Our Easter Pasca is made on Great Thursday (Thursday before Easter) and is considered the most important bread of the year. It can be simple, with jagged margins, or it can have dough braided edges. Sometimes a cross-shaped braid is placed in the middle, representing the crucifixion of Jesus. You can make this cross out of raisins or cacao powder.
The dough is the same dough that you make for Cozonac. So when you start making desserts for Easter you know the quantity.
The filling is made with fresh cow’s cheese, something like a dry cottage cheese, which is sweetened with sugar and spotted with raisins or sultanas.
Nowadays, you see many other recipes using more filling and a thinner, more easily-prepared base, but a traditional Pasca is more like a stuffed bread than a flan. You can have a chocolate filling or a sour cream filling.
I love Pasca. Since I was a little girl I asked my mom to make it more like a cheesecake than a bread. So less dough and more cheese. She makes an amazing Pasca and I can’t wait to eat it.
For sweet bread dough:
- 250 ml milk
- 500 g white flour
- 150 g sugar
- 3 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 100 ml oil
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 2 Tablespoon vanilla-rum extract
- 2 pouches vanilla sugar
- 600 g cottage cheese
- 5 eggs
- 100 g sour cream
- 100 g raisins
- 200 g sugar
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 3 Tablespoons vanilla-rum extract
- 2 Tablespoon semolina
- 100 g butter (room temperature)
In a small bowl, combine the dry yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar and ¼ of the warm milk. Mix for 1 minute to dissolve the yeast and let it rest for 5-7 minutes.
In a large bowl place the white flour and make a hole in the center. Sprinkle the salt and pour yeast and the milk mixture over flour.
Add the eggs, remaining sugar & milk, lemon zest, vanilla-rum extract and vanilla sugar.
Mix to incorporate all ingredients with a spoon. Add the oil a little at a time and knead with your hands for about 15-30 minutes, until the dough will not stick to your hands. For a good dough the important thing is to knead as hard as you can.
Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot. Allow dough to rise until double in size.
For the filling, mix the cream cheese. Add eggs, the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla-rum extract, sour cream and melted butter. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined. Lastly, mix in the semolina and raisins. Let it aside.
Cut the dough into two equal parts, sprinkle some flour on your work surface and roll one part of the dough. Place the sheet in the pan. Put the dough in the pan like for a pie. Add half of the cheese mixture in the middle.
With the second part do the same.
Bake for 45 minutes in the preheat oven.
If you are a raw-vegan person you can make a raw Pasca like this. Enjoy!