Pinca (Sweet Easter bread)
It’s impossible to think of Easter without this delicious, full of flavours sweet bread. It is part of Croatian tradition and is traditionally shaped as a round loaf and cut on the top three times with scissors (or knife) in the sign of a cross which symbolizes the Crucifixion of Christ. This recipe is my favourite because pinca tends to be little dry and crumbly but this is completely opposite, moist and just perfect. Give it a try, you will be surprised!
- 600 gr flour
- 100 gr fresh yeast
- 150 gr sugar
- 2 dcl milk
- 1 vanilla sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 125 gr lard
- 2 tbsp Kruskovac (pear liqueur)
- 2 tbsp Rum
- 1 tsp rosewater
- pinch of salt
- 2 orange zest
- 0,5 lemon zest
- 1 egg (for brushing)
- sugar for coating
Crumble the yeast into a large mug and add 1 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp flour and 1 dcl lukewarm milk. Set aside until yeast activates and gets foamy. Put the yeast into really deep mug or bowl because it will pour over if it’s too shallow.
Bring remaining milk and vanilla sugar into boil and set aside to cool a bit.
Mix together egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Melt lard (I melted it in microwave, on high power for 50 sec. and stirred well) and add it to the egg mixture.
Using dough hooks mix the dough a little and transfer it to the working surface. No extra flour is required. Knead about 5 minutes, put it in the bowl, cover with kitchen towel and let it rise for 2 hours.
After 2 hours knead the dough again (no extra flour needed, the dough consistency is just perfect) and place it in the cake mold (mine is 26 cm) lined with parchment paper.
Cover the dough and let it rise for 4 hours.
Heat your oven to 150 C degrees.
Before baking, brush the top with egg wash and generously sprinkle with sugar. Cut pinca in the shape of cross using scissors (little deeper but not too deep).
Bake for 50 minutes. If it turns brown quickly, cover with aluminum foil. I covered pinca 10 minutes before it was done.