A recipe for Crescia al Formaggio (Italian Easter Cheese Bread)! This rich, yeast-based bread is packed with grated Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Crescia al Formaggio (Pizza di Pasqua al Formaggio) is a savory Easter bread from the Marche and Umbria regions of central Italy. This rich, eggy bread is packed with 6 ounces of finely grated cheese. I used a combination of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino.
This bread is best the day it is baked. To help liven it up a bit, toast the leftover slices and serve with butter, salami, or other cured meats. King Arthur Flour recommends using thin slices as a base for grilled cheese sandwiches.
I used a 6 inch round cake pan with 3 inch deep sides. If you have one available, a panettone or pandoro pan is more authentic. You can divide the dough into three sections and braid it to fit a loaf pan like Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories did. She also seasoned the bread with oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
While this bread does take a few hours to create, the prep work in minimal. There is a lot of resting time involved, but the bread won’t rise too high. It will mostly just stay puffy and develop a spongy texture.
Looking for more Easter recipes?
- Húsvéti Kalácskoszorú (Hungarian Easter Wreath)
- Paashaasjes (Dutch Easter Bunny Bread)
- Torta Pasqualina (Italian Easter Pie)
Crescia al Formaggio (Italian Easter Cheese Bread) Recipe
Adapted from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Crescia al Formaggio (Italian Easter Cheese Bread)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water 105-115 degrees F
- 300 grams (~2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 3 ounces (85 grams) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3 ounces (85 grams) finely grated Pecorino
- In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over water. Stir to combine and allow to sit until frothy, 5-10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, eggs, egg yolk, butter, and yeast with water until a smooth, shiny dough forms.
- If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix in the cheeses until thoroughly combined, smooth, and elastic. Grease a large bowl with oil and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover and allow to rise for an hour.
- Gently deflate the dough, then cover and allow to rise for another hour.
- Butter and flour a panettone, pandoro, or deep 6 inch round cake pan. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place in prepared pan. Cover and allow to rise for another 2 hours, until puffy.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Place the pan in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350˚F and lightly place a tent of foil over the top of the bread. Continue to bake until cooked through, 190˚F, and golden brown, about 30 more minutes.
- Allow to cool in pan before removing onto wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Serve warm with salami or butter.