Makes 1 Large Round Loaf

This recipe is from an old friend of my mother, Rena Petregani, who came from the village of Famo in the region of the Marches. She prepared all the food for my mother’s wedding over fifty years ago. Crescia – its name comes from the word for “to grow” – is traditionally made for the Easter holiday and eaten with sausage. This makes a beautiful ten-inch round bread.


  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm (110º - 115ºF) water
  • 1/4 cup warm (110º - 115ºF) milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 7 large eggs, at room temperature, well beaten
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 1/2 to 7 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour


  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and stir to dissolve. Cover and let the yeast proof for about 10 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. Add the milk to the yeast mixture, and whisk in the butter. Whisk in the eggs, then add the cheese and pepper. Add 6½ cups flour, about a cup at a time, and mix with your hands until a soft ball of dough is formed, adding additional flour if necessary until the dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  4. Generously grease a large bowl with olive oil, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Punch down the dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Knead it into a smooth ball. Place the bread on a greased cookie sheet or in a greased tube pan and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Bake the crescia for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is nicely browned. If using a tube pan, let the crescia cool slightly, then carefully remove it to a cooling rack. Serve the crescia warm, cut into slices.

This recipe was featured on Season 5 - Episode 506.

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This recipe seems exactly like the cresia was when the Nonni used to make. Thank you.


Dear Mary
Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for your recipe for Cresia.
My wonderful mother in law use to make it for the family. She has passed so very many years ago. Now my adult son has asked for it. He was young when she made it but he has never forgotton.
Took me some time to find your site because I was spelling Cresia wrong over and over…Except for tonight. and there you were.
He is going to be so happy when I surpise him with his grandmothers love. Maybe she was sitting on my shoulder tonight.
Again, thank you

Samuel Terminesi

Crescia recipe. I’m sure it’s a typo but the town in Italy is FANO, not FAMO…. my father was born there and I still have a lot of relatives there. Thank you.

AnnaMarie Rossini

Thank-you soooooo much for publishing this recipe. Rena Petregani was my grandmothers sister. She was an amazing cook. I loved visiting her in her kitchen (where she always was) and eating anything she made. I have many fond memories of her. She would always make our family a round loaf of this bread every lent season. She gave me this recipe but I can never get it to taste like hers. Nothing I make tastes as good as hers. I like to toast this bread and put butter on it for an extra treat (not diet food). Thank-you so much for recognizing her abilities by mentioning her name, seeing that warmed my heart and brought back wonderful memories of her. I will pass it along to other family members.


My grandfather was from Fano also. Our crescia is a bit different. We make it with 6 eggs and 2 cups of cheese, but in addition to the pepper, there is cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and salt. Over the years I have adapted it by using oil instead of shortening or butter, 4 eggs and 2 egg whites, instead of 6 eggs, and bread flour, giving it a light, moist, spongy texture. It is so delicious that we make it at Christmas too.

Joyce Silvestrini Sorrentino

Fano. My parents were from a village outside of Fano, Cuccurano. My grandma, Zaira, made the best crescia and gnocchi too.

Joyce Silvestrini Sorrentino

Fano. My parents were from a village outside of Fano, Cuccurano. My grandma, Zaira, made the best crescia and gnocchi too.

Vicki Tarini

My grandparents are from Fano and we make this every holiday to accompany capletti. My grandma passed away many years ago but thankfully my mom has all her recipes and has passed them to me.

Danielle Gulla

Hi. I made a recipe similar. However, my great aunts ( from Perugia and Pergola) would be more dry and crumbly. He’s loaf resembled cornmeal texture ( although there was no cornmeal). Mine tasted good, but was stringy like a bread. Any suggestions?

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