The History of Pane Carasau
This month we want to dive deep into the fascinating history of a bread that comes from the beautiful island of Sardinia, located to the west of the Italian Peninsula.
Pane carasau is a traditional Sardinian flat bread with a unique thin and crispy nature that has also been referred to as ‘carta musica’, translating to sheet music, in reference to its resemblance to parchment paper. This Italian bread variation has been traced all the way back to before 1000 BC and was customarily made by women who prepared it for their men working as shepherds in the field as the bread was able to be stored for a long period of time without losing its flavor and texture.
The name itself ‘carasau’ refers to toasting or the crust of bread and is easily the most famous Sardinian bread in the world. It is made from hard wheat bran or semolina, salt, yeast and water and was originally made using a labour-intensive process that required three women.
The process sees the preparing of the dough which is rolled out into very thin sheets and baked in an extremely hot oven which causes the dough to puff up into a ball shape. The forms are then removed from the oven and cut along the circumference and divided into sheets. The sheets are then baked again to obtain the crispiness that characterises the bread and stacked on top of each other.
The subtle flavor of the bread enables it to be used for countless recipes such as the typical Sardinian plate ‘Pane Frattau‘, made with the bread, meat broth, tomato sauce, grated pecorino cheese, and egg.