I remember when, during Easter, my grandmother would take me to the bakery around the corner during those first sunny and warm days in Florence, and would buy me one of these special rolls. Not so sweet, just right and studded with raisins and sweet rosemary leaves.
Actually, I did not like the rosemary leaves at all and I took them all out before biting into the sweet golden doughy roll. Some bakerys used to sprinkle sugar o glaze on top so the roll would be sweeter and each baker had their own shape.
Considering that I had (have?!!) a wonderful sweet tooth wolfing down chocolate cupcakes with super sweet frostings and candy bars, this roll was something very different and reminded me of the old times, when the only heating system in the house was a chimney or wood stove. When the only treat was prepared and eaten during the holidays or sunday lunch.
Pan di Ramerino can now be found in a few bakeries all year around and in all during Easter.
The shape differ and usuallly are round with a cross cut on top of it (remember hot cross buns?) or braided. I chose the braid
When I announced that I was going to make and bake the rolls, (a part from a roar of laughter) I was told that I could go and buy them at the local bakery.
Instead, I made my own. Vegan too!
These are for you, Nonna!