As a child, I was never one to fully understand the meaning of a tradition or appreciate the time and effort that went into carrying on these family traditions. I find myself now reflecting on these traditions and embracing everything I can with my loved ones. Now that I am a mother of an almost one year old (woah) learning these traditions have become even more important to me so that I too can pass them down to my children. For many Italian families “La Nonna” (grandmother) is the centre of the family. The one who guides us, the one that centres us, and the one who feeds us! Every holiday with my Nonna is filled with carrying on traditions that she brought over with her from her hometown of Rende, Calabria. With Easter around the corner, I thought it was the right time to share our family's Easter tradition, Li Cudduri, known as Sweet Easter Bread. Cudduri is an ancient Easter recipe which typically belongs to the region of Calabria’s peasant food. There are several different shapes the Cudduri could be made into, such as a braided circle, mini dolls or like us by tradition, we twist the dough into a braid with a hard-boiled egg nestled in the middle of the dough. I have yet to learn the meaning of what the egg symbolizes within the bread. I’m sure my Nonna will be happy to let me in on the meaning one day. With Easter soon approaching we are in full on Cudduri prep mode. Shopping for the ingredients and deciding whose house will be the home of the Cudduri for 2021. I know I am excited to bake, spend time with the family and more importantly have a slice with my morning coffee.
If you're looking to try a new recipe this Easter, here is my family's recipe below. (Don’t forget to share your pictures with us if you make this!) The Cudduri however won’t taste as good, unless you make them as a family with the hopes of passing the tradition on to the family.
RECIPE (yields approx. 15 Cudduri)
- 3 ½ pound Monarch Pastry Flour
- 1/3 lb of fresh yeast
- Mix day before
- 20 eggs (plus extra hard boiled eggs)
- 8 cups sugar
- 1lb of Tenderflake Lard
- Add previous days mixings with above
- Five Rose All Purpose Flour
Whisk eggs and sugar together and mix with Tenderflake. Then mix in the flour/yeast mix. Add as much flour and knead until bubbles appear in the dough. Let dough stand for 5 minutes and then divide accordingly. Roll out and braid each of the Cudduri remembering to place a hard-boiled egg in the middle (not from the 20 above). Let each of them rise in a warm room until they double in size. Then bake on the 2nd rack of the oven for 35 minutes at 350°F.
Josie & Evonna