An Easter Tuscan tradition: Pandiramerino

16 April, 2017

The “pandiramerino” is a Tuscan fragrant bun with ramerino (aka rosemary in Florentine!) and enriched with raisins. Its origins date back to the Middle Ages and it’s common throughout all Tuscany, but is typical of Florence and Prato. Its origin are closely linked to religion.

Traditionally they were prepared for Holy Thursday and Friday and, in the past, street vendors offered these buns to the women at the entrance of the church, trying to attract their attention, shouting "with oil." The pandiramerino (or “rosemary bread”) became a kind of blessing: the same cuts in the shape of a cross, although they are made for better leavening, gave this flavored loaf a kind of religious connotation.

It’s tradition to have them on Easter Sunday along with blessed eggs and, some say, with a drop of holy water.

Today you can eat pandiramerino all year round and has taken the clear appearance of a real sweet, while once it was a big bread (not buns) more tasty than normal, but the dough has never undergone changes over the times.

The ingredients are few but essential: simple bread dough, a few sprigs of rosemary, raisins and a good oil (not too heavy and savory), better Tuscan, of course!

And, if you can not come to Florence to enjoy them ... you can do it at home!

Ingredients for 6 buns. For the bread dough: 350 g flour - approximately 150 ml warm water - 1 teaspoon sugar - 15 g of fresh yeast. For pandiramerino: bread dough already risen - 120 g raisins - rosemary - 2 tablespoons sugar – Extra virgin Olive Oil

Dissolve yeast in water with 1 teaspoon of sugar and let rest a few minutes. Add to the flour and knead well. Let rise until doubled.

In a small saucepan heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil with some rosemary and raisins. Switch off before start frying. Let cool. Remove the rosemary and pour the oil and raisins on bread dough, add sugar, some chopped fresh rosemary and knead well. Divide the dough into 6 loaves. Cut the surface with cuts like a “cross” and let rest for about 30/40 minutes. Brush with oil (or lightly beaten egg, or another alternative a bit of warm milk) and cook in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 30 minutes.

Notes: If you want, once cooked, you can brush them with a syrup made with 3 tablespoons of water and 1.5 of sugar, so they become glossy.

Happy Easter!!

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