Posted in : Appetizers, Bread on by : MikeZ

Italian Easter Bread

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Pizzagaina – Italian Easter Bread

A smaller version of Italian Easter Pie filled with Cheese and rich Italian Meats
Difficulty: Easy
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Breads
Method Oven
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Baking Sheets & Parchment Paper


  • 1 Pkg. Puff Pastry (2 shets) - defrosted.


  • 1 15 Oz. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 cups Italian Cheese Mix. - 8 oz. – shredded
  • 1 cup Parmigiana Cheese.
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper - to taste

Additions (Some or All)

  • 2 to 4 oz. Prosciutto - cubed or thin sliced
  • ¼ Lb. Genoa Salami - cubed or thin sliced
  • 1 cup Italian Cheese Mix.

Egg wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp. Water


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Mix Filling ingredients until well combined. Optionally, add a small pinch of salt.
  • Cut slices of Prosciutto in half lengthwise and in 1” lengths. Fold and distribute evenly into mixture. Chill mixture slightly for easier handling.
  • Slice salami into 1" long strips.
  • Place a puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured countertop. Using a Rolling Pin, stretch lengthwise to about 12 inches long. Cut slits as shown in the picture.
  • Spread half of the chilled ricotta mixture evenly along the center of each trimmed puff pastry. Cover both with half of the salami. Sprinkle both with half the remaining shredded cheese. Repeat with remaining ricotta mixture, salami and shredded cheese. Fold end tab over filling; and lace criss-cross using alternating tabs to form a braided top.
  • Place both on a tray with parchment paper. Whisk egg with water and apply as a wash to all sides.
  • Bake on Middle rack for 30 minutes until browned on all sides and filling isn't runny. It will solidify when cooled.
  • Slice with a serrated bread knife. Serve warm or at room temperature.


This recipe makes 2 identical braids. You can substitute or add pepperoni, soppressata, provolone, and other Italian cheeses and cured meats.
Suggested by Michelle Turillo Frame – August 9, 2021.

Copyright © 2021 – 2023 – Mike Zets, Sylvania, Ohio USA – All Rights Reserved


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