Easter and memories…
There are two things that immediately come to my mind when I think of Easter: Croatian sweet Easter bread we call “Pinca” and decorated eggs dyed using the red onions skins. So that’s why I decided those two to be my blog posts for this week before Easter.
Living abroad as an expat means you always get this mix of different feelings for holidays, you are happy and grateful for all the new experiences that this way of life offers but at the same time you are nostalgic and even sad at times, you miss home and your family and friends more on those special days.
My way of handling is to bring some of those memories and traditions with me wherever I am and somehow when my home smells of the sweet bread my mum bakes for Easter or vanilla cookies that we would bake together in Christmas time or when my fingers are covered with flour when baking a traditional cake my grandmother would bake for those special occasions, my heart finds peace and I feel like home is here, with me, wherever I might be…
That is a reason why I love food so much, it’s all the memories and stories we connect we certain foods and just a smell or a process of making it can bring us back in time instantly.
What is ‘Pinca’?
“Pinca”, slightly sweet bread with a hint of lemon and orange zest, traditionally is brought to the Church in the basket (together with eggs) to be blessed by the priest before being eaten for Easter breakfast. Other traditional food that we eat in Croatia on this special day are spring onions, radishes, cooked ham with horseradish sauce and of course eggs. What do you eat in your country for Easter? I would love to know!
POST UPDATED WITH NEW PHOTOS IN 2020
Hope you’ll try it out, it’s not difficult at all I promise and let me know if you do! 🙂
Recipe in English:
- 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 sachet dry yeast (1 sachet = 7g = 1.5 teaspoons)
- 100 g (just under ½ cup) unsalted butter
- 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 200 ml (1 cup + 2 tbsp) warm milk ( I used oat milk)
- 1 lemon or orange zest, grated (organic, untreated)
- 1 tablespoons rakija (Croatian type of grappa, you can use Italian grappa or rum)
- pinch of salt
- For glaze: 1 egg whisked + 1 or 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- Note: these are the quantities for one larger Pinca or two smaller
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour and dry yeast.
- Mix in the butter (soften at room temperature) and then add sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract, grated orange or lemon zest, rakija (grappa or rum) and a pinch of salt.
- Slowly add warm milk and combine kneading until the dough forms. Dough should be compact with a relatively smooth surface.
- Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place at least 2-3 hours until it doubles in size.
- After that knead it for a minute or two, form a ball if making one larger Pinca or two balls if making two smaller Pinca. Put dough ball on a tray lined with baking (parchment) paper and let rise for at least another hour.
- Once dough is well risen, make three deep cuts on the upper side of Pinca, from the centre towards the edge down in three directions. Glaze with a mixture of whisked egg and a little bit of granulated sugar.
- Bake in the oven previously heated to 180 C (356 F) for about 35-45 minutes. I suggest covering with a baking paper when they get golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven, cover with kitchen cloth and let it cool. Enjoy!
- NOTE: This baking time is if you are baking one larger Pinca. If you divided the dough in two and are making two smaller ones, then you need to adjust the baking time and reduce it accordingly.
Recipe in Croatian / Recept na hrvatskom:
- 500 g glatkog psenicnog brasna
- 1 vrecica suhog kvasca (7 g)
- 100 g maslaca, na sobnoj temepraturi
- 100 g secera
- 1 zlicica vanilin ekstrakta (ili 1 vanilin secer)
- 3 zumanjka
- 200 ml mlijeka, toplog (ja koristim zobeno mlijeko)
- naribana korica 1 limuna ili narance (neprskanog)
- 1 zlica rakije
- prstohvat soli
- Za premazivanje: 1 jaje (razmuceno) + 1 ili 2 zlice secera
- Napomena: ovo su kolicine za jednu vecu Pincu ili dvije manje
- U vecoj posudi pomijesajte brasno i suhi kvasac.
- Umijesajte kockice maslaca (na sobnoj temperaturi), izradite prstima i dodajte secer, zumanjke, vanilin ekstrakt (ili vanilin secer), naribanu koricu limuna ili narance, rakiju i sol, dobro promijesajte.
- Ulijevajte pomalo toplo mlijeko i rukama umijesite (relativno) glatko tijesto.
- Pokrijte kuglu tijesta kuhinjskom krpom i ostavite na toplom mjestu da se dize barem 3 sata.
- Nakon toga, mijesite jos minutu-dvije, oblikujte kuglu i polozite na pripremljeni pekac (oblozen papirom za pecenje). Ostavite da se dize jos jedan sat.
- Kad se tijesto dovoljno diglo, napravite ostrim nozem rez na vrhu od centra u tri smjera.
- Premazite Pincu razmucenim jajetom i posipajte secerom.
- Pecite u prethodno zagrijanoj pecnici na 180 C oko 35-45 min (ovisi o pecnici). Kad Pinca na vrhu dobije zlatnu boju, pokrijte je papirom za pecenje.
- Izvadite iz pecnice, pokrijte kuhinjskom krpom i ostavite da se ohladi. Dobar tek!
- NAPOMENA: Ovo vrijeme pecenja je ako pecete jednu vecu Pincu (kao sto je ova na fotografijama). Ako pecete dvije manje, vrijeme pecenja je potrebno prilagoditi tj. smanjiti.
*Thank you so much for being here, that makes me so happy! You can also follow my Travelling oven on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, as well as sign up to receive new blog posts via email and subscribe to my newsletter.
Pang @circahappy says
I have never heard of ‘Pinca,” but for the look of it, I am sure I’ll like it so much. Yummy 🙂
I cannot imagine Easter without it but it can be eaten any time, it’s very delicious! 🙂
Beautiful images, Lili, and I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on new places vs memories, it is so true, I agree with you, food is an excellent way to bring back and relish all the good from the past, lovely work!
Thank you Miriam! You also moved away from your country so you can understand very well what I’m talking about!