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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Recipes, Uncategorized | 9 comments

Making bread with Nonno (simple and quick recipe)

Making bread with Nonno (simple and quick recipe)

This is a very simple recipe to make white bread- you need just flour, water, salt and yeast.

In the video, my Granddad (Nonno) showcases for us how to whip up a good everyday bread in a couple of hours, including raising and baking time.

Beware, this is NOT similar to the bread you will find in a bakery so I am not claiming this is “perfect bread”!  This is just a traditional quick recipe from those days in the countryside when time – and expensive ingredients like oil – were a luxury that most family could only afford in special occasions.


  • 1.2 kg plain white flour (“0”type)
  • 2 cubes of fresh yeast
  • Water
  • Salt


  • Large bowl
  • Pastry board (if you don’t have one, you can use any clean hard surface, lightly dusted with flour)
  • Oven tray
  • Baking paper


Crumble the yeast with your fingers and dissolve it in the lukewarm water.  Add a generous pinch of salt and stir.

Start adding the flour in three or four stages until you have added  more or less 1 kg . Mix it into the water with a wooden spoon until it’s too hard to stir.

Now, pour the mixture onto a floured pastry board and start kneading the dough. Use the leftover flour to dust the board, and incorporate it into the dough as necessary. Keep kneading the dough using as much energy as you can- don’t just roll it, but push it and toss it, as this will cause the gluten in the flour to break and make the dough hold together.

You will see that the texture changes and becomes smooth and springy.

Transfer the dough back into the bowl, cover with a lid or a cloth and leave to rest in a warm place.

After 1.5 to 2 hours, bring the dough back to the pastry board and knead again briefly without adding more flour (you can dust your hands or the board with a little flour to prevent sticking).

Shape the dough into two oblong loaves and slice the surface open with oblique cuts using a knife. This will make the crust crunchier!

You can leave it to rest for further 20 minutes or, if you’re in a hurry, just skip to the next step.

Lay the loaves in a tray lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven at 180° for about 40 min. Do not open the oven throughout but check that the bread is cooked by tapping the surface. It has to be quite hard and sound hollow.

Leave to cool down outside the oven and enjoy with olive oil and salt, or squeeze a tomato over it.



  1. It’s official. I love your nonno. The video (and the bread) are wonderful.

    • Thanks Linda, we love him too! If we both find ourselves in Abruzzo at some point, I’d like you to meet him and eat his food…

  2. I love his attitude to when it’s read:! “You just know” and “Check the timing with your eyes”. That’s experience talking! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing…MLT

    • Thanks MLT! yes that’s Nonno’s attitude to cooking in general- so hard to get proper recipes out of him ;) but he’s got so much experience, he never gets it wrong…

    • Thanks Louisa! Nonno will be happy to know he has another fan :)
      There should be another video coming up soon with a fantastic, typically Abruzzese recipe. Watch this space!

  3. Wonderful video. I am a Nonno too. I use the same recipe to make my bread, but I use a stand mixer with bread hook. Then I mist the bread with water 3 times for the first 15 mins. Makes it crusty. Thanks for sharing.

    • That’s a good trick! Will report to my Nonno, maybe one day he will finally accept some technology in the process and go for the mixer as well. Thanks for your kind words Michael!

  4. I found this and it made me miss my dad so much. We have a rule in our house that you have to make things by hand. That way, you don’t make them too often. Your nonno has the same rule!


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