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Holiday Breads
Easter bread
Pigna, Pane di Pasqua (Easter Bread from Molise, with lard, lemon zest and topped with frosting, Version III)
Originated from: Guardialfiera, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Rita Palazzo (her mother's recipe)

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Pigna (dialect "Pinj")
10 "large-sized" eggs
4 teaspoons of yeast
250 gm (or 1 1/2 cups) of sugar
250 gm of mashed potatoes ( 1.5 cups)
10 tablespoons of Crisco (lard) or vegetable oil
1 kilo of flour
Zest of one lemon

For the frosting (optional):
2 egg whites
1 cup icing sugar
Multi-colored sprinkles


Proof yeast (according to package directions).

Work ingredients into a soft dough.

Let it rest for a few hours (four to five).

When the dough has risen, divide into smaller portions.

Let the smaller portions rise for a bit longer, then cook them in a moderate oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

If desired, when the "pigna" is cooled it can be covered with mounted egg white and decorative candy can be sprinkled on top.

For the frosting (optional)

Mount the egg whites and add the sugar slowly until it

forms peaks, then cook in a double boiler for 10 to 15 minutes.

Spread the icing on the "pigna" and sprinkle with the

colored candies immediately before it dries.


Serve at room temperature.


The "pigna" was made by Rita Palazzo for the Easter holidays and photographed by her as well. This recipe is often called "Pane di Pasqua" (Easter bread) in other parts of Molise.

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