The Sardinian bread is the true protagonist of our table.
Bread has always been a major product in Sardinia, both as a quality food and for its ritual meaning. Indeed, the exceptional nutritional value of durum wheat superfine flour, coupled with the favourable conditions created by mild temperatures and sunny fields, farmed with wheat crops, have made of bread an essential element of the island nutrition.
Antichi Gesti Laboratorio Artigianale prodotti da Forno tradizionali
Donida Serpi – Sadali
Bread is associated to special occasions and important moments in Sardinia
Besides being an excellent food, bread is associated to special occasions and important moments in Sardinia, either focused on individuals one for every occasion “ Carasau, Coccoi, Moddizzosu, Civraxiu, Pistoccu, Gerda” or on a whole community (just think of newlyweds’ bread and Easter bread), to add a ritual value to the deliciousness and genuineness of its taste.
Easter Bread and Pani Pintau is made by skilled hands of expert Sardinian women of which it has been handed down for generations. Mrs Antonietta Spanu, Donida Serpi, Viviana Catzola and Linda Piras. While Moddizzosu and Pistoccu is made by Antichi Gesti the Ladies of Orlando Resort.
Therefore, the variety of typical bread is surprising, from the one meant for daily use to bread specifically made on festivals, still linked to the different features of each geographical areas in the island.
Baked for centuries in traditional wood-burning ovens, kneaded by expert women’s hands, it has been a fundamental food for ages, especially for the sustenance of shepherds, forced to stay away from home, and farmers, whose arduous work required food of high nutritional properties.
Sourdough: popular method to make bread in Sardinia is using natural yeast. In many areas of Sardinia the tradition of home baking still survives, often using sourdough, known as ‘frummentu’, that is a portion of the dough which is preserved and carefully stored from one baking session to the other.
Coccoi: Commonly widespread in the whole island, as in the province, the coccoi is a bread of superfine flour, tasty and crispy, decorated with simple patterns in its ordinary daily version and in a more artistic and ancient style when meant as a feast bread. The dough use for the production of the Coccoi is usually leavened using the “madre acida”.
Civraxiu is a large, round loaf with a crisp crust and a soft dough. It’s origins stem from Roman occupation and it is best served thick and dipped into the roasting dish of a suckling pig.
It is a seed-corn bread typical of these regions. Once regarded as the bread of the poor, it is nowadays appreciating for its taste. The ingredients used for preparation are durum wheat, salt water and yeast (su fermentu or frummentu or sa mamma).
Pistoccu this bread is made throughout Sardinia territory and particularly in Gerrei. Is light in colour and is obtained by mixing 00 flours with durum wheat, yeast, salt and water.
It was the bread of the ancient Sardinian sheperds and peasants, its name derives probably from the Latin Pastore’s which in Rome indicated the ancient guilds of bakers.
The remarkable productivity of the soil of the Campidano region was already known to the ancient Romans who, aware of the economic importance began to grow large expanses with wheat, thus converting the island into “Rome ‘s granary”.
Massaie all’Orlando Resort – Villagrande Strisaili
Pane Carasau territories involved in the production of this bread are the province of Nuoro and the surrounding areas. It is made from flour and durum wheat flour, natural yeast, sea salt, and water. It looks like big sheets like thin crispy waffles, no crumbs, and few millimetres thick, golden colour. It has a characteristic odour and taste reminiscent of the scent of cereals and granaries.
Pane Carasau: Prepared to last months for the shepherd community this bread is paper thin and crackles when eaten. Delicious with cheeses and honey, it became known to outdoers as ‘musical paper’.
The Carasau if seasoned with oil and salt the name is Guttiau or the name is Frattau if the sheets are washed in boiling water, sprinkled with tomato and grated pecorino. Known as “music paper” carasau bread was born in Barbagia to provide the herders with food that could last a long time without losing its characteristics.
Spianadas: a typical bread of the Nuorese region, this would be prepared at the same time as the pane carasau and eaten during seasonal chores. It is a soft, round bread which is easy to carry but also easy to manipulate into decorative patterns during religious festivals. Wooden stamps of shepherds were also used to create patterns. A versatile bread it can also be used to prepare pies.
Su Pane fine known as Spianata di Ozieri.
Apart from Sanluri, Gonnosfanadiga is another renowned bread-making centre within the province. Every year, a specific fair focused on bread is organized, including other specialties of local bakeries: bread with olives (Pani cun Olia), bread with crackling (Pani cun Gerda) and bread with ricotta cheese (Pani cun Arrescottu),
with a boiled egg (Coccoi ‘e Pasca), bread with tomato (Pani cun Tamatiga), and countless other delicacies. Bread is a staple of every Sardinian table and a variety of homemade bread exists in different regions, rich in flavour and texture.
Antonietta Spanu – Simaxis
Su Pani Pintau
The dough is artistically shaped for special occasions and ceremonies, it can be shaped into objects like artichokes and can be quite elaboratively decorative.
The techniques employed in the decoration of the ceremonial bread are still being handed down from mother to daughter. However, only through hard-earned experience will downright object d’art be obtained.
A natural yeast which gives this bread unmistakable fragrance and crispness. The firmness of its dough and the possibility to taste it always crisp even after a few days has made it possible for this bread to be used ever since ancient times not only as a stable but also in the production of unique shapes tied to unique events.