Woah! Here it is nearly Easter already! Yesterday was Good Friday to be specific. So anyone who knows me, knows that yesterday I was busy baking my Apple Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns.
They are so tasty and if you bake them on Good Friday, they actually have some magical properties. With the past few years we’ve had, I need all the magic I can get! For my featured Easter delicacy this year I am sharing a recipe from Spain. Hornazo de Salamanca is a yeast bread which has been stuffed with spicy chorizo, hard boiled eggs and serrano ham.
Yummy right?! Think of it as a large empanada or a Spanish meat pie.
And this bread is not only delicious, it has a fascinating, rather bawdy story to tell as well. Bawdy and Easter? Yup. But before I get into all the salacious details, let me give you a roundup of all the Easter Breads from years past. You see, I have been on a roll (ha ha – you’ll get it with the next few words) making Easter Breads (get it? roll…bread…) from around the world. I was tempted to stray from my Easter Bread path last year by this stunning Malted Chocolate Easter Cake.
But a couple years ago I gave you Polish Babka.
And the year before that was Cozonac – Romanian Easter Bread.
Don’t forget my Italian Easter Bread:
Or that amazing Tsoureki from Greece:
There was the Slovak Paska:
And then quite a few years ago, I tried my hand at this impressive Russian Kulich:
But let me get back to that Hornazo de Salamanca. This bread is pretty easy to make. I have included a link at the bottom of the recipe for a handy video that shows you how it is done. The video is in Spanish, but you’ll definitely benefit rom seeing all of the steps. And for me, the video was essential for figuring out how to do the top lattice decoration.
The filling used in the video is slightly different than what I used in that I did hard boiled eggs rather than marinated pork loin fillets. But as is usually the case with traditional recipes, each and every household likely has its own version, which is great. You can customize it to your particular taste. Don’t like spicy chorizo? Use a milder sausage. Do be aware, this bread does need to rest for a few hours before serving, so it would actually be best if you bake it the day before you want to serve it.
Truth be told this bread is not actually eaten on Easter, but rather it is enjoyed on the Monday after Easter in the provinces of Salamanca and Ávila. Folks there take a loaf or two of freshly baked hornazo and maybe a bottle or two of good wine out to the countryside where it is enjoyed with family and friends. The reason why they do this on the Monday after Easter is where that bawdiness I mentioned previously comes in.
Alrighty, so here we go. Apparently was back in the mid 16th century, Salamanca was a university town and had quite the flourishing red light district. When King Felipe II visited, he became concerned that all of this illicit activity this would distract the men of the town away from their religious observations during the Lent season. So, he decreed that the Padre Putas (father of whores), a cleric who had been appointed to look after the welfare of the working girls (I swear, I am not joshing you at all! This was an actual coveted appointment back in the day.), would accompany these ladies across the Tormes River outside of town, where they would remain until Easter was over. On the Monday after Easter, the students of the town, who had no doubt been very lonely this whole time, decorated boats which the Padre Putas and his lovely charges would board for their welcomed journey back across the river to the town. Many folks would be waiting on the river bank for their return and made a bit of a picnic out of it bringing this Hornazo with them to share. This festival is called Lunes de Aguas (Monday of the Waters), but it actually a bit of a play on the word aqua. Enagua in the word for petticoat. So really it was a celebration of Monday of the Petticoats!
So there you have it! A risqué Easter story and a delicious bread filled with eggs and sausages. Seems about right huh? I hope you were as amused with this bit of history as I was and that you will bake up some tasty Hornazo de Salamanca for Lunes de Aguas. Happy Easter ya’ll!
Hornazo de Salamanca
recipe slightly adapted from: Cocinando a mi manera
For the bread:
- 750 grams of all purpose flour
- 150 ml of olive oil
- 1/4 cup +1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 125 ml white wine, room temperature
- 125 ml warm water (around 95°F)
- 8.25 grams instant yeast
- 10 grams salt
- generous pinch of sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature and beaten
For the filling:
- 300 grams serrano ham
- 300 grams chorizo
- 6 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped as you prefer
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place warm water, olive oil, butter and white wine in a bowl and stir together. Then add the sugar, salt and 2/3rds of the beaten eggs. Mix well.
In another large bowl, place flour and yeast. Stir to combine. Make a depression in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour the liquids into the well and start to mix, incorporating flour from the sides until a dough begins to form. Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and continue kneading until a soft pliable ball forms.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise until doubled in size, roughly 1 hour.
Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and pat into an approximate 12″ circle. Cut a bit of the dough off and set aside to use for the top decoration. Divide the remaining dough in half.
Roll one of the dough halves into a roughly 15×13″ rectangle. Transfer the rolled dough to the prepared baking sheet. Trim any excess dough from the edges so that it fits on the tray.
Arrange the ham, chorizo and hard boiled eggs over the dough, leaving a 1″ border.
Roll the other bit of dough out to a slightly smaller rectangle to fit on top. Place it over top of the filling and then press the edges to seal completely, either folding or crimping with a fork.
Roll out the dough you have reserved for decorating the top of the Hornazo. Cut little slashes in rows, offsetting one row slightly from the row above it to form a lattice pattern. Take a look at the video link at the bottom of the recipe to see how this is done. Or you can simply criss cross strips of dough or come up with another decoration that you prefer.
Paint the top of the Hornazo with the reserved egg wash. Prick the dough evenly with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Place the Hornazo in the preheated oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until it is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool. It is best to let it rest for a couple of hours before serving.
Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Hornazo de Salamanca:
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale
Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer by Thermoworks