Bread & Pizza Italian Regional Recipes Starters

Friselle – Apulian Savoury Rusk Bread

Friselle are a type of dry rusk-bread typical of Southern Italy and in particular of Apulia region, but also very used in Campania, Calabria and Basilicata regions.

Doughnut-shape, made with durum wheat flour, twice-baked in the oven. Before eat them, they should be strictly wet with water to get them soft but not soggy, then traditionally seasoned with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and dried oregano and a topping with tomatoes and/or olives a bit like bruschetta-style.

Seasonings for Friselle are innumerable and they are often also added into chunks to soups or bread salads such in Tuscan Panzanella.

In the past Friselle were also called “crusaders’ bread”, eaten during the Middle Ages by the fighters who went to the Holy Land.

Makes about 10 Friselle, Preparation time 60 mins, Cooking time 45-50 mins

  • 500 g of durum wheat flour or wholemeal flour
  • 250 ml lukewarm water
  • 10 g of salt
  • 50 ml Evoo
  • 10 g of brewer’s yeast

Preparation of the dough

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water.
Put the flour on a work surface and create a fountain.
and add the salt, stir and add everything to the flour a little at a time.
Knead vigorously for about 20 minutes until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough.

Divide the dough into equal parts and give it the shape of a doughnut and let it rise for about 40 minutes in a dry place, covered with a cotton cloth.

First baking:

After 40 minutes of rising, bake at 200° C for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Cut the doughnuts in half with a knife. Place them in a baking pan, with the cut inside facing upwards.

Second baking:

In the oven to 170° C for about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Friselle will be crispy and ready to be seasoned and enjoyed.

Seasoning Friselle:

Fill a bowl with cold water.
Dip the friselle for about 20 seconds.
Take them out and season them generously with Evoo, a pinch of salt, then take the fresh tomatoes and crush them directly on the rough surface (or just cut them into pieces) and finally add another pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil on the tomatoes, sprinkle with a little bit of oregano and/or basil and/or olives.

Tip: We have used the yellow tomatoes from Piennolo /piennolo-yellow-tomato-from-Vesuvio and they fit very well, as well as the more classic red tomatoes of course!

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