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Pan di ramerino (Tuscan rosemary bread) recipe

Pan di ramerino (Tuscan rosemary bread) recipe

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Pan di ramerino is an ancient Florentine bread, traditionally served for Easter. The original recipe had also raisins, eggs and milk in the dough and was a sweeter bread than this.

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IngredientsServes: 8

  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 300ml warm water (40 degrees C)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 500g oat flour
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 generous pinch salt
  • 25g rosemary leaves, finely chopped

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:1hr30min rising › Ready in:2hr30min

  1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water and sugar. Stir and let stand until foamy.
  2. Add flour, oil, salt and rosemary leaves to the yeast mixture. Transfer to a work surface and knead for 15 minutes until smooth and soft. If you have a stand mixer, you can use the hook attachment. Cover with cling film, transfer to a warm place and let rise for 90 minutes, or until doubled.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Line a baking tray with parchment.
  4. Split the dough into small rolls and transfer to the baking tray.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the top of each roll, making a cross or a grid pattern. Brush with some extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve.


Once removed from oven, the rolls will look underdone inside. This is due to the oil and to the moisture trapped in the dough. Let them cool and they will be perfect.

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Pan di Ramerino – Rosemary & raisin buns

These lovely little buns with a delightfully sticky top, fragrant with fresh rosemary and studded with sweet, zibibbo raisins, have always been a little indulgence of mine. Often written also as pandiramerino (which looks like you’re saying it so fast that you don’t even need to take a breath), pan di Ramerino, means literally “rosemary bread” (rosemary is actually rosmarino in Italian but the Tuscans hold on charmingly to their own dialect word, ramerino, with this old-school pastry).

You can find in them in Florentine bakeries all year around, round and shiny with a split, criss-crossed top, but traditionally these buns were made by frugal countryside peasants for Giovedi’ Santo, the Thursday before Easter. These original buns were probably only made with rosemary, rarely with the luxuries of raisins or the sweet, sticky top, hence the name of the bun only mentioning the herbs.

While the cornetti con marmellata or sfoglie con crema and other pastries that Italians love eating for breakfast at the neighbourhood bar are too sugary for me to start my morning (it was probably the one habit I never picked up living in Italy for so long, I’m still a muesli girl at heart), pan di ramerino has a hint of savouriness to it. It’s that aromatic hit of fresh rosemary that does it. The bread itself is rather neutral, the only hint of sweetness coming from the naturally sweet, plump raisins and a brushing of light sugar syrup on the top of the buns when they come straight out of the oven.

I can’t count how many times I’ve spied these buns through my favourite bakery shop windows, only to find myself minutes later walking down the street with my treasure in a little white paper bag. I could never wait very long before opening up the bag and tearing off chunks of raisin-studded bun with sticky fingers.

Pan di ramerino
Rosemary and raisin buns

This recipe is adapted considerably from Florentine Salvatore Grieco’s recipe in the Slow Food cookbook, Ricette di Osterie di Firenze e Chianti (Recipes from the Osterie of Florence and the Chianti). What I do like about this recipe is that he infuses the rosemary leaves in the olive oil before adding both to the dough. You can skip the infusion bit if you like, and just put the chopped rosemary and the olive oil, unheated, together in the dough.

  • 500 gr flour
  • 400 ml milk, lukewarm
  • 7 gr dried yeast (or 23 gr fresh yeast)
  • 80 gr raisins or sultanas
  • 60 gr raw sugar
  • 15 gr or a few bushy sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small egg, beaten, for brushing the tops of the buns
  • Sugar syrup made from 6 tbs white sugar dissolved in half that of water

Make a dough by mixing the yeast with a bit of the warm milk. Add bit by bit to the flour, while mixing. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it springs back when poked. Let the dough rise in a covered bowl in a warm spot for at least one hour until doubled in size.

