Friday, July 18, 2014

Pan di Ramerino - Vegan Rosemary and Raising Traditional Tuscany Sweet Rolls

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!

Pan di Ramerino -Vegan Rosemary and Raising Traditional Tuscany Sweet Rolls
Rising time between 6 and 7 hours
4 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup durum wheat semolina flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 lukewarm water
1 tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp olive oil (I used extra virgin)
2 +2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup rasins

3 tbsp water
3 tbsp white sugar

Heat the oil and 2 rosemary sprigs in a small pot, just until it starts to simmer. Turn off and let infuse for about half hour. Just before using the aromatic oil, discard the rosemary or leave a few leaves.
Combine the both type of flours, thee suger and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or big bowl) .

Add the water a little a time, then the salt and then the aromatic oil. Mix until well combined until you have a smooth and elastic dough.
Turn on working surface and knead for a few minutes. Form a ball and put into a bowl, then cover with a clean cotton cloth and let rise for 3 hours
After 3 hours, uncover and punch down. Knead 1 minute then form a ball and put back into the bowl and cover with the cloth. Let rise another 3 hours
After 3 hours, uncover and punch down, flatten the dough and add the raisins and rosemary leaves (which have to be finely chopped) and knead until all ingredients are well combined
Divide in 8 equal parts
 Take 1 part and form a long rope, about 3 ft and cut in 3 equal parts (about 11 inches) and form a braid.

Place a large piece of parchement paper on 2 cookie sheets/large pizza pans and place the braids on it. Cover the braids with a cloth and let rise for about half hour

While you're waiting for the braids to rise, prepare the glaze. Pour water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 minute and turn off
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F

Uncover the braids and put into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden
As soon as you take them out of the oven, brush the glaze over warm rolls. Add more glaze if needed

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