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Do you know the peasant bread, a typical Neapolitan product?

CAD bread

Long leavening, mother yeast, rustic and honeycomb dough cooked in a wood oven: these are the characteristics of the peasant bread, the Neapolitan bread.

There is no one in Naples and, more generally in Campania, who does not know the recipe for peasant bread. Also known as Camaldoli bread because according to tradition it is precisely on this hill on the outskirts of the city that was prepared for the first time, it is characterized by its consistent dimensions (think that it can weigh up to 4 kg!). the crust 1 cm thick and for the crumb alveolation .

Respect for these characteristics, together with the preparation with mother yeast and cooking in a wood oven, make peasant bread a traditional agri-food product . It is in fact a typical recipe, prepared with an ancient method that has never undergone major changes over the years. Let’s see how to prepare homemade peasant bread.

CAD bread
CAD bread

How to prepare Neapolitan peasant bread with the original recipe

  1. Dissolve the mother yeast in a bowl with 25 ml of water . Mix well then add 40 g of flour 0 and knead to form a loaf.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film and let it rise in the oven off with the light on until doubled.
  3. Dissolve the dough again in 25 ml of water , add 45 g of flour 0 and knead a second time, letting it rise in the same conditions until doubled.
  4. Add 170 ml of water and start mixing, preferably with the planetary mixer equipped with a kneading hook. Alternatively, do it by hand.
  5. Add the two flours, mix one spoonful at a time alternating them with the remaining water with the salt dissolved inside.
  6. When the dough is strung, that is, twisted around the mold, transfer it to the floured pastry board.
  7. Spread it out to form a rectangle and make a round of three folds then rotate the block, spread it out again and make another round of three folds .
  8. Let it rest for half an hour and repeat the operation.
  9. Cover the oven pan with a clean cloth, sprinkle it with plenty of semolina and lay the dough, giving it the shape of a loaf.
  10. Let it rise in the refrigerator overnight (at least 10 hours ).
  11. Transfer the loaf to a baking tray left inside it for the entire period in which it heats up and cut the surface with diagonal cuts.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven at 240 ° C lowering the temperature to 220 ° C as soon as you bake. Cook for 20 minutes at 1/3 of the height, lower to 200 ° C and continue for another 15-20 minutes . We advise you to place 3 ice cubes in the lower part of the oven to develop steam.
  13. Let it cool before consuming it.

The peasant bread with mother yeast is really fragrant and is perfect with all dishes. Try it for example to make tasty bruschetta or take a look at our bread recipe .

Origins of peasant bread: why it is called that

Peasant bread is so called as opposed to aristocratic bread . The latter, of French origin, was prepared with white and very refined flours, it was pure white in color, almost totally devoid of crust and very soft. The peasant bread, on the other hand, was a rough, peasant bread , prepared with unrefined flours that took on a dark gray color when cooked. It had a thick crust, but this was to be considered positive because it allowed to greatly extend the storage times.

As for the origin of the name , it seems that peasant is to be traced back to the dialectal term ca’fune , that is with the rope. It is difficult to say whether the rope, the snare, of which we speak is the one that tied the suitcase of the peasants who arrived in the city or the one with which, always the peasants, carried the animals purchased at the market towards the countryside. What is certain is that over the years the term has remained and is used to indicate something rough , coarse, just like this bread from Naples.


This Neapolitan bread can be kept in a paper bag for a week . Alternatively, it can be frozen , already portioned, for up to 6 months .

Riproduzione riservata © - WT

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