Archive for Food

Italian Easter Bread

This traditional Easter bread is topped with colored raw eggs, which cook as the bread bakes. It makes for a pretty centerpiece.

 

 

Ingredients

2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup 2% milk

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit

1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds

1/2 teaspoon aniseed

5 uncooked eggs, dyed

GLAZE:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

Decorator candies, optional

Directions

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a large saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter to 120°-130°. Add dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in fruit, almonds and aniseed until blended. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope. Loosely twist ropes together; place on a greased baking sheet and form into a ring. Pinch ends together. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Gently separate ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. For glaze, in a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over bread. Sprinkle with candies if desired. Yield: 1 loaf (20 slices).

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The Illustrated History of Italian-American Food

Spaghetti and meatballs. Marinara sauce. Chicken parm. Baked ziti. Garlic bread. Pizza (as we conceive of it).

What these foods have in common, besides being universally beloved, is that they are wholly American inventions. Yes, these titans of red-sauce cuisine bear little resemblance to any dish you’d find in Italy.

Read more…. 

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