Oster-Pinze - Austrian Easter Bread With A Blessing
Looking for a seasonal specialty for my customers at A&B Naturals, I came upon an Italian Christmas bread, Pinza, that, after crossing the border to Austria, switched holidays - and turned into Easter bread, Pinze.
After a solemn blessing in the church, this lovely Styrian Easter bread (often adorned by a red egg, and cut three times, to symbolize the Holy Trinity) is served with the meat on Easter Sunday.
Styria - Steiermark, home of this lovely Easter bread
There are several versions for Pinze, and it is either seasoned with vanilla or anise. The anise can be steeped in wine or cooked in milk to extract its flavor. All recipes include lots of eggs and egg yolks,
so keep the Lipitor at hand, but I'm sure it is good for you, since it comes with a blessing.
I tried a Pinze version with anise, soaked in wine. Though the bread turned out quite nice, I couldn't detect much anise aroma. Therefore I decided on Petra's Easter Pinza (from her Chili und Ciabatta blog), substituting some of the white flour with whole wheat.
The bread, made in 3 steps with 2 pre-ferments, was wonderful. The only problem: its time consuming schedule would not work for my little bakery, unless I pulled off an all-nighter. So I turned to my favorite method: stretch & fold plus overnight stay in the fridge.
All egg-y goodness!
That way I could work the dough all at once, and let the folding and cold fermentation do the rest. No pre-doughs needed, very little hands-on time, and no standing around, waiting for pre-ferments and dough to rise.
In other words, the baker could hug her pillow, while the yeasties did their job!
My overnight version was just as good as the original, more involved one!
My Easter Basket
The Easter Pinze is a soft bread with a wonderful flavor. Though slightly sweet, it can be served with Easter Ham, like in Austria. Or, as we did, enjoyed simply with some good butter, or jam.
You find the recipe (plus a download for BreadStorm users) in my blog Brot & Bread.