Viccio Cilento – Stuffed Easter Bread
3h 50 min
1h 10 min
Little doll with Easter egg
Viccio Cilento stuffed Easter bread
I don’t know exactly how to translate the word “Viccio” into world, I only know that, remembering my childhood memories, when the Cilento women, every time they made bread, to touch the oven, that is to see if the oven had reached temperature, baked together with the pizzas, a sort of donut which they called “ù viccio cilentano re pane o a moscia” (bread Viccio or soft bread), which they then stuffed, as soon as they came out of the oven, with lard or cured meats and eaten hot, like our contemporary panuozzo. Having said that, I assume that the word viccio can be defined as donut, tarallo or any food with a circular shape and a hole in the center.
The Cilento viccio with egg or “U’ viccio cù l’uovo” instead, was made only at Easter, precisely on Holy Saturday and, it was not just a simple bread, because, in addition to embellishing the dough with salami, cheeses, suet, pepper and of course the egg, even the shape was different, it was therefore not the classic donut but a braided bread that took on the appearance of a baby in swaddling clothes, in reality, it symbolized Jesus in the tomb, while the egg represented the resurrection and the two strips of dough placed on the egg in the shape of a cross, they represent the Calvary.
It can be defined that the Cilento viccio with egg was the progenitor of the chocolate egg, in fact, it was made on purpose to give it to children, the elderly and engaged couples, then, towards the middle of the twentieth century, they began to marketing the chocolate egg and the Cilento viccio has remained only an Easter tradition, which I have always carried forward with love for the joy of my children and grandchildren. The viccio with egg is a tasty and fragrant stuffed bread, suitable for Easter Monday, to embellish the Easter table or simply to make a rich snack.
- 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
- 1 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
- 2 eggs
- 50g/2oz suet or lard
- J.e. Pepper
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*
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
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.
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, gruyere cheese and pecorino into small pieces
As soon as the dough has risen, take a ball (the other is for another viccio) and remove a small piece, the size of a walnut, and set it aside. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a rectangular sheet ½ cm thick
Now, put a pinch of pepper all over the pastry, sprinkle half of the grated cheeses, half of the cured meats and half of the gruyere. Now lightly press the ingredients with your hands, so that they compact a little with the dough
From the longer side, roll up the dough on itself, always pressing with your hands to make all the ingredients compact well
Fold the roll of dough into a “U” shape, twist it two three times, starting from the closed side, leave the two ends open and slightly apart, so that they look like two feet, then, on each foot, make two small cuts differentiated, spread the dough a little, to make it look like fingers
We wash the egg well, dry it and put it on the dough with the tip down, where you started making the braid, in this way you get the head of the viccio
Take the small piece of dough, which you have set aside, spread it with your hands as if it were a stick, cut it in half and place it on the egg in the shape of a cross
Cover a dripping pan* or a pizza pan with parchment paper, put the viccio on it, brush it with the lard
Put it to rise for 2 hours in a warm place, without sudden changes in temperature, always covered by a cloth and a blanket. Then do exactly all the steps done up to now with the other ball of dough to make the second viccio
After the leavening time, turn on the oven at 180°C/360°F, when it’s hot, put the vicci in the oven and cook them for 40 minutes or until they are golden brown
Sforniamo e facciamo raffreddare per 10 minuti senza toglierlo dalla teglia, poi, lo copriamo con una tovaglia teniamolo sempre coperto fino al momento di servire
- Cut the peel with a potato peeler, so you don’t remove the white part of the lemon which is bitter.
- To cook the custard, do not use the same pan in which you boiled the milk, otherwise the cream will stick to the bottom.
- The custards for the filling must be strictly cold.
The lemon must be organic, washed and dried before using it.
- The lard is added lukewarm to the other ingredients.
- When you fry the cannoli, always place them with the attachment underneath, in this way they do not open.
- It is advisable to fill the cannoli an hour before consumption otherwise the wafer will soften.
- The Viccio Cilento can be kept like bread, for three to four days at room temperature, always covered with a cloth or in a bread bag.
- If you like it hot, you can heat it for 1 minute in the microwave.
- * The steel skimmer* is a perforated slotted spoon.
The creams must be cold.
- 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.
- The fountain is the hole made in the flour so as not to let the liquid ingredients come out.
- Carving type knife
- Chopping board
- 3 medium bowls for salami
- Small bowl for melted juice
- pastry board
- Donut pan 28cm
- Kitchen brush
- Rolling pin
- tea towel
- Pizza tray or plate