, a Skype conversation in which my Zia try to give me her recipe but using not the regular measurement, Cl, Ml, Cup and spoon. No, they are not used. She used “handfull” “a little bit” “some” “a tiny bit”. And I said “Can you be more precise” and she replied: “Fai a occhio, assaggia, vedi come viene” (Use your eyes, your taste, and see how it will come). See. It’ easy, you just need your sense. Touching the ingredient. Watch with your eyes. Tasting. Smell. It’s all about passion.
But don’t worry, I translated my Auntie’s measurement in the regular gr and ml so it will be much easier. So, here we are. Let’s start. The recipe we are presenting is my Zia Antonietta’s recipe. And luckily I will not create any diplomatic incident, because my mom doesn’t do this recipe, so she will not get offended, and the other Zia, well she does it, it’s not her best recipe, but she has no internet so if everyone keeps the secret I am safe!
Casatiello : Ingredients & Method
- 1 kg of flour, the best one will be the ‘0’ one
- 150 gr of fat
- 25 gr of yeast, we used yeast base, “lievito madre”
- 500 ml of warm water
- a pinch of salt
- 300-350 gr of cheeses ( provolone, or any other aged cheese)
- 300-350 gr of the end of the prosciutto, salami, ham ( At Europa Market they already sell the bag with mix salumi leftover, easy!)
- 200 gr of grated pecorino cheese
- 8 eggs + 1 extra
- Pepper, a lot
Let’s start to prepare the dough. In a big bowl put the flour, the salt, the yeast and 50 gr of fat. Slowly pour some warm water and start to mix. Add more water. Pass the dough on a bench and work it till you have a smooth and elastic dough.
Let the dough rise, at least a couple of hours. It has to at least double in size.
We have two hours. What can we do? If it is merenda time we can have a snack, pane e moradella. But, let’s stay focused, we have to chop in small cubes all the leftover salumi and cheeses.
When the dough is ready cut it in half. So you are going to have two casatielli. Yes two. No, one it’s not enough. No, there will be no leftover. Ok if we have leftover we take it for the Easter Monday picnic.
On a bench spread some flour and stretch out one dough on it making a rectangular shape, 1 cm thick. Square it with a knife and put aside the wastage.
Spread some fat on it, then add grated cheese and pepper. Fold the sheet. And gently stretch it out with a rolling pin. Repeat the operation 3-4 times, and each time add more cheese and more pepper. Wait a few minutes between every step. It will help the gluten to stretch out.
Spread again some fat on the dough sheet and spread on it the mixture of chopped salumi and formaggi. Start to roll the dough like a salami alongside.
Grease a round tray with the hole in the center with some fat. Place the rolled dough in it and let it rest till it grows till the edge ( It will need a couple of hours, you can start to work the other dough. No one is not enough!).
When the roll is ready place on it 4 eggs with the shell. With the leftover dough make 8 stripes, place them like a cross on the egg. Beat the extra egg and brush it on the casatiello surface.
Put the casatiello in the oven and bake it for one hour at 180C. It is better if the oven is not preheated. It has to cook slowly.
See! We told You! It is not enough. Let’s make more for Easter Monday!