Grandma's Italian Holiday Bread Recipes

Anita Fagiano shares her grandma's Italian holiday bread recipes, a perfect old-fashioned memory to create for the holiday season.

| December 1999/January 2000

Italian bread recipes from grandma

Mainly we baked bread—sweet pastries were reserved for the holidays.


Learn how to make these Italian holiday bread recipes for the holiday season. 

Baking Italian Holiday Bread Recipes

Being a first-generation American born to Italian immigrants, I learned early on about cooking and baking. Mainly we baked bread—sweet pastries were reserved for the holidays. Though even these were not the sweet pastries we know today, but rather a simple mix of flour, eggs, milk and a small amount of sugar. Not very different from the bread, these pastries had to be dunked in coffee or tea to make them edible, but still they were a treat and a tribute to the holidays.

A more common treat were dough boys—fried bread sometimes sprinkled with sugar-made from the remains of our twice-weekly bread-baking sessions.

It was from all of this that I learned how to mix, knead and roll dough for homemade pasta and pies. There were no cookbooks, no recipes, no measuring cups or spoons. From my mother I learned the basics of baking and cooking, minus the modern conveniences. Later, as I got older, my mother teamed from me about recipes and measuring cups and spoons and different ingredients and all of the modern cookbook how-to's. She adapted to this new way quickly and did well, though she could not read.

We spent many a day, first in her kitchen and later in mine, trying new recipes or perfecting old ones. Among our favorites were those for traditional Italian biscuits—egg, pepper and wine.

Wine Biscuits Recipe

5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup red table wine (I use burgundy)
1cup corn oil
2 beaten eggs

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