Sweet Puglian Easter snacks ‘scarcella’

These snacks are a classic sweet treat of the Easter festival period and are made with simple ingredients such as shortcrust pastry. They come from Puglia originally, specifically from the province of Foggia, and are distinguished by the whole raw eggs which are usually attached to them before baking in the oven. You can design them in your own preferred shape and decorate them with granulated or coloured sugar. Among the shapes most commonly used to make this Puglian delicacy are doughnuts and breadbaskets, but you can also find them in the shape of birds or little dolls. So, if you want to try making these little snacks during Holy Week, follow our recipe, step-by-step, with the detailed picture gallery to help you!

Ingredients

  • Italian 00 flour 500 grams
  • sugar 100 grams
  • baking powder 8g of baking powder
  • lemon The zest of one lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil 100 millilitres Delicately flavoured
  • milk 200 millilitres
  • eggs 2 units
  • salt A pinch of salt
  • sugar Granulated, to taste
Information
20 minutes Total time
30 minutes Active time
Serves 8 persons
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Preparation

Place the flour on a pastry board in a mound with a well, having first combined it with the sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Pour in the oil bit by bit, stirring with a fork. Then add the warm milk little by little until the dough is smooth and uniform. Divide the dough into three equal parts (plus an extra small piece which you leave to one side) and form each into a long sausage at least 1.5 cm wide. Form a plait and shape it into a circle. Place a whole raw egg at the junction of the two ends of the plait and encase it with two strips of folded dough from the little piece you kept aside. Place the plaited dough on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, brush the surface with some beaten egg mixed with a little water. Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the dough and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.

Tips
As you go from town to town you will find versions of this snack covered with icing sugar, simply decorated with a boiled egg, or even filled. You can decorate them as you wish: with chocolate eggs, granulated sugar, coloured icing, or with various fillings. In every case they will be equally good.
Trivia
In the ancient villages of Puglia, these Easter snacks were offered as a token of gratitude from the women to their menfolk. They are made during Holy Week, or possibly the week before. Its round shape is said to have bring good fortune and symbolizes the birth of new life. This sweet snack with its attached egg is also made in other regions outside Puglia. For example, we look up the ‘menih’ or ‘monk’ that is a traditional Easter sweet bread in Slovenia.

Step by step

**Click on the photos to access full step by step!

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