Easter Puddhrica Salentina, the recipe with Pasta Madre

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
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The puddhrica is a leavened product that is prepared close to the Easter period throughout the Salento peninsula. Each Salento family has its own traditional recipe and the bakers of all cities prepare puddrhica in both a sweet and savory version. Also known by different names, in the Brindisi area for example it is called puddica, this baked preparation has been part of the Salento culinary tradition for a very long time. In the rest of Puglia it is also known as scarcella.



Daniele RUSSO / Shutterstock

The origins of this tradition are different, but the most reliable is that the puddhrica was considered a peace symbol and therefore was in clear relationship with the meaning of the Christian Easter.

The puddhrica, although called by different names and prepared with different recipes, keeps its shape everywhere. The puddhrica mixture is in fact intertwined and worked so that it can contain a hard-boiled egg, almost to become a casket.

The puddhrica can be consumed during the breakfast on Easter day or it can also be a dish of Easter Monday picnic.



If you have problems with intolerances, you can replace cow's milk with vegetable milk; from personal experience I recommend you to use rice / soya milk, this in fact does not alter the flavor of the puddhrica with its flavor.

Ingredients

  • 250 1 grams of flour
  • 35 gr of extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 grams of semi-skimmed milk or rice / soy
  • 1 medium egg (52 gr shelled)
  • 50 gr mother yeast
  •  additional milk to taste
  • 50 gr of brown sugar
  • 40 gr of soft butter
  •   3 boiled eggs
  • Preparation Time:
    20 minutes
  • Cooking time:
    20 minutes
  • Rest time:
    20 hours of leavening
  • Dose:
    for 3 puddhriche
  • Difficulty:
    Media

Procedure for rotting

  • Heat the milk until it becomes lukewarm e melt the sourdough inside and brown sugar; to facilitate this operation, it is advisable to rub the yeast with your fingertips.
  • Place the flour in a large bowl and pour in the milk with the sugar and the yeast.
  • Start kneading by hand or with a mixer and then incorporate the oil as well.
  • When the oil is completely absorbed, add the egg and continue kneading.
  • Work the mixture by kneading it vigorously until it becomes smooth and non-sticky.
  • Then form a loaf, place it in a bowl and cover it with food film in contact, thus preventing the crust from forming on the surface.



  • Let it rise away from drafts for an hour, then place it in the refrigerator for about twelve hours.
  • During this time the dough of the puddhrica will rise slowly and thus the maturation and the leavening will go hand in hand, making this leavened product even better and more digestible.
  • After the hours of leavening in the refrigerator, remove the dough and let it cool to room temperature, then knead it again.
  • Cover it with cling film and wait for its volume to double.
  • Now proceed to fold the dough in order to have a perfect seal of the shape that will be given below:
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, deflate it with your fingertips giving it a rectangular shape, and fold inwards first the left side, then the right, and then the two ends; cover with a bowl and leave to rest for fifteen minutes.



  • Now roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you get a sheet a couple of thousand meters thick and cut nine wide strips about two centimeters each.

  • Weave three strips at a time, close them as if they were a bracelet and with a pastry cutter also make three discs.
  • Lay the braids on each disk by pressing the dough internally so as to make them adhere and place the hard-boiled eggs inside them.

  • Place each puddhrica on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Moisten each freshly formed puddhrica externally with milk and let it rise in the oven with the door closed for an hour.

  • After the last hour of rising, bake in a hot oven at 180 ° for about twenty minutes.

  • When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

The puddhrica, at the end of cooking, must be golden brown.

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