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” The bread is the king of the table and all the rest is only the court that surrounds it. The nations are the soup , the meat , the vegetables , the salad , but the bread is the king.” (Louis Bromfield) Flour, water and yeast : three ingredients for a magic. A poor food that enriches the tables of all the world. The main element of the Mediterranen diet that is hard to give up. Italy , also when it comes to bread , can have a say. Each region of the Peninsula is characterized by several types of bread  , different for shape, for manufacturing method and for cooking and for the ingredients added to the dough. The different bread typologies tell stories of an agricultural memory , linked to the tradition and to the territory. The Italian bread is the symbol of the time that seems lost but that renovates everyday for each scent and for each bite.

Types of bread

Types of bread

Types of Italian bread : a long history of love between water and flour

From North to South , on all the tables of Italy the bread is a permanent presence , familiar , the symbol of the everyday life , of the sharing . Where there is bread there is always warmth , immediate relief , the sensation of a sincere and deep hug. In Italy making the bread is a serious thing , an art that follows specific rules: it dates back to 1998 the Decree of the President of Republic n. 502 that plans the legislation in the manufacturing field and in the bread trade. Among all the bread types of the Italian Boot , about 300 varieties , are five the eccellenze italiane (Italian excellences) that have deserved European certifications. 

Coppia Ferrarese IGP

The typical bread of Ferrara , called also “Ciupeta“, stands out for the unique ribbon shape created from the intersection of two pieces ( the couple ) that is mixed in a central knot of soft part of the bread (grop) from which leave four extremities , called crostini (toasts). Halfway between bread and breadstick , this Italian bread , is good to combine with the Emilian cured meats , dunked in the sauces , but also as a snack is good. The bakeries of the centro storico di Ferrara (Old Town in Ferrara) take fragrant pieces of bread out of the oven everyday, a bread with hard , smooth and brown crust, that has a sharp smell. The original recipe of the Ferrarese Coppia establishes a dough with a fork machine of soft wheat flour type “0” , water and pure-pork lard, extra virgin olive oil , natural yeast called starter , yeast , salt and malt. The mixture is transferred into the automatic cylinder for the refinement phase , and then the dough is cut in stripes that will be braided to form a couple , the Italian bread that brings cheer on the table.  

Coppia Ferrarese

Coppia Ferrarese Igp

Pagnotta of Dittaino DOP

Among the recipes of Italian bread the one of these typical Sicilian products is one of the easier : for the dough it is used the local durum wheat , clean and minced , united to the natural yeast, salt and water . The ingredients are then inserted in a “diving arms” bread maker. After the rest some balls of dough are created and are put in the oven to be baked. The soft part of the this Italian bread is very unique: faint yellow colour , solid, uniform and elastic. The point of strength of this loaf , produced in Enna and Catania’s province is the ability to preserve unaltered the flavour and the freshness until 10 days. The Pagnotta (loaf) del Dittaino DOP  is combined with any type of meal, it is ideal as base for bruschetta. In Sicily is preferred to any biscuit for the breakfast.

Pagnotta del Dittaino impasto

Preparazione della Pagnotta del Dittaino

Homemade bread of Genzano IGP

Top quality flour type 0 and 00, food salt, water, cereal residue of wheat and natural yeast , this is the original recipe of Genzano bread, that doesn’t use any chemical or biological additive. From the starter is prepared the “biga” a pre-dough of water and flour .After the leavening the dough is smoothed and shaped to form the peculiar loafs , positioned in specific wood trunks with hemp towels and dusted with cereal residues , reason of the dark colour of the crust. Ivory white colour , genuine smell and sapid taste. This homemade bread is produced exclusively in the city of Genzano , in Rome’s province, in Lazio region. It represents the ideal mate for every meal , and with a little extra virgin olive oil becomes the protagonist of the table. 

Preparation of the Homemade Bread of Genzano

Preparation of the Homemade Bread of Genzano

Altamura DOP’s bread

An Italian bread with a millennial history known in all the world thanks to its aroma and to its perfect flavour. Altamura’s bread arises in the centre of the same name, located on Altopiano delle Murge, in the area included in the metropolitan city of Bari. From food conceived to satisfy the needs of the shepherds and farmers to Italian excellent food. The necessity to spend several days far from home conciliates with the baker tradition of this huge loaf of bread consumable in different days. The poet Orazio already sang its praises suggesting it as a first Trip Advisor of the History. There is all the smell of home in this bread, presented in two shapes: u Scquanét, higher and the  cappidde de prévete (as a priest hat) lower and with less soft part of the bread. The original recipe of Altamura’s bread establishes the use of the semolina of some precise variety of durum wheats (appulo, arcangelo, duilio, simeto) with water, salt and starter. How is made Altamura’s bread? With “diving arms” bread maker, 90 minutes of leavening under a cotton towel, rest and manual shaping (a phase repeated three times) . The baking in the stone oven concludes the birthing process of one of the Italian foods more famous in the world, almost good with everything.   

Altamura's bread

Altamura’s bread

Matera IGP’s bread

The original recipe of Matera’s bread includes the ingredients of the Lucanian tradition: durum wheat semolina , of which at least the 20% is from local ecotypes and old varieties , to which are added starter, salt and water. The dough is baked in the stone oven and is able to preserve its flavour for seven days. Matera’s bread can be found in different shapes: as a croissant and with high form. The crust is crisp , with dark brown colour. Also the soft part of the bread is brown with a different porosity. Taste and smell are unique. The bread produced in the area of Matera’s province, in the Basilicata region is a good combination for the Lucanian tradition meals, as the feddarauss (bruschetta) with tomato, oil and oregano or the cialledda coll, a hot soup with a bread base, water and onions or tomatoes, with the addition of vegetables. The symbol product of the city of the Stones, capital of the culture 2019.

Matera's bread

Matera’s bread

When the bread is on the table, you have the feeling to be full even before eating, it’s a completeness that only the food made with care can give. Where there is a piece of bread there is family , friendship, sharing. The simplest food that contains the secret of the biggest complexity, the one of the Italian tradition.

This post is also available in: Italiano