Best bakeries in Rome

 

Any city break for me these days includes a tour of the city’s best bakeries. Finding the bakeries isn’t always easy, so I’ve decided to start a series of “Best Bakeries in [City]” posts to make research for other travelling bread enthusiasts easier. A bakery tour of a city is also a great way of exploring a place in a different way, discovering neighbourhoods you may not have otherwise stumbled upon, meeting fellow bread bakers and tasting delicious local bakes along the way. Here is my pick of the best bakeries in Rome.

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Piazza Navona
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Piazza Navona

Best bakeries in Rome

Having just spent a weekend in Rome, my Airbnb hostess was hugely helpful in finding two of the three bakeries I would like to recommend here as the best bakeries in Rome. I discovered the third bakery while exploring the historic centre by bike.

Dall’Antò
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 16

A wonderful bakery in Monti, central Rome’s urban village, dedicated to the rediscovery of heritage grains and old-fashioned, rare, artisanal flatbreads and pancakes. You will not find typical leavened bread loaves here. Instead, come here for rustic snacks made from chickpea flour (farinata), chestnut flour crepes (necci) and wheat flour pancakes which are first cooked in a flat pan called “testo” which is traditionally made of terracotta or cast iron and then boiled in salted water (testaroli). There is also an impressive library full of Italian bread books in the back of the shop. This is the place to come to for anyone interested in pure artisanal heritage baking.

Farinata with capers from one of the best bakeries in Rome
Farinata with capers from one of the best bakeries in Rome
Chestnut flour pancake with soft cheese
Chestnut flour pancake with soft cheese

Panella – L’Arte del Pane
Via Merulana, 54

An impressive bakery and pastry shop with a wide variety of breads, pastries as well as baked and fried snacks such as arancini and fried pumpkin flowers filled with rice, pancetta and mozzarella. Perfect for a treat any time of the day with a nice outside seating area to enjoy your snacks.

Pasticceria il Boccione
Via del Portico D’Ottavia, 1

Also known as ‘Il Forno del Ghetto’ and situated in the Jewish district of Rome, this kosher family-run bakery sells Roman Jewish classics which includes cookies like the biscottini (cinnamon and almond biscotti), crostata (sweet baked fruit tart), pizza ebraica (‘Jewish pizza’ – a sweet nut cake made with almonds, raisins, pine nuts and candied fruits) and torte di ricotta (ricotta cake). The Savour has a delicious recipe for pizza ebraica here.

There are of course other bakeries in Rome which deserve a mention here, so feel free to give a shout out to your favourite bakery in the comments!

Schüttelbrot – Recipe for South Tyrolean flatbreads

 

A month ago, I visited the Zillertal in Austria for a few days of skiing on the Hintertuxer Gletscher. The weather wasn’t as good as we’d hoped for, so we visited the village of Mayrhofen, and more specifically the Erlebnis-Sennerei Zillertal on the way there. It’s a great place to pick up some local cheeses and other dairy produce. I also picked up a new type of bread – “Schüttelbrot” – which isn’t very common in my neck of the woods in the North of Austria but what a revelation!

Eisacktaler Schüttelbrot from the Bäckerei Überbacher in Southern Tyrol

Eisacktaler Schüttelbrot from the Bäckerei Überbacher in Southern Tyrol
Eisacktaler Schüttelbrot from the Bäckerei Überbacher in Southern Tyrol
Crunchy Schüttelbrot
Crunchy Schüttelbrot

The ingredients on the label are listed as 83% rye flour, wheat flour, yeast, fennel, caraway seeds, salt and blue fenugreek (a spice which I also used over here to bake Vinschgerl – Rustic South Tyrolean Rye Flatbreads.

Schüttelbrot is the smaller, harder and more durable relation of Vinschgerl. Traditionally, Schüttelbrot has been popular on Alpine Tyrolean farms where using fresh produce wasn’t really a viable option.

The name ‘shake bread’ makes reference to shaking during the baking process which loosens and flattens the bread. The flat shape ensures the bread hardens quickly which in turn makes it very durable. The flatbreads need to be stored in an airy, dry space. They taste great with cold cuts of meat and cheese.

Here is my own Schüttelbrot –

My very own Schüttelbrot
My very own Schüttelbrot

Schüttelbrot Recipe

Day 1 – Prepare the sourdough

  • 25g sourdough starter
  • 125g dark wholemeal rye flour
  • 125g water

Combine the sourdough starter, rye flour and water in a bowl, cover and rest for 16-24 hours.

Day 2 – Prepare the final dough

  • 250g rye flour
  • 125g strong white wheat flour
  • 150g buttermilk
  • 300g water
  • 3g dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 2.5g fennel
  • 2.5g caraway seeds
  • 2.5g blue fenugreek

How to make Schüttelbrot

  1. Combine all ingredients including the sourdough starter from the day before.
  2. Cover and rest for 1/2 hour.
  3. Cover a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Using a dough scraper and take out dough at approximately 150g for each Schüttelbrot piece.
  5. The dough is quite sticky  and therefore it can’t be rolled out. The dough parts are therefore placed in a baking tray then shaken until each piece has been shaped into a round, flat form a couple of millimeters thick.
  6. Watch these videos for the traditional art of shaking the dough into shape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUyA5SCOLtA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYAnIH4fAbI
  7. This recipe produces dough which is even stickier than shown in the videos. By way of cheating, I have been using a silicone spatula to flatten the dough pieces into the appropriate shape! This works really quite well, so for those of us who aren’t quite mastering the art of ‘Schütteln’, this is a good workaround.
  8. Bake the shaken dough pieces at 210 °C for approx. 25 mins.
  9. Cool and dry on wire racks.