Neapolitan Easter Bread (Casatiello)

Whatever the traditions you might be practicing over Easter weekend, there are breads to be baked and shared for the celebration, for sure. I have been experimenting with sprouted flour ever since I found, on sales, the King Arthur’s sprouted flour in the local food market. In his new column in the New York Times, Yotam Ottolenghi titled “Two holidays meals, kindred spirits,” and published this Neapolitan Easter bread recipe. This sounds like a great seasonal recipe to take on a healthful spin, using the more digestible sprouted whole wheat flour in its core.

“Casatieloo is made the day after the big Easter feast in Italy, when there is leftover meat and cheese. Heading out for an Easter Monday picnic is also something of a ritual in Naples, so again, this bread make sense: All of the fillings, baked as they are into the dough, are safely tucked in and won’t fall out.”

The bread looks more complicated to make than it is. The labor intensive part is getting all the fillings chopped up. That includes: basil, parsley, salami, Gruyère, Parmesan and cooked eggs. If there are any leftover meat, cheese and herb ingredients, they can be used for this bread. Since the fillings are rolled into the bread dough, like a cinnamon roll, any variations of meat and cheese fillings can be easily incorporated. It is an yeast bread and the rising time takes about one hour.

I substituted sprouted wheat flour for bread flour, without much undesirable effect. Since the dough is rolled up tightly, as you should, the bread wouldn’t be an open and airy as hearth bread. The amount of whole wheat flour is 100% of flour weight. Don’t expect the bread to taste like the everyday white bread. I substituted bacon for salami. Dig deep in the fridge for about six ounces of meat, any kind would do. The meat, cheese and herb fillings give the Easter bread the rich, savory and substantial bite. You can hold each slice neatly with your fingers. It satisfies all the senses.

Please don’t make the same mistake as I did. I did not roll out the dough evenly or roll up the filling over the flattened dough tightly enough. The instructions say: push the cheese, egg and meat into the dough. Oops! As a result, the cheese poked through and oozed out from the thinner spots of the dough. Another than that, I found this dough easy to work with and came through beautifully in my first attempt with this recipe. Most Ottolenghi’s recipes are well tested and I’ve never had a problem with any of them.

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  • Reply
    April 15, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    This bread sounds so good, what a good use of the little left-over bits in the fridge. Ottolenghi is so creative.

  • Reply
    Shirley @ everopensauce
    April 15, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Hard to believe all the fillings, meat, cheese, herbs and egg, go so well in the bread.

  • Reply
    Kim @ Stirring the Pot
    April 16, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Absolutely beautiful! Love the tradition of having an Easter Monday picnic. I also love celebrating leftovers in such a delicious way. To me a treat like this is even better than the original Easter dinner:)

  • Reply
    April 17, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe. A nice way to use leftovers

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