“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pan di ramerino- Rosemary bread

These fragrant rosemary buns have been baked in Florence, Tuscany since the Middle ages during the period of Easter. In particular they were traditionally baked for 'Giovedi Santo' (the Thursday before Easter), however you can find these sweet savoury buns throughout the year in bakery windows.
Pan di Ramerino literally means 'rosemary bread' (rosamarino is rosemary in Italian, however in Florentine dialect it is pronounced 'ramerino', which is the literal meaning for these pastries).
To me these little buns are the perfect solution to a traditional sweet Italian breakfast, which generally consists of a coffee and 'cornetto' (croissant). The infused olive oil gives these buns such a decadent flavour whilst the sultanas offers a lovely sweet contrast. 
Although they look suspiciously like our hot cross buns, do not be fooled. These little buns are much more dense in texture, savoury yet delicate.
Take yourself back to ancient times, close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through the historic streets of Florence. Do yourself a little favour and bring a teeny bit of Florence into your home by making this recipe that Tuscan`s have been baking for hundreds of generations.
What you need (this recipe will make 12 buns):
500 grams tipo 00 bakers flour
25 grams of fresh yeast (available from good bakers)
200 grams of sultanas 
100 grams regular sugar 
100 grams fresh rosemary (a few large sprigs)
teaspoon of salt
170 grams of warm water
one egg yolk for brushing pastry 
three tablespoons of tuscan extra virgin olive oil  
How to make:
1: Soak the sultanas in water to moisten and swell (then strain)
2: Place the olive oil and rosemary in a saucepan and heat on a low flame for about 10 minutes to infuse flavour. Strain and set the oil aside to cool
3: In a large bowl sift the flour, sugar and salt
4: Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with the warm water and whisk for a few seconds. Add the yeast water to the flour mix
5: Add the flavoured rosemary oil to the flour mix and use a fork to blend everything together
6: When the ingredients have come together, add the raisins and mix through the dough
7: Place flour on a clean bench space, flour hands and turn out dough onto bench to knead. Knead the dough to bring together until you have a smooth dough that is firm and springs back when pressed with finger tip (if the dough is too sticky add more flour, if too firm add a little warm water) 
8: Set dough aside for two hours in a dark warm place in a bowl covered with a tea towel to allow the dough to rise
9: Turn the dough out and evenly divide the dough into 12 buns and place onto a lightly floured baking try lined with baking paper. Set aside in a warm, dark place to rise for another hour
10: Brush the buns lightly with olive oil and place in a pre-heated 200 degree oven for 20 minuets
11: Remove from oven and brush with egg wash and bake for a further 5 minuets

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