Making Bread in Umbria

 The Reassuring Ritual of Making Bread in Umbria

Making bread in Umbria is a ritual – a comforting, reassuring ritual of continuation.  It was the insurance policy in the years of poverty, famine, drought and during the World Wars against hunger.  Most traditional families in Umbria still enjoy making and baking their own bread.  In our case, we have a hand-built wood-burning oven in the garden which makes the  chore  all the more appealing.

ritual of making homemade bread

ready to knead the risen dough,”la massa”, after four hours

We don’t make normal  everyday bread, the typical Umbrian bread that accompanies meals – it is readily available.   Instead, we make a very special bread for our breakfasts:

Walnut – Pecorino – Auricchio Wood-Fired Oven Baked Bread

adding walnuts and pecorino to bread

adding our very own Genius Loci walnuts, local pecorino and auricchio cheese, salt and 30-month-aged parmesan to a mixture of half regular flour and half whole wheat flour to knead at length on the “bread board” Maurizio’s grandfather made

making the loaves

Using three kilograms of flour we are able to make seven loaves that last us for about six weeks.

ready for another hour of rising

loaves ready to rest and rise for another hour

firing the oven

firing the oven in the garden

baked bread

the crusty loaves

bread loaves

the irresistible loaves just out of the oven

baked bread

…not always possible to wait for breakfast

baked bread

mouth-watering, delicious bread 

such a reassuring ritual!

-Mary