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Florentine Rosemary and raisin bun, pan di ramerino

In ancient times these little buns where sold only on Holy Thursday, before Easter, in Florentine bakeries.

The rosemary and grapes represent holy Communion. The cross cut on top symbolizes the connection between religion and bread. They were usually blessed in church and then given away in exchange for an offering. Nowadays you can find them in bakeries for a few weeks around Easter time.

If I have to choose the most significant/meaningful food of my life, this bun will be in the top 10, or even 5.

The fact that you find them so rarely, since they are available only around Easter, makes them so special. Like the Florentine grape bread, for me it has the taste of the hills around Florence.

Usually, I try to respect the traditions around the times of year when food should be prepared.  I like to cook rice fritters for Carnival and share Panettone for Christmas. What makes them delicious is their connection to something bigger, and stripping them of that context robs them of their taste for me. But for the rosemary and raisin buns, I’d love them to be special all year around, especially for Sunday breakfast.  They are sweet with the syrup, and perfect with butter and jam, or even some goat cheese.

Ingredients :

I based my recipe on Emiko Davies amazing recipe. 

I made 9 buns out of it.

500 gr/ 17.5 oz  all purpose flour

400 ml/ 1 and 1/2 cup of milk (I use a non-dairy milk, like almond or soy. But you can always use cow's milk.)

7 gr/ 2 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast

80 gr/ 3/4 cup raisins

60 gr/ 1/4 cup sugar + another 8 tablespoons sugar for the syrup

a few sprigs of rosemary

50 ml/ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 egg for brushing at the end


Method :

In a medium bowl dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk by mixing with a wooden spoon. Once the yeast is dissolved add little by little the flour mixing with the spoon. When the dough starts to come together knead it with your hands until smooth. Cover with plastic film or a cloth and let it double in size. It should take 1 or 2 hours.

Chop the rosemary finely and add it to a small sauce pan with the olive oil and heat gently for a couple of minutes to infuse the olive oil. Let it cool.

Once your dough has rested, add little by little the infused olive oil along with the rosemary and knead until all the oil is well absorbed. Then add the sugar and raisins. Knead again with your hands  and divide the dough into 8 or 9 balls (fist size). Score with a sharp knife a cross on top of each bun and  let it proof again on an oven tray covered with parchment paper for 1 hour  (leaving some space between the buns).

Beat one egg and brush the buns with it.

Cook in a preheated oven at 360F for 20 minutes, or until golden/brown and the kitchen smells divine.

While the buns are baking, make the syrup by mixing 8 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of water in a small sauce pan on low-medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved and has a syrupy texture remove from the heat and leave it aside.

Once the buns are out of the oven and still hot brush the syrup on top of the buns.

Serve warm the same day.

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Followed By

  • Chris Tennant

About this document

Created: September 10, 2018

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