Italian Easter Bread

There are many forms of “Easter Breads” and every family has their own special recipe and tradition, some might be sweet and others might be savory.
In my family, Easter wouldn’t be the same without my mother and aunt making their traditional  “bostone” as they called it, Other names for this savory meat, cheese, and egg filled “pie’ would be pizza chena, Easter pizza, pizza rustica. I have no clue why they called it bostone but it’s probably because all the filling is encased within an eggy bread like dough.
This recipe is not for the faint of heart, there’s eggs galore, lots of meat and wonderful cheese, it’s meant to be made and eaten once a year, each slice is a meal in itself!
I was always told that the key ingredient in our Easter bread was the Tuma cheese, it binds everything together so well when melted, yet it still stays nice and chunky. In my area you can only find Tuma cheese at Easter time.
Many recipes you see on the web show a variety of meats used like salami or capicola and ham, but my mother and aunt always used straight up Italian sausage, preferably hot. Don’t be afraid to use hot sausage here because the filling is so dense you’ll hardly notice, it will just have a nice spiciness to it.
Where I purchase my sausage, the medium is hot and the hot is super hot, so I mixed them together and the heat was just right.
I would suggest prepping ahead of time, boiling your eggs, browning your sausage, chunking up your cheese and preparing the dough.
This recipe makes two very deep loaf pans filled to the brim, or one 9×13 deeper than normal pan, and believe me they are heavy! 
I love to slice it right from the fridge and eat it cold, other family members like to warm it slightly, either way it’s amazing and the smell just brings me back to my childhood!

Here’s the recipe.
Julie and Eileen’s Bostone

8 cups flour*** 9 eggs beaten***1T salt** 1 t. black pepper*** 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening*** water to get it to the right consistency.   Use a giant bowl and add flour, salt, pepper. Work the shortening in next, then add the 9 beaten eggs and mix until well incorporated, use water if necessary to make dough nice and smooth.
4lbs of browned hot Italian sausage, casings removed***2lbs of Tuma cheese diced, if you can’t find it use mozzarella***1 doz hard boiled eggs, chopped***2 cups of Pecorino romano***3 raw eggs*** salt and cracked black pepper. Just mix everything together in one big bowl.

Roll dough out to fit in pan and let it overlap slightly, then add your filling pressing down and adding more. Save enough dough to place on top, then roll the sides up to meet the top. Brush with egg yolk for a beautiful shiny gloss.
Bake at 325 for around 1 1/2 hours or until very golden and hollow sounding when you tap on top. Place the pan or pans on a baking sheet to cook.