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Pan dei Morti - Bread of the Dead Recipe

Guest Author - Paula Laurita

This bread is based upon an ancient Etruscan recipe. It was updated and traditionally made in the Lombardy region for All Souls Day.

Pan dei Morti
Bread of the Dead Recipe
Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 Tbs almond slivers
  • 2 dried figs, chopped
  • 2 Tbs raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • flour to work the dough
  • butter or oil for bowl
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbs orange zest

Directions

  1. Soak the figs and raisins in the white wine.
  2. Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the warm water--It should be no hotter than 110F.
  4. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, almond extract, and 1/4 cup of the sugar.
  5. Beat in the warm milk mixture.
  6. Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
  7. Stir in the slivered almonds.
  8. Add the almonds, cinnamon, raisins, figs and any wine left in the bowl.
  9. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
  10. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  11. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  12. Let the rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours.
  13. Punch the dough down and shape it into a long loaf shape.
  14. Place the dough onto a baking sheet or in a baguette pan, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
  15. Bake at 350F oven for about 35 to 45 minutes.
  16. Mix the confectioner's sugar, orange juice, and orange zest together in a small pan.
  17. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes.
  18. Remove the bread from the oven. Allow the bread to cool slightly then brush with glaze.

Bella Italian Food Recommends

Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Perforated French Bread Pan
When buying a baguette pan you will need one that is perforated. This 16-by-4-inch curved holders for two loaves of bread. The perforation allows the bread to have a good crust on both top and bottom. It is made of heavy-gauge steel with a Silverstone nonstick surface for quick release and easy cleanup. I suggest that you oil the pan before baking.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Paula Laurita. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Paula Laurita. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cinzia Aversa for details.

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