The Easter period in Calabria you could see the women who walked to the bakery of the village with big baskets on their head covered each by a dish cloth, the only places where they could bake the “cuddruri”, a traditional Easter pastry.
Originally it wasn’t a dessert, but a bread a little bit sweet that people used to eat with sopressata, sausage, pecorino cheese, and…a very good glass of wine. It was necessary to go to the backery for bake the “cuddruri” because of nobody had the oven at home and not so big for cooking 20 or 30 “cuddruri” at least!
Nowadays you can find the “cuddruri” (or cuculi or cuzzope, or ninni, it depends on the area) at the supermarket, grocery, bar, and they are made in a standard way, a kind of brioche (sweet roll) and pasta frolla (Short Pastry).
This is the recipe that I found in an old cookbook of my family, the “Cuddruru” recipe used in Rende, little village close to Cosenza, in the Northern part of Calabria.
– 1 kg. flour
– 600 gr. leavened dough (bread dough)
– 350 gr. sugar
– 5 eggs ( + eggs for the decoration, one for each cuddruru)
– 1 teaspoon lard
– 120 ml. anise liqueur
Melt in a pan the lard with the sugar and a little bit of water. Then cool down it. At the meantime beat the eggs and add the leavened dough. Put all around the dough the flour and a pinch of salt. Add the liqueur. Knead all together until to have a soft and homogeneous dough.
Take a piece of the dough and create 2 sticks which you cross each other in order to obtain a kind of braid. Repeat the same thing with other pieces. Then leave them in a dry and warm place for the whole night for making it rise. Then put a boiled egg (with the shell) in the highest part of the braid as decoration and bake it in the oven at 180° C for about 30 minutes.
Cool down it and happy tasting!!