The advice to go to Chiaserna, fraction of Cantiano in the province of
Pesaro, in order to buy a loaf of bread might seem rather absurd.
But, on entering the village, you will be immediately embraced with the
fragrance of bread just taken out of the oven. That and discovering scenes
from other times, tasting the unique “once upon a time” flavour of
bread of Chiaserna, is what will convince anyone that it is worth going
even a hundred of kilometres in order to buy it.
One of very few types of bread typical of the Marches, that of Chiaserna
is important even from the socio-cultural point of view, because it
testifies the great value that the folk tradition attributes to bread made
from wheat flour and yeast.
Several Italian proverbs refer to home-made long rising bread, made from a
piece of bread dough and wheat with no protein fraction. More than words
the very first bite explains the tradition of bread of Chiaserna.
Let us see, therefore, the ingredients that make this bread be so special:
soft wheat flour, water, a piece of (raw) bread dough from previous
baking, yeast and salt. The technique is also very particular: the
preparation of dough needs three phases. In the first phase only a part of
flour is used, to which yeast, dissolved in warm salted water, is
All is mixed well, kneaded and left to rise for at least four hours. Then
the other part of flour is added to dough with water, and it is left to
rest for another four hours.
The preparation of this bread reveals that, in the ancient peasant
culture, the time was very different than it is at present. It seems
almost exaggeratedly prolonged. But, in order to make proper bread of
Chiaserna, watches have to make a step backward and to harmonise with the
long rhythms that an artisan creation needs.
Back to the preparation of bread. In the last phase the rest of flour is
added together with yeast dissolved in water. All is well and accurately
kneaded, and classic long loafs are shaped.
A few cuts on the surface and they are left to rise and then baked in wood
oven. At this point, the only thing to do is to taste bread.
By the way, you will not find it on shelves of a supermarket. Instead, you
will have to go to Chiaserna or to the villages near Pesaro.
© 2001 Liberation Ventures Ltd.