The schiaccia di Pasqua (Easter cake) is a traditional Tuscan cake, which is eaten on Easter day, it is a long leavening leavened product like Colomba or Panettone. Less rich in ingredients and less caloric, but just as tasty. It has a low sugar content, for a cake, because it was traditionally eaten with cured meats! In particular with the Capocollo, which aged until Easter, and so in the morning we had breakfast with Schiaccia di Pascqua, capocollo and blessed hard-boiled eggs. A breakfast that undoubtedly marked the end of Lent!
For the leavening: 25 g of fresh brewer’s yeast or 8 g of dehydrated yeast, 60 g of water, 230 g of strong flour, 50 g of sugar.
For the dough: 1 kg of flour w 330 (Bellini Mill), 250 gr of whole milk, 400 gr of granulated sugar, 75 gr of lard (alternatively use butter), 60 ml of olive oil, 60 ml of aniseed liqueur, 8 eggs, 1/4 of a glass of Vin Santo, 30 gr of anise seeds, 1 pinch of salt.
- Start by preparing the yeast, heat the water slightly (around 40 °), add the sugar and yeast, wait a few minutes and when the yeast begins to float, add the strong flour. Knead vigorously and let rise to at least 25 degrees covered in a cloth. The leavening will be ready when it has more than doubled its volume.
- Start mixing (preferably in a planetary mixer, with a hook or leaf) the dry ingredients of the dough: flour, sugar, aniseed, salt, then add the liquids, milk at 30 °, olive oil, aniseed liqueur, Vin Santo. Work with the planetary mixer, or by hand, then add the soft butter or lard. At this point add the leavening and continue to work adding also 1 egg.
- At this point, you just have to be patient. My grandmother used to raise the cakes in bed with “prete”! Prete (the priest) is a wooden structure that held up the blankets, to which a tin container was hung with the burning embers inside. Then the embers were covered with ashes. And on cold winter nights, it warmed the otherwise freezing beds.
I don’t ask you to do the same, you can preheat the oven to 40 ° and put the dough inside, covered with a cloth or film to rise. Then add an egg every one to two hours. Add the egg, incorporating well and let rise. After adding the last egg you can divide the dough.
- Then divide the dough into how many cakes you want to make (with this quantity I would say a maximum of 3), give the shape, you can use the panettone molds, and leave to rest. When the dough has doubled in volume, brush with an egg and bake.
- The oven must have a temperature of 180 °, the cooking time varies according to the size of the cake. From 25 to 45 minutes. Two rules always apply: the best leavened products cook better and earlier, do the toothpick test! If putting it in the cake it remains dry, then the cake is cooked.