| On the Apron
with Chef Anthony Pupo
Easter time brings back fond boyhood memories for Chef Anthony. His family would visit his grandmother in Uniontown and upon their arrival she would present Easter Baskets to him and his brother and sister. Of course, growing up in a strict catholic family, Chef Anthony knew that these Easter Baskets would need to be blessed before he could dive into whatever delectables were hidden amongst the green Easter grass! After returning home from the blessing at the local church, the family would begin preparing the Easter celebration dinner comprising the standard fare of ham and escalloped potatoes, and maybe the not-so-Easter mainstream plates of ravioli. "That's not unique at all in my family," Chef Anthony muses. "We are half-Italian, after all!"
What is unique is what his mother would make every year to share at dinner – Easter Bread. As Chef Anthony describes it, "it's this lovely sweet yeasty-bread topped with a layer of egg white meringue." Unique indeed!
Chef Anthony’s Family Recipe for Easter Bread
Chef Anthony often turns to his mother's recipes because they're just that good! This is his mother's Easter Bread recipe along with a picture of the actual recipe she follows in her handwriting. This recipe makes two loaves. The meringue for the topping can be any standard recipe; however, Chef's mom warns to toast it lightly as the egg whites burn easily. Included is a meringue recipe from King Arthur Flour.
Easter Bread Ingredients
- 4 eggs
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup melted butter)
- 1 cup meringue (for each loaf) (see below)
- Colored pastry sprinkles (optional)
Easter Bread Preparation
Prepare the yeast in warm water and let sit for 30 minutes.
Beat eggs, sugar, milk, oil (or melted butter) and add to yeast mixture. Incorporate flour.
Knead well until even consistency; it will be sticky.
Place in a bowl (that is at least 3x the size of the dough) and cover with a clean cloth. Let rise 2-3 hours.
Divide the dough in half and place each half in two separate bread or loaf pans.
Bake at 325º F for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Once cool, spread one cup of the prepared meringue all over the bread and toast lightly with a handheld kitchen torch.
Decorate with the sprinkles, if desired.
Meringue Ingredients (recipe from King Arthur Flour)
- 3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract eggs
Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl and beat until foamy.
With the beater going, gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture holds a stiff peak; when you lift the beater out of the meringue, the meringue will stand straight up, with just its top curling over.
Add the vanilla at the end.
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About Executive Chef Anthony Pupo
The Club at Nevillewood's Executive Chef Anthony Pupo has been with the Club since February 2017 after holding many top chef positions at some of the East Coast's best-known restaurants. Classically educated at the pinnacle of culinary arts institutions, Chef Anthony graduated from Johnson & Wales and had the opportunity to intern at Gillette Stadium for the New England Patriots, Legal Seafood, as well as at the much-celebrated Magnolia in Charleston, South Carolina. Most recently, as the Executive Chef at Nine on Nine and Meat & Potatoes, Chef Anthony decided to use his experience and merge his passions of sports and cooking and accepted the Club's offer of employment to the top spot for our dining and banquette functions. He greatly appreciates the Club's Board of Directors allowing him to express his entrepreneurial spirit by offering changes to the menus six times a year that demonstrate his creativity in tastes and creating various pairings that bring out the most flavor in all his dishes. As a member of the Club, Chef Anthony's expertise in the kitchen can be experienced Tuesdays through Sundays 11a-9p.