Let’s get into my own world: that of my sweetest memories that make my month water. Let’s go to Bologna, Emilia Romagna, where I used to spend my scorching summer holidays with my grandparents- I enjoyed going to the Adriatic Sea at the end of the summer when the beaches were quieter. I know, the sea is not so charming as the Caribbean one-well lifestyle in those places is so relaxing and nice that you don’t care about the sea, believe me! In Emilia Romagna, they make something which is not actually bread- tigelle; they are really scrumptious round flat-bread. Every part of our regions has its own culinary tradition- in Italy, you can eat plenty of delicious food, I want to show it all and we set off our journey through Italian food from tigelle. Actually, they are typical from Modena (I have to be very careful with the places, people from Emilia Romagna are very proud of their origin and culture, so I don’t want to make any mistakes, otherwise my family may scold me!), but they are quite common all over the Region. It belongs to the convivial farmers’ tradition, so it is made from poor ingredients-flour, water, yeast, salt, pepper, rosemary, and oil. Tigelle looks easy to prepare, but how you make and, most of all, cook them makes the difference! The dough contains yeast and it should be cooked on a cast iron pan, a non-stick tigella iron, called ‘tigelliera’ which gives tigelle their traditional round shape (6-7 cm diameter).I have to admit that finding the right recipe has been hard work. Sometimes, wise guys don’t want to share their “secret” with you, so they give you an incomplete recipe, and … you can’t make them as they should be.Here is the recipe I have found; trust me it is easy and all family will enjoy your tasty tigelle.
- 250 gr Flour
- 2.2 tbsp Yeast half a cube
- 2/3 tumbler Lukewarm water
- 1/2 tumbler Milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Place some flour on the table in the shape of a volcano and put the oil, the milk, and the water with the yeast into the crater.
- Combine the remaining flour with salt, pepper, and the chopped rosemary.
- Mix well all the ingredients and start to knead the first dough. Add the flour with rosemary little by little. Knead until the dough gets smooth and elastic; put it into a floured bowl under a towel and let it rest for about 2 hours at room temperature.
- Then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to around 1 cm thick and cut it with a circular cutter or an upside-down glass.
- I cook them in the tigelliera (tigella iron), but you can use a non-stich pan, as well. Pre-heat the tigella iron for about 5 minutes on a medium heat, and cook them on both sides until golden brown. I usually keep them hot in a small basket under a towel.
- Cut hot tigelle in two halves and fill them to taste. I recommend cream cheese, stracchino or typical Italian squaquerone, Italian ham, mortadella, salami, or for a vegetarian dish, grilled vegetables.
Tigelle are a very healthy snack for children after doing sport; they make your brunch richer, or serve them as starter on a very special occasion. Share tigelle with your friends, the atmosphere will get even friendlier. If you don’t eat them at once, you can store them in the fridge for a couple of days.