With spring nearly here, we are dreaming of  tulips, colored eggs, and Easter breads! There are many different recipes and some are filled with savory ingredients like cheese and meats while others feature sweetened airy doughs with sugary icings.

The most popular one at this time of year is elaborately braided and filled with colored cooked Easter eggs and glazed.This delicately sweet bread is a favorite in our family and also a tradition to serve for breakfast on Easter morning. You can get this recipe on our TwinsJudyandJoy Facebook page (the link is below).  We serve it toasted just until the icing gets all caramelized and crunchy and then slather it with butter. Yum!

But not at our best friend Tim’s house. He introduced us to something a bit different, many years ago, something called Crescia (pronounced cray-sha), which is a savory, peppery cheese bread.  We remember it being a very dense, extremely tall and when you bit into it, the aroma of the cheese is heaven. Tim’s mom served it before the meal, a thick slice and with a full-bodied red wine. Traditionally a good parmesan cheese or a locatelli cheese, which is a percorino romano cheese, is used with lots of cracked black pepper.

We experimented a bit and tried using two of our favorite cheeses, asiago and romano, and we loved it, but try whichever your family likes best. A KitchenAid mixer whips this bread up quickly, making it pretty simple. As the bread was baking and the wonderful aromas filling the house, the kids came into the kitchen, each one asking, “What smells so good Mom?” Enjoy!

Please visit us on our Facebook page TwinsJudyandJoy ( https://www.facebook.com/twinsjudyjoy) for more traditional recipes as we enjoy all the holidays and everyday together! Our new website is almost ready as we move into spring with so many great recipes and ideas.

Crescia

A wonderful cheesy, peppery bread served traditionally at Easter but it is so good it may be a favorite all year long!

1 cup warm milk

2 (1/4 oz each) packages active dry yeast

1/4 teaspoon sugar

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

6 eggs

3/4 cup grated Romano cheese

3/4 cup grated asiago/parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter, softened

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk, add sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the flour, eggs, cheese and butter and pepper; beat well, about 4-5 minutes. The dough will be very sticky (you can add a bit more flour if needed). Scoop dough onto a floured wood board and knead until it all comes together, doesn’t stick to your hands and is a smooth dough. Additional flour can be used.

Place dough into pan and  cover and let rise for about 60 minutes, or until nearly doubled. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bread is golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.