Here is my healthier version of the traditional recipe of “Panatino”, a delicious Tuscan sweet bread typical of the Pistoia mountains (Lizzano, Cutigliano, San Marcello Pistoiese) that brings to my mind memories of many years ago.
In the right quantities this delicious sweet bread can be an excellent option for breakfast, for a snack, or as a dessert at the end of a meal.
Ingredients of Panatino
• 300g of flour (I used wholemeal spelt flour while the original recipe simply includes 00 flour): learn why whole grains are healthier than refined grains.
• 200ml of water
• Half a cube of brewer’s yeast
• 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (in the original recipe there is a tablespoon of lard): learn why olive oil is healthier than lard, and read even more about the great health benefits of olive oil.
• A pinch of salt
• 100g dried figs (choose dried figs with only one ingredient, “figs”): discover the health benefits of figs
• 100g raisins (choose raisins with only one ingredient, “raisins”): read about the health benefits of raisins
• A sprig of rosemary (or a little less depending on your taste): learn about the cancer-blocking phytonutrients that can be found in rosemary
• In some recipes there is also a tablespoon of anise seeds but I did not put them
Procedure to prepare Panatino
• Dissolve the brewer’s yeast in the 200ml of warm water and add a teaspoon of sugar to promote leavening. Let stand for 5 minutes.
• Coarsely chop the walnuts and separately the dried figs.
• Rehydrate the figs and raisins in a bowl with warm water for at least 10 minutes.
• Remove figs and raisins from the water by squeezing them to remove the excess.
• Coarsely chop the rosemary needles and fry with a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive oil (in some recipes it is not planned to fry the rosemary but simply to add it to the dough).
• Start working by hand in a very large bowl the flour, a pinch of salt, oil with rosemary and the yeast water.
• After a few minutes, add the raisins, figs, walnuts and continue working for another 5 minutes.
• Transfer to a container, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place without drafts for 5 hours; I let it rest in the oven off (some recipes suggest instead to cover with film and make some cracks with a knife over the film to take a little air to the dough).
• Once leavened, take the dough and knead it by hand so as to give it the shape of two loaves and brush the surface with a little olive oil.
• Place in a preheated static oven at 180/200°C for about 45-50 minutes.
• Remove from oven and eat lukewarm.
❗Enjoy Panatino in moderation
Panatino is packed with healthy nutrients such as fiber, healthy fats, healthy proteins, and minerals. It is also calorie-dense so, in order to take full advantage of its health benefits, it is best eaten in moderation.