They say “You haven’t been to Lucca if you haven’t tried Buccellato”.
That’s just to give you an idea how traditional this pastry is.
And in case you’re wondering, Lucca is a small city in Tuscany, located on the Serchio river.
Sometimes it’s call a Wall City or Castle City (citta castelo) because of its well-preserved Renaissance walls encircling its historic city center and its cobblestone streets.
Buccellato is a very typical pastry for Lucca.
In fact, this is how originally this pastry is called: “Buccellato di Lucca”.
And it’s not to be confused with Sicilian Buccellato pastry which also has a similar ring form, but differs in taste and in ingredients.
Soft and tender buccellato is a perfect breakfast pastry, afternoon tea pastry or “anytime-of-the-day pastry” for that matter.
We’re using a starter dough to make buccellato super soft and also to help it retain these qualities for longer.
The characteristic taste is given by anise seeds and raisins.
For the starter:
- ¼ cup water lukewarm
- ½ cup Manitoba flour
- ⅛ tsp active dry yeast
For the dough:
- 1 ½ cup Manitoba flour
- ½ cup + 1-2 tbsp water lukewarm
- ⅛ tsp active dry yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 oz butter softened
- 2 oz dry raisins
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp anise seeds
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add flour a spoon at a time. Mix with a fork and as the dough becomes more dense transfer it to the work surface and knead with the hands until you get a smooth and elastic ball.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap.
- Leave at room temperature for a few hours, then put it in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning remove the starter dough from the fridge1-2 hours before making buccellato.
- Let the raisins soak in lukewarm water for 30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- In a standing mixer with a dough hook add starter dough, active dry yeast, water, sugar and flour. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Add a pinch of salt, butter and an egg. Mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Add raisins and aniseeds. Mix on low speed a few seconds until raisins and aniseeds spread evenly in the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a clean bowl covered with a plastic wrap.
- Let rise in dark warm (but not HOT) place until double in size (1-2 hours).
Past that time, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Turn the bowl with the dough upside down and gently helping with the hands let it “slide” down on the baking sheet.
- Give it a round form and with your hands make a small hole in the center.
Place a glass or a cup to keep the hole during second proofing.
- Let buccellato rise on a baking sheet for another 40-60 minutes.
Make sure to cover it with a lightly floured linen towel.
- Remove the glass and bake buccellato in a preheated to 350F oven for 40-45 minutes.
- Let cool and enjoy!
Yum, yum, yum!