The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Easter Gubana

karladiane's picture

Easter Gubana

Hi all:

Well, here is my Easter Gubana (Easter Bread from the region of Friuli)! When I asked about this bread on the forum last month, nobody replied that they had made one, so I thought I'd share mine with you.

It was quite delicious, but definitely an "adult" flavored cake.  LOTS of nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds) and some booze soaking for the filling.  It was pretty much following the recipe that is in Carol Fields' "The Italian Baker", and was especially delicious with some vanilla gelato.  Next time, I think I need to make a wetter sponge, and I'll macerate the raisins before adding them to the nuts & other filling ingredients (which is a long list:  The aforementioned 4 nuts + raisins + candied orange peel + cinnamon + cocoa + lemon zest + 5 different liquor/liqueurs). 

There was what seemed to be an impossible amount of filling for the loaf - but I crammed it all in!

Hope you all had wonderful holidays!




LindyD's picture

I've never heard of it before, but it sure is a lovely bread!  I like the booze part, too!  ;-)

Paddyscake's picture

and very pretty too!! Would you share your version of this recipe? I'm very curious..5 liquor/liqueurs. Just the nuts and peel/zests alone would send him into a tail spin!


karladiane's picture

The following is my handwritten and slightly tweaked version of Carol Field's Gubana recipe.  As I mentioned before, I think that next time, I would macerate the raisins beforehand, then add the nuts and orange peel and zest and cocoa and cinnamon just before stuffing the bread.

Also, I did not have any grappa (it was over $35.00 for a bottle!), so I used vodka in place of grappa, and Chambord (which is raspberry) in place of a cherry liqueur (which I could not find) - I imagine that one could get quite creative with the liquor combinations.

One last thing - I will also make a bit of a wetter sponge next time.

I really, really love pine nuts, and the toasted pine nuts in with the hazelnuts & walnuts & almonds was really delicious.

GUBANA (from The Italian Baker)

Makes 2 round loaves


2 tbsp instant yeast
¾ cup warm milk
1 cup plus 1 tbsp unbleached AP Flour

Mix ingredients until smooth, cover, and let rise 30 minutes to 1 hour.


2 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar (130 g)
3 to 4 tbsp milk
3 ¾ cups (500 g) unbleached AP Flour
1 ¼ tsp (7 g ) salt
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 stick (115 g) unsalted butter, room temp.

Add eggs, yolks, sugar and 3 tbsp milk to the sponge and stir until smooth.
Stir in the flour (1 cup at a time) and the salt and keep stirring until smooth.
Stir in the lemon zest and vanilla (and 1 tbsp milk if necessary).
On a floured board, knead about 8-10 minutes (velvety & supple).
Put in lightly oiled bowl, place the butter cut into 8 pieces on top, cover, and let rise 2-3 hours (2X size).


2 ¾ cup (300 g) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and chopped
¾ cup (90 g) walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup (35 g) pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tbsp (20 g) blanched almonds, chopped
1 ½ cups (160 g) crumbs from leftover sweet breads, cookies, and/or homemade breads
Generous 1 cup (180 g) raisins
½ cup plus 1 tbsp apricot jam
½ cup (70-80 g) candied orange peel, chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp Marsala
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp grappa
2 tbsp rum
1 tbsp amaretto liqueur
1 tsp maraschino (cherry) liqueur

1 egg
2 tsp water

1 egg white, beaten

Shaping & second rise:

Combine nuts, bread crumbs, raisins, jam, orange peel lemon zest, cocoa powder, cinnamon, Marsala, grappa, rum and liqueurs.
Work the butter into the dough.
Cut the dough in half on a lightly floured surface.
Roll out each piece into an 18 X 12 inch rectangle.
Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border on all sides.
Mix the egg and water in a small bowl, and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.
Starting at one long edge, roll up dough rectangle and pinch the ends.
Shape each log into a spiral, so that it looks like a big snail.
Place each dough spiral in a lightly oiled 2-3 quart soufflé dish, or onto parchment paper on a baking sheet for free-form, or in a paper baking form or in a round souffle dish.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until well puffed, but not doubled, 2-2 ½ hours


Preheat oven to 375°F
Just before baking, brush the tops of the loaves with egg white, and poke several holes in the tops with a skewer to let air escape from any air pockets.
Bake 25 minutes.
Reduce heat to 325°F and bake until deep golden, ~ 25 minutes longer.
Un-mold very carefully and let cool completely on racks.

Happy baking!

Paddyscake's picture

thank you, thank you!


nicodvb's picture

Karladiane, your gubana is exceptional! I never ate it, a serious deficiency on my side:-)