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Gubana Easter Bread of Friuli

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Friday, 06 January 2012
List of viewable recipes from "The Italian Baker, Revised" by Carol Field

Recipe from The Italian Baker, Revised by Carol Field (Ten Speed Press, 2011)

Makes 2 round loaves


  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (0.8 oz /22.6 g) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup (6.3 oz / 180 g) milk, warmed to 110°F and then cooled to 75°F to 80°F
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (5.3 oz / 150 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

Stir the yeast into the milk in a large mixing or mixer bowl; let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes to 1 hour.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (4.9 oz / 140 g) sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (1.5 to 2 oz / 45 to 60 g) milk
  • 3 3/4 cups (17.5 oz / 500 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (0.2 oz / 6.5 g) salt
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (0.4 oz / 10 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (4 oz / 115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

By Hand

ImageAdd the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the milk to the sponge and stir until smooth. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, and the salt and keep stirring until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest, vanilla, and 1 more tablespoon of milk, if needed. Finally stir in the butter (the butter also can be cut into eight pieces and set on top of the kneaded dough for the first rise). Flour your work surface generously, flour your hands, and have a dough scraper ready to help knead the dough, which will be sticky at first. Knead until velvety, supple, and blistered, 8 to 10 minutes.

By Mixer

Add the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the milk to the sponge and mix with the paddle until smooth. Mix in the flour and salt until smooth. Mix in the lemon zest, vanilla, and 1 more tablespoon of milk, if needed. Change to the dough hook and knead until velvety, supple, and blistered, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut the butter into eight pieces and set on top of the dough for the first rise.

First Rise. Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled, 2 to 3 hours. You can speed up the rising a bit by placing the bowl in a warm water bath (90ºF).


  • 2 3/4 cups (10.5 oz / 300 g) toasted, skinned, and chopped hazelnuts
  • Generous 3/4 cup (3.2 oz / 90 g) walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup (1.3 oz / 37 g) pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons (0.7 oz / 20 g) blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (5.6 oz / 160 g) crumbs from leftover sweet breads, cookies, or homemade breads
  • Generous 1 cup (6.3 oz / 180 g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4.5 oz / 130 g) apricot jam
  • 1/2 cup (2.6 oz / 75 g) chopped candied orange peel (page 39)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (0.3 oz / 8 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (0.08 oz / 2.5 g) ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 oz / 45 g) Marsala
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (1.2 oz / 35 g) grappa
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz / 30 g) rum
  • 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz / 15 g) amaretto liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon (0.2 oz / 5 g) maraschino liqueur
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons (0.4 oz / 10 g) water
  • 1 large egg white, beaten, for glazing

Combine the nuts, bread crumbs, raisins, jam, orange peel, lemon zest, cocoa, cinnamon, Marsala, grappa, rum, and liqueurs. Work the butter into the dough, if necessary. Cut the dough in half on a lightly floured surface. Roll out each piece into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough rectangles, leaving a 2-inch border on all sides.

Mix the egg and water in a small bowl and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.

Shaping and Second Rise. Starting at one long edge, roll up each dough rectangle and pinch the ends. Shape each log into a spiral so that it looks like a big snail. Place each dough spiral in a well-buttered 2- to 3-quart baking or soufflé dish. The gubana can also be baked free form on a buttered baking sheet, but the dish will help it keep its shape. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until well puffed but not doubled, 2 to 21/2 hours.

Baking. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Just before baking, brush the tops of the loaves with the egg white and poke several holes in the tops with a skewer to let air escape from any air pockets. Bake 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325ºF and bake until deep golden, about 25 minutes longer. Unmold very carefully and cool completely on racks.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 January 2012 )
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