Pinca, also known as sirnica, is a traditional sweet Croatian Easter bread.
Pinca is a very rich bread made with butter, eggs and usually flavoured with rum, raisins and citrus zest. It’s traditionally eaten to celebrate the end of Lent.
1 – 2 tablespoons of rum
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
2-3 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
1 egg, for egg wash
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of salt
75g of butter, melted
500g of all-purpose flour
200ml of tepid milk
1 tablespoon ofsugar
20g of fresh yeast
In a small bowl combine half of the milk with 1 teaspoon of sugar and yeast. Stir and leave to proof in a warm place until it doubles in volume and becomes frothy. In the meantime, pour the rum over the raisins and set aside to soak.
Using a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter, remaining milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon and orange zest. Mix on medium speed using a hook attachment until the dough comes together into a ball. Add the raisins and rum and continue mixing on slow speed for 4-5 minutes or until you get a firm dough. Shape into a ball and transfer to a large clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let it rise for 2 hours in a warm and draft free place.
Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured work surface and punch out the air. Cut the dough in half and form each half into a ball. Transfer the dough balls onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush both loaves with egg wash and let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour. After an hour brush the loaves again with egg wash and let them rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. After 1 hour, brush the loaves with egg wash again. Using a very sharp knife or scissors, make three deep cuts in the surface of each loaf (similar to a cross).
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and keep them at room temperature wrapped in a kitchen towel.