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A friend once said 

I love Italian food because is honest. The recipes contain a few ingredients, so only ingredients of very good quality can give you a delicious dish.

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Dark bread typical of Trentino-Alto Adige

  • 50 g wheat flour

  • 30 g water

  • 5 g fresh yeast

Pour the water into a bowl, add a bit of the flour and mix. Crumble the yeast into the bowl, mix and then add the rest of the flour. Continue to mix and eventually work the dough with your hands for a few minutes until it appears uniform. Place the dough inside container with a lid. Place the container inside a cold oven, turn on the oven light (not the heating!) and leave the dough to rest for 24 hours. You have just prepared the biga. The day after it will be slightly liquid and sour. Now you can bake the bread.

  • 180 g whole rye flour

  • 125 g wheat flour

  • 200 g water

  • 13 g extra virgin olive oil

  • 8 g fresh yeast

  • 8 g fine salt

  • 2 g fennel seeds

  • 2 g cumin seeds or powder

  • 1 g coriander powder

  • eventually 2 g anise seeds

  • eventually 8 g malt (to make it dark)

Pour the lukewarm water inside a bowl, add the biga you prepared the day before, the oil and mix. Crumble the yeast, add it into the bowl and mix. Mix the two kinds of flour inside another bowl, add the salt, the seeds and the powders. Pour this new mixture, little by little, inside the bowl with water and mix gently for a few minutes, using your hands when the dough becomes too thick to use a spoon. At this point pour a bit of flour on a surface (e.g. kitchen table) and place the dough on top of it. Work the dough for 15 - 20 min using your hands.

When the dough is smooth, make it flat with your fingers, then roll it to form a bread roll. Cover it with a wet kitchen cloth and let it rest for 30 min. Repeat the operation, but this time roll it more tight and place it on top of a piece of oven paper. Let it rest for at least 1 hour.

Make three/four incisions with a knife on top of the bread. Bake the bread at 220 °C without ventilation for around 35 min, placing a glass/ceramic recipient with hot water inside the oven. The bread is ready when it looks brown and sounds a bit hollow when you knock on the bottom.

Place the bread on a cold grill at room temperature and let it cool down for a couple of hours. Cut in slices and enjoy! You can store it in a plastic bag for 2-3 days or freeze it.

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