Pane al Forno

You can almost smell the scent of freshly baked bread when you see steam rising out onto the page.

Although I had already met the family who produces our Pane Rustico, this was my first time visiting Sardegna to see first hand how it is made. I took an overnight boat to the ancient island of Sardegna to visit the factory where our artisan made Pane Rustico bread is made. In Sardegna, the bread is called pane carasau or carta di musica. It is a typical bread from centuries back, when clay tiles baked the bread to a golden slightly scorched crispness. Today, the same traditional recipe and artisan techniques retain the years old tradition and taste. Many steps and long hours are required to make the thin, perfect sheets that are stacked into neat rounds and ready to eat.

I was so inspired by the painstaking process of making this bread, I wanted to share my experience with you. I hope you, too, appreciate the care and historical significance of this humble daily sustenance we enjoy in oh so many ways back home at our own table.

Follow me as I take through the factory....

The dough is made from the finest semolina and flour in small batches, then left to rest for one hour. This is the proofing process that activates the yeast and allows the dough to rise.

Proofed dough running through the sheeter to be cut into rounds at the other end.

Cutting dies for Pane rounds. The cut rounds of dough will rest another hour for proofing before the are sent to the ovens for their first of two bakings.

The rounds of dough are cut and separated in half by hand. Each sheet is meticulously arranged into neat stacks while the bread is still warm and the dough is pliable and soft.

Stacked pane sheets ready for the second baking. It is hard to resist already at this stage.

For the second baking, the rounds are separated by hand and sent through the oven to crisp up the bread and give its smokey flavor and crispy, cracker-like texture.

Pane Rustico just baked and ready to be packed up and shipped to you.
Get it while it is hot!

Buon appetito!
copyright 2008 Alisa Barry

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