Before Colomba Pasquale (“Dove bread”) became the hero on all Italian Easter tables, Cavagnetti were the traditional Easter pastries of the Italian Riviera.
The name derives from the genoese dialect word “cavagna”, meaning baskets. Indeed they are small baskets of sweet leavened dough with an egg in their center, symbol of the rebirth.
Traditionally people prepared Cavagnetti some days before Easter, brought them to Church for blessing and then gave them as a present to children. Some times the eggs inside were colored with natural dye. Sometime fiancé used to give it as a present to each others, in which cases the eggs in the basket were two and colored in red, the color of love.
I prepared this recipe jointly with Gaia Borzicchi (aka @alicesadventuresinwalderland) and all the – wonderful – pictures you see in this post are hers. As they are many here it is my step-by-step “reportage”.
As you can see this is a funny recipe. Few ingredients and some manual skill for shaping the baskets. For me it’s perfect for playing cooking with kids in these harsh days and you can make it even funnier naturally dying the eggs.
In the pictures you will see a golden-brown dough because I used a semi whole wheat flour. If you use an all purpose flour, which is definitely fine as well, your dough will be clearer.
You can also prepare a “tiny” version of Cavagnetti, using in this case a muffin tin, as I made here below:
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