Remove the leaves from the sprigs of rosemary and chop finely. Infuse the olive oil with the rosemary leaves by gently heating for a few minutes. Allow to cool before folding the rosemary leaves and infused oil into the dough along with the raisins and raw sugar.

Roll into fist-sized buns and place on a baking sheet with 5cm or so space between each bun. Score the tops of the bun with a very sharp knife with a noughts-and-crosses grid and allow to rise in a warm place, covered in a tea towel for a further half hour.

Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake at 200 C for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. In the meantime, prepare the syrup by dissolving the white sugar in water in a small saucepan. When the buns are done and out of the oven, brush the tops with the syrup while warm. Like most breads, these are best eaten the day they are made.

Tuscan Easter Buns, Pan di Ramerino

What happens on Boxing Day in Australia? Yes, you guessed it, the hot cross buns show up in the supermarkets, a good three or more months before Easter. I have not succumbed to a single premature Pasquale bun to date, despite the array of warm specimens offered to me by my extended family on camping weekends. Good humoured accusations fly, about being a born- again hypocrite, as I, a non- Christian, patiently wait for the traditional bun eating day. I am rather fond of tradition and religious rituals of many persuasions. Now is the time to make and eat hot cross buns.

This year’s offering is a traditional Tuscan Easter bun recipe- Pan de Ramerino– a recipe that has been around since medieval times although adapted over the years. They were once eaten on Holy Thursday so I am eating mine tomorrow, though I may sneak one today as they cool on the rack. It is interesting to note that these buns are now popular all year round in Tuscany, not just at Easter. Just goes to show, it’s hard to keep a good bun down.

The recipe comes from Carol Field’s The Italian Baker, who attributes the recipe to a Florentine baker, Giovanni Galli. It is very lightly sweetened: the combination of rosemary oil and raisins is a delightful and aromatic combination. The buns are not as cloying as the ones I know.

Pan di Ramerino, Rosemary and Raisin Buns

The ingredients are listed in cups/spoons OR grams.

  • 3 ½ teaspoons/10 g active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup/180 g warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ cup/55 g olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2/½ tablespoons/35 g sugar
  • 3¾ cups/500 g unbleached plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon/5 g salt
  • 3-4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2/3 cup/100 g golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup/75 g apricot glaze

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, stir the yeast into the warm water. Let stand until creamy. Add the eggs, the egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the sugar and mix thoroughly with the paddle. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Change to the dough hook and knead at low-speed for two minutes, then at medium speed for 2 minutes more. The dough should be elastic and supple.

First Rise. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap or a plastic bowl cover and let rise until doubled.

While the dough is rising, sauté 2 rosemary sprigs very briefly in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Toss the rosemary out after it has flavoured the oil. Add the raisins and sauté very briefly in the oil. Remove from the heat and add 1 chopped fresh rosemary sprig to the mixture. Cool then add this mixture to the dough and knead, using the mixer, until well incorporated.

Cut the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place on a baking paper covered baking sheet and cover with a towel. Let the rolls rise until doubled, or about 1 hour.

Reshape the buns, which will have slumped a little, into definite balls. Brush the tops with oil. Slash a deep double cross or tic-tac-toe pattern in the top of each bun. Let the buns rise again for another 10-15 minutes.

Baking. Preheat the oven to 200º. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the buns to a wire rack and brush the tops with an apricot glaze.

Glassa di albicocca/ apricot glaze

Heat the jam and water in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat until the mixture comes to a boil, then strain through a sieve. Use the glaze while still warm.

Classic Tuscan Pan di Ramerino

My grandparents lived in Tuscany when I was a child, and pan di ramerino season was my favourite, so I logically tried to make it at home for my famil.

We love desserts and baked goods in just about any shape and size, so loving the classic Tuscan Pan di Ramerino will come as no surprise to anyone.

Bursting with fresh, piney rosemary and plump glorious raisins, this classic Tuscan sweet bread is a treat to enjoy any time during the year. Traditionally made in homes across Tuscany around Easter time, Pan di Ramerino are a classic baked good recipe most frequently made in private homes, each celebrating their own recipes and variations on a time-worn favorite.

