Tortaniello … or Easter cake from Napoli (receipe)

This receipe brings me back to happy childhood memories and warm Easter days with la famiglia from Napoli.

Like most family receipes, also this one has been changed from generation to generation…we even changed it since last year and will most probably continue to do so … This receipe is a good basis to start with and can be adapted to suit your own taste rather easily. The tortaniello is best within the 2-3 days from baking and can easily be frozen.


Tortaniello di Napoli

A rustic Easter bread to be shared with family and friends
Course bread, Breakfast
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread, Easter bread
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 kg white flour
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 4 tea spoons fine salt
  • 6 dl luke warm water
  • olive oil
  • 220 g Gruyere cheese
  • 12 olives each 6 green and black olives
  • 150 g salami


  • Mix the yeast with some of the luke warm water in a cup until it has dissolved. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. The start adding some of the warm water. Mix with your hands until the water has been absorbed. Next add the dissolved yeast and again mix until all has been absorbed. Continue to add some more water. Once your dough is firm enough, take it out of the bowl for some serious kneading. The dough is ready when all the water has been absorbed, the flour is dissolved and the dough has a silky texture. This kneading process can easily take 20 minutes. You will find that the dough gets very sticky when adding the last bit of water...don’t give up the kneading and you will see how nice and smooth your dough will get.
  • Form your dough into a ball and cover it with a wet (but not dripping) towl before placing it in a warm corner of your home and letting it rise to the double.
  • During this time, cut the salami, olives and cheese into very small cubes. The smaller the cubes the easier it will be later to knead the filling into the dough.
  • Once your dough has risen to twice it’s size (this can take up to two hours and depends on the temperature you have at home), carefully scrape it out of the bowl. Next you will need to add some olive oil to the dough by carefully spreading it out (be careful not to tear the dough apart) and pouring 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil onto the dough. Start kneading the dough again until the olive oil has been absorbed. Again, this will take time and some effort. Add at least another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and continue to knead our dough. You will easily recognise when your dough has enough oil.
  • Once you have a silky texture, form the dough into a large sausage. Flatten it and start adding the salami, cheese and olives pieces bit by bit. Roll the dough back into a sausage as you go along. You should be able to incorporate everything into your dough.
  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a large enough form so that your dough can rise in the ring format. The traditional form is a ring, which is why I place an ovenproof bowl in the middle. Before popping it into the oven, brush some olive oil over the ring. Depending on your oven, the bread will take about 45 minutes until it is ready. Like every other bread, wait until it has cooled off completely before slicing it.


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