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PANE DI MATERA

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PANE DI MATERA

The distinctive and unique aroma of Pane di Matera – Bread of Matera – flows between the stone buildings in the area. With its ancient baking process and precise compositions it has become famous throughout Italy.

This renowned bread was first created in the Kingdom of Naples in the 15th and 16th century. Its ingredients and composition is very important to produce the distinctive aroma and flavour, from the wheat which is grown in the area, to the unique yeast which uses fresh fruit. Yeast must make up at least 20% of the breads entire formation. The bread must weigh 1 or 2 kilos and is always in a conical shape.

Originally made by country housewives, the bread making process started in the evening by collecting the yeast from the previous day. The dough was then made and left to rise over night in a majustr – a clay container. The next morning a larger amount of dough would be made; this could be up to 15 kilos for large families. The local baker would then come to collect the dough before the housewives would join them to watch over the baking of their bread. To know which was theirs they would mark the dough with a wooden stamp which is still used in the process today.

Enjoyed best with breakfast alongside sweet accompaniments such honey or jam, or with starters dipped in local olive oil. This flavourful bread is diverse and is a must have on any trip to the cultural Matera.

By Holly Mason

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