One thing every home chef agrees on: very light on the sugar ratio, raisins are a definite inclusion as well as fresh rosemary, and a dough enhanced with freshly pressed, new extra-virgin olive oil.

These elements all work together to bring this classic baked bread recipe to your own kitchen, to be shared as part of a new Italian Easter tradition in your own home. Be sure to give youself plenty of time for your dough to rise beautifully, and properly fold in those raisins and get ready to soak in the aromas of freshly-baked bread.
Your family is going to love this holiday bread recipe, and you might also love it just as much as we do!

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Pan di Ramerino or Rosemary Bread Recipe

Originally "Pan di Ramerino", which means Rosemary Bread, was found for sale in Florentine ovens only on Holy Thursday, already blessed by the parish priests of the area. Today, "Pan di Ramerino" can also be found on sale at other times of the year. It is a small circular loaf with a cross-cut that serves to promote leavening.

Preparation time: 45 minutes Leavening time: 3 hours
Difficulty level: medium


250 gr flour
250 gr Manitoba flour
200 gr raisins
100 gr sugar
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 egg yolk
15 gr fresh rosemary leaves and a sprig
10 g fine or flaky salt
4 gr dry brewer's yeast
170 gr water


Soak the raisins in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain and dry.

Just heat the extra virgin olive oil together with the fresh rosemary leaves in a pan. Turn off the heat and let the leaves gradually release their flavor to the oil. Do not heat too much otherwise the oil and the rosemary will release unpleasant notes. Then filter the oil and leave the leaves aside.

In a bowl mix the two flours , sugar, and salt.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and pour it into the bowl with the flour, mix well. Add the slightly warm perfumed oil to the dough and start kneading to mix everything.

Add the raisins, rosemary leaves and transfer the dough to a wooden surface dusted with flour. Continue to knead with your hands until a smooth, soft, but compact dough is obtained.

Place the dough in a bowl and let it rise, covered with cling film, in a place protected from air currents at room temperature for about 2 hours.

As soon as it has risen, divide it into 12 pieces, shape them into a ball shape, and put them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper to rise for another hour.

Once the leavening is complete, brush the rolls with extra virgin olive oil with the help of the sprig, and make cross-cuts on the surface, and put in the preheated oven at 200 ° C for 20 min.

Remove the Pan of Ramerino from the oven, brush it with an egg yolk lengthened with a couple of spoons of water and sugar, and put them in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool and your Rosemary bread is ready to be enjoyed.

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Pandiramerino (Rosemary and Sultana Buns)

Lent or, as it's called in Italian, La Quaresima. Traditionally in Italy, after the excesses of Carnival, this forty day period entailed an abstinence from fleshy pleasures imposed by nature and the Catholic Church. Food supplies during the passage from winter to spring were at their scarcest. The Church prohibited the consumption of meat and many other animal-derived products. Yet, Italians across the peninsula were still ingenious enough to create sweets that wouldn't raise prying, observant eyebrows or exhaust the precious larder by making them without egg yolks, butter or lard.

There were the normally butter-based maritozzi Romans made with olive oil, for example. Tuscans too came up with delightful chocolate and orange-scented quaresimali, letter-shaped biscuits said to symbolise the scriptures from the Gospel. These were bound by egg whites, considered magri or 'lean' and therefore permissable to eat. Elsewhere, in other regions, people made more egg white-bound biscuits, named pazientini – meaning 'little bits of patience' – perhaps as a nod to the patience and strong will required during Lent.

My favourite of all these Lenten sweets, however, would have to be Florentine pandiramerino, which I tried while lost and looking for the bus station near Santa Maria Novella last spring. Made with an olive oil-enrichened bread dough and studded with fresh rosemary and sweet sultanas, these delightfully sticky, criss-crossed buns were traditionally served on giovedì santo or Holy Thursday in the Renaissance city.

