Tortano – Easter Bread

Tortano Easter Bread

Easter Bread has always been one of my favourite time of the year, apart from the fact that it is totally acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I got to spend time with my family and eat the most delicious comfort food.

One of my favourites used to be, or should I say still is, Italian Easter Bread. In Italy we call this, Tortano (and it is also known as Casatiello). This is the ultimate “sandwich”, with its crisp exterior and soft filling.

My mum used to make it on Easter Sunday, ready to be taken on a picnic on Easter Monday. Nowadays I make it on the Saturday and we have it as our evening meal.

It can be eaten as a main meal, or with a platter of other goodies such as olives, sundried tomatoes, grapes, figs, melon etc

It’s a firm favourite in my household and I make it every easter without fail, although I have been known to make throughout the year too. It’s far too nice to only eat once a year!

As with any homemade breads, it does take a bit of time and effort to make it, but I promise you, the results are well worth it.


For the Bread

650gr Bread Flour

10gr Active Dry Yeast

25gr Oil

15 gr Salt

390ml Warm Water

For the Filling

4 Eggs (Hard Boiled)

250gr Hard Cheese (such as cheddar and provolone)

250gr Cured meats (such as Salami and Parma ham)

You will need:

  • Either a large smooth Bundt tin, or a cake tin (preferably 12” round) and an empty can covered in foil.
  • Rolling pin
  • Bowl
  • Mixer with a dough hook (optional)


Start by making the bread dough. This process can be done by hand, however due to having back issues, I prefer to use my Kenwood mixer. This makes the process super easy and faster.

Place the flour, yeast, oil, salt and water in the mixing bowl and mix together until you have a soft smooth dough. This usually takes 7-10 with your mixer or around 30-25 by hand.

Roll the dough in a ball and place in a clean bowl that has been oiled. Cover with clingfilm and a tea towel and let it prove for a couple of hours in a warm place till it has doubled in size.

While the dough is proving, prepare your filling. Boil the eggs and once cooled cut in sections. Cube your cheese and your meats (I used extra strong cheddar and Salami, however you can use any type of cheddar and a mixture of meats if you prefer).

Grease/flour your tin. If you are using a cake tin, take the paper off an empty can (such as bean’s) and wrap the outside with foil to make it food safe and place in the centre of your cake tin.

When the dough is ready, place on a floured surface and with a rolling pin shape into a rectangle shape (doesn’t have to be perfect) about 1cm thick.

Spread all the previously cut filling making sure its evenly distributed.

Start rolling the dough as tight as you can, pushing any filling that escapes back in.

Gently lift your dough and place in the prepared tin, joining the two ends together.

Cover with cling film/tea towel and let it prove for another 2 hours.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200° for approx 30 minutes until golden brown and the base sounds hollow when tapped.

Delicious eaten warm or cold.

I absolutely love seeing what you’ve created, so if you do make this recipe (or any other items from my website) don’t forget to tag me over on my social media pages

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