‘Pan di Ramerino’ a traditional Italian Easter delight
Typically Tuscan but now enjoyed all throughout Italy and you can see even from the name that it is from Tuscany. ‘Ramerino’ is a Tuscan way of saying ‘ Rosemarino’. Pan di Ramerino literally translates to ‘Rosemary Buns’.
Now typically enjoyed during the Easter time but originally it was prepared during Lent & then eaten precisely on Holy Thursday ( Giovedi Santo) after being blessed in the church and then sold by vendors on the streets. The sign of the cross on the top has obvious religious connections but it was also made to assist in the rising of the dough.
Enjoyed hot, toasted ( or not) with butter and coffee or after a meal even with a glass of ‘Vin Santo’. You may automatically assume its a savoury bun seeing that it has rosemary but its actually in the ‘sweet’ category and there are other desserts that also utilise herbs such as ‘Castagnaccio’ which is a peasant cake made with chestnut flour, rosemary and pine nuts and is delicious!
25 g (1 oz) rosemary sprigs
25g (1 oz) fresh yeast
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of salt
310 ml (1 .1/4 cups) tepid water
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) bread flour
60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
Strip the rosemary leaves off the stems and discard stems. Place the yeast into a mixing bowl along with the pinch of sugar then add the water, stir and leave to activate.
Place the flour into a large, wide bowl then add the yeast and most of the rosemary, 1/2 tablespoon of salt and most of the olive oil. Mix well together, tip out onto a clean, flat surface and then knead the dough for about 15 minutes until you have a smooth and homogenous ball of dough. If you need to you can add a little water or some more flour if needed until you achieve the correct consistency.
Place the dough into a bowl, cover and leave to rise for an 1 1/2 hour until it has doubled in size. Its better in a warm place.
Remove the Pan di Ramerino dough onto a previously floured surface and cut the dough into smaller pieces, making balls with each , roughly a bread bun size. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining rosemary ( which you can also use the food processor to make a powder if you prefer rather than the pieces) and then drizzle with the olive oil.
Dust a baking tray with flour and place the balls of dough onto the baking tray, allowing some room to spread in between the buns. Use a knife to draw a cross on the bread, cover it with a cloth and leave in a warm place for another 30 minutes to finish rising. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Put the baking tray into the hot oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden and the bottom of the loaves should also be golden.
Enjoy your ‘Pan di Ramerino’ and Happy Easter!
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