Like many other Italian treats that were originally made on designated feast days, pandiramerino are now available in Florentine bakeries year round. After trying one near the elusive bus station last year though, I promised myself I would try making them at home in the lead up to the following Easter. Sure enough, that contrast of sweet and savoury flavours also won over my husband and daughter, especially at breakfast and afternoon tea time. They kept asking me to make them more buns and I readily obliged. Here's a recipe - adapted from one by Emiko Davies in her stunning cookbook Florentine - I've come up with after many an excuse to turn the oven on.

Pan di ramerino (Tuscan rosemary bread) recipe - Recipes

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Pan di Ramerino is a dessert typically consumed during the Lent period and in the past traditionally prepared in Florence on Holy Thursday, before Easter.
Ramerino means rosemary, one of the main ingredients of these soft buns of medieval origin, simple to prepare but very tasty.
Here is the recipe to prepare them at home!

  • 25 g (1 oz) rosemary spigs
  • 25g (1 oz) fresh yeast
  • a pinch of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 310 ml (1 .1/4 cups) tepid water
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) bread flour
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

Strip the rosemary leaves off the stems and discard stems. Put the yeast into a bowl with the pinch of sugar. Stir in the water and leave it to activate.

Put the flour into a large, wide bowl or onto your work surface. Add the yeast, most of the rosemary, half a tablespoon of salt and most of the olive oil and mix well to incorporate. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes, until you have a smooth and compact ball. Add a few drops of water or a little more flour, adjust, until you obtain the right consistency.

Put the dough into a bowl, cover and leave to rise for an 1 1/2 hour until it has doubled in size.*

On a surface you should previously dust with flour, cut the dough into smaller chunks and roll into balls. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining rosemary and then drizzle with the olive oil.

Dust a baking tray with flour and put the bread loaves onto the baking tray, allowing some spray in between loaves (they will spread while baking). Use a knife to draw a cross on the bread, cover it with a cloth and leave in a warm place for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Put the baking tray into the hot oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden and the bottom of the loaves should also be golden.


Lightlyflavoured with rosemary and raisins, these not too sweet Easter buns are aspeciality in Tuscany.

Yield: MAKES 4 LARGE | prep time: 2 HRS | cook time: 25 MINS | total time: 2 HRS 25 MINS

Tuscan recipes

Welcome to my authentic Tuscan recipes section!

Here you will find the recipe for the Tuscan chicken pasta (that is out of this world, believe me!), the Tuscan soup recipe with kale, recipes for black kale alone, and a sweet bread recipe for Easter.

There’s also a delicious, summery, Tuscan salad recipe, “panzanella”, made with stale bread. It’s one of my favorite easy-lunch options!

And of course the Tuscan beans recipe, “fagioli all’uccelletto”, cause Tuscans eat a lot of beans, alone, in soups, or as a side dish to their famous “fiorentina” steaks.

Enjoy all my Tuscan food recipes and let me know if there are more you want to explore!

Buccellato, a sweet bread

So here we are, the fourth recipe of a Tuscan tour with Ventura discovering local recipes made with nuts and dried fruit. Buccellato is considered a dessert or a breakfast sweet bread, it is made with bread dough, usually enriched with sugar, raisins and aniseed, another widely used ingredient in Tuscan biscuits and sweet loaves. Today’s recipe is inspired once again by good old Paolo Petroni and his Recipes from Tuscany. Traditional Home Cooking: Yesterday’s Flavours for Today’s Taste, and it is more refined compared to the original version, which provided neither eggs nor butter.

While baking an intense aniseed aroma will spread through the house. This reminds me immediately of coffee, as when I was a child my grandmother used to add a drop of aniseed liqueur to her evening coffee. Bake this bread for breakfast with your daily mug of coffee, for an afternoon sneak with a cup of tea or make it well in advance to use when stale in a kind of zuppa inglese, with layers of thick Italian custard and strawberries washed in red wine.