Traditional Tuscan Easter Cake
In Italy this sweet typical Tuscan bread is prepared at Easter from an ancient recipe and is assembled with several days of preparation and effort. The name “pasimata” derives from the Latin “pasimatum” meaning bread baked under ash. Fortunately this recipe has been translated to everyday terms and incorporates ingredients readily available and at one’s disposable.
In earlier days, one would have milked the cow, churned the butter, dried and candied the fruit and raisins and baked under ash. A little easier here but just as delicious and self-satisfying.
500 grams flour (I use King Arthur for this recipe) = 4 cups
200 grams sweet butter = 7/8 cup (melted and cooled)
200 grams granulated sugar = 1 cup
3 large eggs
50 grams of brewer’s yeast =1.76 ozs or 1 ½ Tbs of regular yeast
100 grams golden raisins = 2/3 cup
50 grams candied fruit (your favorite) = 1/3 cup
1 teaspoon full anise seed
In a little warm water add some flour and soften the yeast, letting it rest for a few hours in a warm draft free place. Accordingly, combine an egg with 1/3 of the sugar and flour and add to the leavened dough. Again let it rest for another 2 hours. Repeat this operation for 2 more times.
At the 3rd time, add the softened butter, candied fruit, golden raisins, anise seeds and repeat the process of letting the dough sit for 2 hours.
Place the dough in a buttered 12” pan and again let it rest for 2 hours. Bake in an oven preheated to 350º – 360º for one hour. It should be a little moist but not wet when a tester is inserted and the top should be dark brown. Cool slightly on a rack before removing from pan and marvel at and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Wishing you a Blessed Easter
Charlie, Anita and the Augello Family