20 Breads of Italy
20 regioni, 20 pani diversi means 20 regions (in Italy), 20 different breads, which is metaphorical for the differences in each region of Italy. Not only culinary differences, but cultural and social differences as well, which continue to hold strong, even in this globalized world.
People have pointed out to me that the title of my blog is the 20 breads of Italy and beyond, and I never write about bread. For that reason I have created this page dedicated to bread, I’ll add to it gradually while traveling and exploring forni italiani.
Pizza Bianca – Rome, Lazio
This type of bread is typical all over Italy, it is only called pizza bianca in Rome and of course the way that it is made and the way that it tastes is different in every region. Bakers will often offer small pieces to children while their parents are buying bread. It is wonderful on its own and can also be filled or farcita and made into a sandwich.
Filone di Renella – Rome, Lazio
Renella is one of the best bakeries in Rome, I discovered it walking to work every morning when I worked in Trastevere, you could smell the bread baking two blocks ahead. Unlike most bakeries and small shops, Renella is open 7 days a week and I don’t think that they have turned their ovens off in 100 years. They bake a number of different types of bread, but the filone is the classic loaf, called “pane napoletana” by the people who work at Renella. Not terribly Roman in name, though you will find it on the table of almost every restaurant in one of Rome’s most Roman neighborhoods, Trastevere.
Pane di Lariano – Lazio
Pane di Lariano is a whole wheat bread that comes from Lariano, a town south of Rome.
Pane Casareccio – Lazio
All of these breads are starting to look the same… but they aren’t. Pane casareccia is not whole wheat like pane lariano, but made with white flour, crusty on the outside and spongy soft on the inside. Casareccio means homemade, I wish that I could make bread like this at home, but I would need a serious oven in my apartment which I don’t think is legal.
Pane Siciliano – Sicily
One of the things that I am often tickled by is finding similarities between regional Italian food and Italian-American food. After years of living in Italy I always wondered why sesame loaves in the States were always called Italian loaves. After my recent visit to Sicily I discovered my answer.
Rosette – Lazio
Rosette are hollow rolls that are commonly found in Rome, used for sandwiches.
Ciabatte are a flat bread, a bit like pizza bianca, though harder and made with less oil, good for sandwiches.
These are similar to French croissants, but sweeter and often filled with a sweet cream or jam, they are a typical Italian breakfast.
Pane di Genzano – Lazio
Originally from Genzano, this bread is found all over Rome. It is very similar to the pane casareccia, with a hard crust and soft middle.
Focaccia Ligure – Liguria
The focaccia in Liguria is the Northern brother of the pizza bianca, a softer crust and a sweeter flavor than Roman pizza bianca, it resembles bread more than it does pizza.
Taralli – Puglia
Taralli Pugliesi are made with white wine and generally with fennel seeds, boiled and then baked until golden.
Friselle – Puglia, Basilicata & Campania
Friselle are a dried bread, which vary in thickness and size, depending on what region you are in. Generally eaten with fresh tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and thyme. I first had them in Basilicata where they would dampen them with water before dressing them, I’ve also had them in Naples topped with seafood.
Focaccia al Pomodoro – Puglia & Basilicata
Focaccia al pomodoro can be found in Puglia and in Basilicata, thick crusted dough with fresh tomato sauce baked on top with thyme.
Pane Laterza – Puglia
Pane Laterza is from the town of Laterza, which is Northwest of Taranto, close to the Basilicata border. It is a long loaf or filone with a firm crust and soft center.
Pane con le Olive – Puglia
Whole wheat rolls made with olives.
Pane col Seme di Finocchio – Puglia
Bread baked with fennel seeds.
Pizza Rustica with Prosciutto Cotto – Puglia
Like a focaccia, this is made with cheese and ham baked inside of it.
Ciambella – Puglia, Basilicata
Crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. La Ciambella is a very typical style of bread that you can find in bakeries in both Puglia and Basilicata.
Pane Casareccio – Puglia
Pane Casareccio Pugliese is a bit denser than a ciambella, the crust is thinner and it is typically made with white flour.
Pane di Matera, La Corna – Matera, Basilicata
This is a classic pane di Matera, made of semola flour, it is famous for its yellow hue and because it is made with a mother yeast starter and artisinally milled flour it wil stay fresh for up to a week, sometimes longer.
Pane di Matera – Basilicata
Bread from Matera is made with semola flour, making it more yellow than breads made with grano duro. Crusty and delicious, this is the bread that dreams are made of.
Pagnotta Foggiana, Puglia
I should have put something next to this enormous 2 kilo pagnotta to measure its largesse.
Schüttelbrot – Pane di segale croccante, Alto-Adige
The bread in Alto-Adige is a lot like the bread that you can find in Germany and Austria, culturally Alto-Adige is Austrian since it only became a part of Italy after the first world war. This is a hard and crispy rye bread.
Pane di Segale – Alto Adige
Rye bread, found in loaves and also little rolls.
Vinschger Paarl, Alto-Adige
Flat rye bread.
Bossolà – Chioggia, Veneto
Like the tarallo pugliese, this is bread that will last for weeks, cooked hard in a ring form.