Pasca, The Romanian Easter Bread
Pasca, The Romanian Easter Bread is a traditional Easter bread with cheese filling that is widely popular in Romania and some other Eastern European countries.
This sweet and savory bread is a staple of the Easter feast and a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
History and Origin
Pasca, the Romanian name for Easter bread, comes from the Latin word “Paschalis,” which means “pertaining to Easter.” The tradition of making Pasca in Romania dates back to the 16th century when the Orthodox Church was officially established in the country. The bread became a staple of the Easter celebration and a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Over time, the recipe evolved, and new ingredients were added, such as cheese, raisins, and lemon zest, to give the bread a unique flavor and texture.
In some parts of the country, the bread is also decorated with colored eggs, flowers, or other symbols of the Resurrection.
For the dough
For the filling
In a large mixing bowl,
combine the flour, sugar, instant yeast, salt, and lemon zest.
Add the eggs and melted butter, and gradually pour in the warm milk, while mixing, until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough on a floured surface (or use stand mixer) for 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Place the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rest in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
In the meantime, prepare the filling.
In a separate bowl, combine the farmer’s cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar, semolina, lemon zest, and raisins (if using).
Mix well until everything is well incorporated.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the air, and divide it into two parts.
Roll out each part into a round sheet (about 30cm in diameter).
Place one sheet into a buttered 24cm round baking dish, and prick it with a fork in several places.
Pour the cheese filling over the dough, and spread it evenly.
Cover the cheese filling with the second sheet of dough, and seal the edges well.
Brush the top of the Pasca with beaten egg yolk, and decorate as you like.
Bake it in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until it becomes golden brown.
Once done, remove the Pasca from the oven, and let it cool completely before slicing and serving.
Enjoy, Good Appetite!