For this week’s Regional Italian recipe, I want to take you to the region of Emilia-Romagna, a culinary heaven. Suffice it to say that it is the region where Balsamic Vinegar, Mortadella, Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano are produced… just to mention a few of the amazing delicacies that this region is famous for. Crescentine (also known as Tigelle) are a type of bread made on the mountains around Modena and they are usually filled with some of the above cold meats and cheeses from the local area (though traditionally they were filled with a paste made with lardo, garlic and rosemary, known as cunza). I have already shared a similar recipe in the past: Gnocco Fritto, but today’s recipe is not fried. Traditionally the dough was cooked on terracotta discs (called tigelle) heated on the fireplace. Today you can buy specific pans or do like I did and cook them on a lightly greased non stick pan. This is a delicious bread, very easy to make and makes for a fantastic appetiser, lunch or light dinner! Enjoy!
- Put the sugar and yeast in half a glass of lukewarm water. Mix well and set aside to activate.
- Put all the remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a hook attachment.
- When the yeast has activated, add it to the bowl. Add enough lukewarm water to obtain a smooth and pliable dough. Knead well.
- When the dough is ready, make it into a ball and keep it in a warm place to rise for at least 1 hour.
- Then roll the dough into a 0.5 cm thick sheet and cut out 8 cm discs. Let them rise for another hour in a warm place.
- Cook them in a non stick pan sprayed with oil or greased with butter for 3 or 4 minutes per side (I covered them with a lid after turning them around to make sure they cooked uniformly).
- Serve hot, sliced in half and filled with cold meats and cheese (I recommend Italian prosciutto, salami, mortadella, pancetta, lardo, taleggio and gorgonzola).