Michetta: the Milanese bread

Taste the traditional dishes of Milano

Empty or stuffed, sweet or salty, the michetta has an easily recognisable taste, that of genuineness and tradition. It is a typical puffy panini that is usually empty inside and has a star-like shape. It is defined as the bread of the Milanese, called the “rosetta” in Rome, and is famous throughout the world gastronomy scene.

A widespread theory attributes the invention of this bread to the officials of the Austro-Hungarian emperor, who ruled over Lombardy and brought to Milan in 1713 the “kaisersemmel”, a small panini of about 50 to 90 grams. From here the Milanese obtained the famous michetta, eliminating some of the bread inside and in this way, creating a light and fragrant Panini.

Its name has origins in the Latin term mica which means crumb. Perfect at the table or on a picnic.

The recipe

Ingredients for approx. 20-25 rolls

 

1st dough

 

  • 1,5 kg strong flour (strong W 340-350)
  • 7,5 dl water
  • 30 g yeast

 

2nd dough

 

  • 150 g water
  • 25 g salt
  • 10 g powdered malt
  • 150 g flour

 

The first dough is technically known as a biga. Mix all the ingredients together well without kneading too much. Leave to relax for at least 18 hours at a temperature of 12°C. One of the secrets of getting the bread to rise properly is controlling the temperature of the dough.

 

Prepare the second dough by diluting the biga with water. Add salt and the malt. Knead for one minute then add the remaining flour.

If using a mixer, mix for 10 minutes at the first speed, and then for 5 minutes at the second speed. If you are kneading the dough by hand, knead it for at least 20 minutes.

 

Cover it and leave it to rest for 5 minutes, then give the dough another few turns and leave to rest for another 10-15 minutes. At this stage, the dough should be at a temperature of 21-22°C and be smooth and shiny in appearance.

 

Roll it out into a long sausage-shaped roll and grease it a little. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

 

Cut off the desired amount of dough to make the rolls and stamp the michetta rolls with the mould.

 

Leave the rolls to rest for another 30 minutes, covered with a sheet of plastic.

 

Preheat the oven to 250°C, put the rolls in the oven and add humidity (you can simply pour a saucepan of water into the dripping pan or onto a tray placed at the bottom of the oven).
Bake until the michetta rolls are golden and slightly browned.