Cooking in the Mountains | Pianorso, Emilia Romagna in Italy

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Pianorso: a tiny dot on the map of Italy and a magical retreat at 740 meters above sea level, filled with fresh mountain air, green carpets, purple and yellow flowers, sounds of running water and happy birds, happy life.

This spring we were so lucky to have been invited to spend a weekend in the mountains with dear friends. We are talking of a place you can basically only reach with a 4×4. As excited as Argo the dog was about running up and down the green hills, smelling the grass and digging the earth, as was I about watching the cooking going on in the country style kitchen.

In this post you will read about “crescentine”, small and round flat breads made with a few simple ingredients but with a lot of love and care. These flatbreads can be filled with homemade spreads. Further down you will find an example of a recipe for a traditional filling.

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Cucina Tradizionale | Crescentine

Ingredients

  • 850 grams flour
  • cube of fresh yeast (for pizza/bread/sweets)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

    1. Wake up the yeast | Place the yeast in a cup and add some warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir every now and then and let is rest for a total amount of 15 minutes.                                                 Pianorso2
    2. Mixing in the yeast | Add 850 grams of flour in a bowl, a pinch of salt, 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp of milk. Slowly stir in the yeast mixture. If you see that it doesn’t mix well and it’s too dry you can add a little water. This is very delicate! Adding too much water will make the mixture sticky and you’ll have to add flour again to balance things out.
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    3. Kneading | Knead the mixture in the bowl (to keep the work space tidy) for about 10 minutes then take the dough from the bowl and knead it for another 10 minutes on a flat surface (marble works best).Dough_kneading
    4. Rest | Sprinkle some flour on the bottom of a bowl, place the dough and let it rest in the bowl for a minimum of 1,5 hours and a preferably 3 hours. Cover with a clean cloth. Half way through the resting it’s advisable to knead the dough for another few minutes.Rest dough

Before we go on to the part of the shaping of the crescentine, you can prepare the filling. I will write about a traditional filling in this post, if you would like to know with what else you can fill these delicious flatbreads, read about the non traditional toppings for crescentine.

Traditional Filling

Ingredients

  • a piece of soft, good quality pure lard
  • rosemary very finely chopped
  • finely grated parmigiano

Instructions

Mix to your liking!

rosemarino lard mixture

parmeggiano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

knife

cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaping and baking the crescentine

Form little balls from the dough and role out with the pin. Cover the flat breads with a bit of flour and a clean cloth so they don’t dry out too much. For the cooking part you actually need a special bottom and top heated plate which is not a tool you can buy everywhere, so I would say instead of this particular tool, place them in the oven (top and bottom heat) for a few minutes until slightly coloured, slice them in half and fill with toppings.

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flat breads

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2 thoughts on “Cooking in the Mountains | Pianorso, Emilia Romagna in Italy

  1. Franco Baldoni

    Ciao Nanette e Vincenzo.
    L’articolo su Pianorso e sulle crescentine è meraviglioso. Che bel ricordo. Una precisazione: il ripieno tradizionale delle crescentine (pesto) non ha il black pepper, ma l’aglio fresco tritato (fresh garlic). Tutto il resto (lardo e rosmarino tritato, con il parmigiano grattugiato aggiunto alla fine all’interno della crescentina) vanno benissimo.
    Un bacione a tutti (rimaniamo in attesa di notizie).

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