For the dough:
- 500g (1 lb.) flour
- 100g (4 oz.) lard
- 1 tsp yeast
- Salt and pepper
- Water, q.b.
- 100g grated parmesan cheese (optional)
For the filling:
- 250-500g (1/2-1 lb.) mixed cured meats (salumi) and cheeses (see Notes)
For the topping:
- 5 whole eggs
- In a mixer, mix together the dough ingredients with the paddle. Then drizzle in enough water to make a wet dough, usually about 1/2 as much as the flour by volume. Switch from paddle to dough hook and knead the dough on the lowest speed for about 5 minutes. (If not using a standing mixer, see Notes.)
- Scoop the wet dough out of the mixing bowl onto a well-floured surface. Using well-floured hands, form the dough into a smooth ball and place it into a greased bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for at least two hours, until it doubles in size. (You can let it go longer if you like.)
- While the dough is rising, cut up your meats and cheeses into small cubes and mix everything up in a bowl. Set aside until needed.
- After the dough has risen, punch it down and scoop it out onto a well floured surface again. Take a handful and set aside for later use. Use your hands to flatten out the rest of the dough into a rectangular shape about 1 cm (1/4 inch) thick. (You can use a rolling pin if you like, but the dough is quite soft enough to just use your hands.)
- Now take the filling and spread it out evenly all over the top of the dough.
- Gently roll the rectangle up, as tightly as you can manage, into a long torpedo-like shape, curling it around. Now take the dough and place it gently into a large ring mold, bring the ends around and pinching them together. Cover the mold with a towel and let the dough rise again for another two hours or so, until it has doubled again.
- Now nestle the eggs into the top of the dough ring at even intervals. Take the dough you have set aside and form it into ten thin strips. Use these strips to make crosses on top of the eggs.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/375F. When the oven is hot, place the mold into the oven and bake for about an hour, perhaps a bit more, until the top is nice and golden brown. (You can raise the temperature a bit, to 200C/400F, towards the end if you find it is not browning enough.
- Take the mold out of the oven, unmold your casatiello and let it cool on a baking rack. Serve it lukewarm or at room temperature.
Source: Memorie di Angelina