GTOD Vigil Recipe - Pressmetzen zu Ostern

Pressmetzen Zu Ostern, Precedella, Torten von Epffel and Sugared Mint Leaves

I'd like to send thanks to Volker Bach for the inspiration for the festive centerpiece of the Vigil Feast.  Shortly after I was asked to do the Vigil daybard, he shared a memory for an Easter Feast from 2021.  I knew that I needed to make this pastry and the Dockenmilch.  If you have not visited culina vetus you are doing yourself a disservice. The breadth of the material found there is staggering. 

The cookbook of Balthasar Staindl from Dillingen in 1544 entitled “How to bake the Pressmetzen at Easter”.

Pressmetzen zu Ostern (from Balthasar Staindl)

ccxxii Make a good gentle egg cheese (like a custard) and do not burn it. Put it on a draining board so that it sinks down (drains) well, then take the egg cheese and stir it apart with a spoon, add more eggs, a little sweet cream, also grate manchet bread into it, yellow it (with saffron), season it, add sufficient raisins. Then take manchet bread (semmel) dough from a baker, roll it out wide, put the above mentioned egg cheese on it, and wreath (kräntzel) it around and around (make a plaited edge). Bake it in an oven, but before you put it into the oven, add figs, put almonds on top. Anoint the wreath outside with yellowed (saffron-dyed) egg yolks and put it back into the oven briefly. These flecken (tarts) are blessed for Easter.

Pressmetzen zu Ostern (from Balthasar Staindl)


2 1/2 cups flour
1 packet or 2 tsp. yeast
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt 
1 egg

Stir together yeast, flour, sugar and salt.  Mix butter, milk and egg together. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. The dough will be very sticky and "shaggy" at this point. Work the dough until it is smooth and pliable ( about five minutes).  Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Ingredients: egg cheese ( Ayerschotten ):

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks or 3 large eggs
Pinch salt
1 tbsp sugar

Whisk eggs with milk, sugar and salt. Put in a saucepan and heat slowly stirring constantly until the liquid starts to boil.  Continue to stir until the whey separates from the egg cheese allow to cool to room temperature. Place a cheesecloth in a strainer, add the egg cheese, weight with a plate and add some cans to the top in order to press the cheese.  You want it as dry as possible before you add the remaining ingredients. Note: this can be made a day ahead. 

Other filling ingredients:

2 eggs
~1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1-2 tbps. sweet cream 
Pinch of saffron
1 tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped figs
1 egg yolk

Once the egg cheese is dry,  stir in remaining eggs,  breadcrumbs and sweet cream into the egg cheese. Fold in the raisins, color with saffron and sugar to taste.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle and spread the egg cheese filling on top. Fold the dough over and twist into a ring on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Let this rest for another 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped figs and almonds. Bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes. Brush with egg yolk. Bake again for about 15 minutes.