Pinza is a sweet bread from Trieste, in Italy, traditionally served on Easter morning for breakfast. Not too sweet, it's great with cured meat, cheese or with jams and preserved.
Makes: 1 loaf (~2kg)
250g sourdough (or 50g fresh yeast)
15g active dry yeast
1kg flour, divided
300g caster sugar, divided
1 cup (240ml) warm milk, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 package powdered vanilla or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
1 teaspoon salt
150g melted butter
1 egg white to brush
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Directions Preparation:45min › Cook:1hour › Extra time:8hours › Ready in:9hours45min
In a large bowl mix the sourdough (or fresh yeast), active dry yeast and 100g flour. Dissolve 100g sugar in 120ml warm milk and add to the bowl. Mix and let stand for about 10 minutes unti the batter starts bubbling.
Dissolve the remaining sugar in the remaining warm milk and add to the batter along with eggs, egg yolks, oil, rum, vanilla and orange zest.
As last ingredient, add 700g of flour sifted with the salt, a little at the time, to create a soft dough. Add the melted butter and start kneading on a working surface, stretching and folding the the dough until it absorbs all the butter.
You will obtain a very sticky dough. Bring back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 3 to 4 hours
Add the remaining 200g of flour to the dough, kneading in until completely absorbed.
Grease and flour or line with baking paper a tall cake mold, (a paper panettone mold will work perfectly). Make a ball with the dough, tucking down the excess dough and place it in the mold. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it reaches the edge of the mold, about 3 to 4 hour. If using sourdough it will take not less then 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
Brush the top of the cake with egg white. Then, with a scissor, make a the traditional Y cut on the top of the cake.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. With a long wooden skewer prick the center and if still wet, cover the top with aluminium foil and keep baking for 15 minutes longer.
Remove from oven, let stand until cold and serve.
You can also prepare this bread in single portions and cook in ramekins. Then you can decorate with a nice bow and use as place holder for your guests on Easter supper.