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Cuddura cull’ova” (Italian Easter bread with an egg in the center)

Cuddura cull’ova is a typical Sicilian Easter cake of Orthodox derivation, which cannot be missing from Easter menus. Some time ago, during the period of Lent, there was a great dietary moderation that excluded meat, eggs, and cheese from the tables, but with the arrival of Holy Week, abstentions ended and eggs were a particularly used food for Easter pastries.

In Sicily, the most widespread Easter cake is still the “cuddhura” or “coddura”, a large circular-shaped cake, with a variable number, but always odd, of eggs with shells incorporated. Young women used to give them to boyfriends on the day of the Resurrection. Like the scarcelle from Apulia, the shape of the cuddura is not only circular, but there are various types. Some examples? In the shape of the “campanaru” (bell tower), the “panarieddu” (basket) to wish abundance, or the “gadduzzu” (rooster or dove) for males, the “pupa” (doll) for girls, and the “heart” shape for loved ones. In your family, what shapes do you use to make them?

Cuddura cull’ova INGREDIENTS:

– 600g Flour
– 150g Lard
– 200g Sugar
– 4 medium Eggs (210g)
– 1 Lemon peel (to be grated)
– 8g Baking powder for desserts

Calories per serving: 290 kcal

Difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 25 min
Serves: 10 pieces
Cost: Low

Cuddura cull’ova PREPARATION:

To prepare cuddura cull’ova, put the flour in a large bowl, add sugar 1, sifted baking powder 2, and grated lemon peel 3. Add the lard 4 and the slightly beaten eggs 5. Begin kneading in the bowl with your hands 6.

Work the dough very well to combine the ingredients, then transfer it to a work surface and knead again until a homogeneous mixture is obtained 8. The consistency of the dough will not be hard, on the contrary, it will be quite soft but not sticky. Take 90 g of the dough 9, keeping the rest covered so as not to dry it.

Divide it into 3 parts 10. Take the first portion and, using a little flour, form a stick 11 12. Do the same with the other two. They should be about 1 cm thick and should all be the same length 13. Block the three ends together 14 and form a braid 15.

Gently press to close the end of the braid. Lift it gently 16 and transfer it to a baking sheet, closing it into a circle and pinching one of the two ends gently over the other 17. Wash the eggs well for decoration, dry them, and position one in the center of the cuddura, pressing gently 16.

Take a small portion of the dough and shape a stick 19. Divide it in half and position it on the egg to form a cross 21. Gently press the dough to make it adhere well 21. Continue this way until you finish the dough, obtaining 10 cuddura. As you go, place them on the baking sheet, spacing them apart from each other. Brush with egg and decorate with colored sugar 23. Bake in a preheated static oven at 200°C for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven 24 and let cool before serving!

Storage: They can be stored for about 5 days under a glass dome, at room temperature.

Tip: If you want to glaze your cuddura, bake it without brushing with beaten egg, and prepare a glaze in this way: whisk an egg white until stiff, then gradually add 10-12 tablespoons of granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat with the mixer. Then add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice, little by little, still beating, until the mixture is very dense and heavily detached from the spoon. As soon as you remove the cuddura from the oven, on the same baking sheet where it was baked, cover it with the prepared glaze and sprinkle it with colored sugar. Let it cool and then enjoy!