Neapolitan Tortano a Stuffed Easter Bread

Ready in

3h 50 min


1h 10 min


40 min


8 person






Savory Easter Tart of Cilento


Tortano Napoletano is a savory big donut with a thousand flavours, defined as “tortano” because, there is none similar to another, in fact, this stuffed bread is like a kind of Easter cleaning, where the housewives, to consume all the residues of cured meats, salami and cheeses that they have in the pantry they knead a donut-shaped bread that they call tortano. In ancient times, the Neapolitan tortano was stuffed only with pork cicoli or frittole as they are called in Cilento, which are the residues of pork fat, melted to make suet but, still today, those who kill pigs in Cilento have the habit of making the “Tortano with frittule”.

In the Easter period, with the addition of hard-boiled eggs and pecorino cheese, the tortano also takes on Christian symbols: the pecorino represents the immolated lamb, while the eggs symbolize the resurrection of Christ. There is therefore no rigor as regards the filling, except for the dough, which in addition to the yeast and water, pepper and suet are also added to the flour. The Neapolitan Tortano is an excellent rustic to be eaten both warm and cold, for this reason it is ideal for Easter Monday but, for any trip or outing in the open air, it is also ideal for aperitifs, appetizers and buffets.


  • 500g/18oz flour 00
  • 80g/3oz suet or lard
  • 200ml water
  • 12g/0,4oz active dry yeast
  • 10g/0,35oz sugar
  • 10g/0,35oz salt
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of pepper
  • 150g/5oz grated mixed cheese (pecorino and parmesan)
  • 150g/5oz sliced pecorino cheese
  • 150g/5oz gruyere or emmental cheese
  • 150g/5oz rolled bacon
  • 150g/5oz salami
  • 150g/5oz cicoli
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 100g/3,5oz suet or lard
  • J.e. Pepper
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First we make the pastry dough, which must rise for at least 1 hour or until it has doubled. Let’s start by putting 200 ml of warm water (15°C/60°F) in the mixer. By hand, put the flour in a large bowl or on a pastry board and let’s make the classic fountain*

water dough
brewer yeast dough

Put the yeast and sugar in the water and turn on the mixer with the hook and let the yeast dissolve well, or, by hand, in a bowl, dissolve the yeast with the sugar with 200 ml of warm water at 15°C/60°F15°C/60°F

Now with the planetary mixer off, insert the flour and begin to knead by turning on the planetary mixer at a moderate speed, incorporating the water, or by hand, put the lard and the egg in the fountain, while we sprinkle the salt all over the flour

flour dough
lard dough

We proceed by inserting the suet at room temperature, the egg and finally the salt. Let’s make the dough compact  By hand, we begin to knead always starting from inside the fountain and gradually add the water with the yeast

Let’s a sprinkling of flour on the work surface and put the dough on it, now let’s knead vigorously for 10 minutes or until we have obtained a nice smooth and compact dough.

knead stuffed bread oven
ball up stuffed bread dough

We roll up the dough and wrap it in a cloth, let it rise in the turned off oven or under a blanket, the important thing is that it stays warm and without drafts of wind or sources of heat

While the dough is rising, cut the salami, bacon, cheese and hard-boiled eggs into cubes

cutting boiled eggs
roll out dough stuffed bread

When the dough is nice swollen, we remove a little, about 50g, which we set aside to make the crosses, now we put the dough on the lightly floured surface and we begin to roll it out with a rolling pin until we have reached a maximum thickness of ½ cm

Now, evenly distribute a handful of pepper, the grated cheese, the cigoli, all the cured meats, cheeses and hard-boiled eggs over the entire pastry. Now lightly press the ingredients with your hands, so that they compact a little with the dough

ingredients tortano naples
roll up ingredients dough

We roll up the dough on itself, from the longer side and gradually squeeze, in this way, the ingredients and the dough become a single body

Grease a 28cm/11in cake pan with the lard, sprinkle with the flour and then remove the excess

grease casatiello pan
tortano easter stuffed bread recipe

We take the roll of dough, put it in the pan and close the two ends well, in this way when it rises it becomes one and does not split

Brush the whole Tortano with the lard and let it rise for 1 hour, always in a warm place away from drafts of wind and heat sources

Neapolitan tortano lard
leavening oven off

After the leavening time, turn on the oven at 180°C/360°F, when it’s hot, put it in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until it’s golden brown

Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes without removing it from the pan, then turn it upside down on a tray and let it cool for another 10 minutes

upside down tortano
tortano neapolitan recipe

After 10 minutes, turn it over and cover it with a tablecloth always keep it covered until it’s time to serve


  1. Cut the peel with a potato peeler, so you don’t remove the white part of the lemon which is bitter.
  2. To cook the custard, do not use the same pan in which you boiled the milk, otherwise the cream will stick to the bottom.
  3. The custards for the filling must be strictly cold.
    The lemon must be organic, washed and dried before using it.
  4. The lard is added lukewarm to the other ingredients.
  5. When you fry the cannoli, always place them with the attachment underneath, in this way they do not open.
  6. It is advisable to fill the cannoli an hour before consumption otherwise the wafer will soften.


  1. The Neapolitan Tortano can be kept like bread, for three to four days at room temperature, always covered with a cloth or in a bread bag.
  2. If you like it hot, you can heat it for 1 minute in the microwave.


  1. * The steel skimmer* is a perforated slotted spoon.
    The creams must be cold.
  2. The molds are called cànnoli, because they were once made with reeds. Today they are made of tin and are easily found in all household goods stores.
  3. The fountain is the hole made in the flour so as not to let the liquid ingredients come out.


  1. Carving type knife
  2. Chopping board
  3. Small pot
  4. 3 medium bowls for salami
  5. Small bowl for melted juice
  6. pastry board
  7. Oven
  8. Donut pan 28cm
  9. Kitchen brush
  10. Rolling pin
  11. tea towel
  12. Pizza tray or plate

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