The day after Easter is national holiday in Italy, it’s called “Pasquetta”, literally “little Easter”. If the weather allows it, everybody organizes a family picnic outside at the park. It’s fun, a lot of fun! Kids love the idea of eating on the grass and playing at the same time 😉
With this Italian memory in my mind I prepared little Easter buns with homemade brioche bread and filled with ham and fontina cheese. I didn’t want to use any artificial color for the decoration, so I opted for a colorful but still natural vegetable decoration. Easy and beautiful!
The brioche bread is not difficult at all to prepare, you will just need to organize yourself with the time. The brioche bread will take 20 min to prepare, plus 3/4 hours minimum to rest and raise. You will need another 20 min to assemble and fill the buns, plus the baking time. You can play ahead and bake the buns the day before the party/picnic.
Also, I opted for a filling (ham&cheese) that my kids would 100% love. You can absolutely choose the filling that you like more: tomato paste&cheese or ricotta&spinach or pesto&cheese are only few options!
Here you are the ingredients you will need to bake 30 mini Easter buns:
And that’s how to proceed:
– You will need some prep work: dissolve the yeast in some lukewarm water. I used dry instant yeast.
– Beat the eggs in a small bowl
– Cut the butter in small cubes
– Sift the flour
– In a kitchen mixer bowl add the flour, the yeast dissolved in the water, milk, sugar, eggs, salt. Let the mixer work for 2/3 minutes. You will obtain a sticky dough.
– Substitute the “leaf” attachment with a “hook” one: it will be easier to knead the dough.
– with the mixer working at low speed, add one cube of butter at the time. It should take you around 8 minutes to slowly incorporate the butter to the mix. You will obtain a shiny, elastic, yellow dough. Beautiful!
– Remove the dough from the mixer, place it in a bowl and cover it with some plastic paper. Place the bowl anywhere in the kitchen where the temperature is not too cold or not too hot (avoid the windows…). I usually place any dough that needs to raise in the oven (switched off, of course). Inside the oven it’s dry and the temperature is stable.
– Let the dough rest and raise for at least 3/4 hours.
– Place the dough on a flat surface dusted with some flour. Using a pin roll, roll the dough. The final layer should be 1/4 inch thick.
– With a cookie cutter cut out an even number of egg shaped ovals (you will need two ovals for each Easter bun)
– Take one oval and place small pieces of ham and small pieces of fontina cheese in the center. Be generous with the filling, it will pay off once baked!!
– Brush with some milk the edges of the oval. Gently place a second oval of dough on top of the filling. With your fingers tap down the edges in order to close them. Your first Easter bun is almost ready: you just need to decorate it!
– With a potato peeler peel the skin of one zucchini, one carrot and one squash in long stripes. Slice the big stripes in thin ones.
– Brush the top of the bun with some milk and have fun with the vegetable decoration.
– Place the Easter buns on a parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake them in the preheated oven at 400F./180C. for 20 minutes.