ITALIAN EASTER PIE (PIZZAGAINA)
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour, more if needed
1/2 cup whole milk, scalded
1/2 cup water, lukewarm
1 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons butter flavored Crisco
3 tablespoons lard
3 tablespoons buttermilk or sour cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
5 eggs (for dough)
1 egg, boiled
1 egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon water for glaze
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 4 1/2 cups flour. Using the dough hook attachment, work 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons of lard, and 2 tablespoons butter flavored Crisco into dough, as though you were making a pie crust.
In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon honey in 1/2 cup lukewarm water, stirring well until dissolved. Bring water temperature to about 105 degrees (or warm to the touch). Stir in 1/3 cup flour to "feed" yeast. The yeast mixture should begin to bubble and foam up. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Tip: It's a good idea to keep more than one type or brand of yeast on hand if you bake your own bread. When you measure out your yeast, you can use half from one jar, and half from the other brand of yeast at the same time. This is good insurance in case the yeast isn't as active as you'd like it to be; if only half the yeast is good, your bread will still rise. It will just take longer.
In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, scald 1/2 cup milk. Watch milk carefully during the scalding process and remove from heat when the milk begins to foam slightly. Set aside and allow to sit undisturbed. A skin will form around edges and on top of milk as it cools. Remove the coagulated milk from the edges and skim the top skin off using a spoon. Pour the cooled (85 degrees) milk into the yeast mixture.
Using the same saucepan the milk was heated in, melt 4 tablespoons butter. When butter has nearly melted, add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and remove from heat. Allow to cool to nearly 85 degrees.
Break 5 eggs into flour mixture. Mix on medium setting 2 minutes. Add butter mixture and 3 tablespoons buttermilk or sour cream. Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and combine. Add 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (do not substitute).
Knead at medium speed of electric mixer for 8-10 minutes. If dough is too stiff for easy mixing, add a few tablespoons water.
Turn out onto lightly floured board and using your hands, which you've rubbed with olive oil (remove jewelry!), knead gently for 5 minutes. Dough should be light and airy, and somewhat sticky. As you knead, you should hear little "pops" as air bubbles break and new air pockets are formed.
Place into a greased bowl, turn once to coat with oil, cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in bulk.
When the dough has doubled, punch it down and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Divide in 1/2 and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Grease a deep dish pan with olive oil. Line the pan bottom and sides with the rolled out dough, easing dough into pan without stretching. Puncture bottom and sides with fork; coat with egg glaze.
1/2 lb mortadella, sliced and chopped
1/2 lb provolone, thinly sliced
1/2 lb capicola (hot ham), very thinly sliced
1/4 lb prosciutto, very thinly sliced
2-3 slices each pepperoni or salami, chopped
1-2 slices sopressato, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 entire basket Easter cheese (fromaggio fresca)
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons romano cheese, freshly grated
3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, cracked
*x-posted in cheapvegan*