Baked bagels

Baked bagels

Friselle

By
From
Sharing Puglia
Serves
6
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

One will never go hungry in Puglia if you have friselle on hand. Also known as frise, these dried bagel-like rolls are simple, yet very satisfying breads that are made all over the region. Legend has it that people used to (and still do) dunk the frise in the sea and then pile all the ingredients on top. Traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven, frise were eaten as an alternative to fresh bread. The hole in the centre was used to tie the frise together, when transporting or storing them. You can buy them in packets in Italian food stores, or you can try and make your own. We have provided three different ideas for toppings.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Friselle

Quantity Ingredient
25g dried yeast
500g flour, ideally durum wheat flour
200ml warm water
A pinch salt
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Eggplant topping

Quantity Ingredient
* pickled eggplant [rid:27358], to taste
1 small red chilli, chopped
50g capers in brine

Tomato and anchovy topping

Quantity Ingredient
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
155g pitted black olives, roughly chopped
10 anchovy fillets in olive oil, torn
handful basil leaves, torn

Ricotta and salmon topping

Quantity Ingredient
50g fresh ricotta
250g smoked, cured or raw salmon, sliced
1/2 lemon, zested

Method

  1. To make the starter dough for the friselle, in a bowl combine the yeast with 200 g of the flour, the warm water and the salt. Cover and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  2. Put the remaining flour on a large board and make a well in the centre. Place the starter dough in the well and slowly work the rest of the flour into this dough, adding a little more water if needed to make a smooth elastic dough. Knead the dough on the board until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  3. When smooth, make 20 cm long ropes, about 3 cm thick. Make the dough into rings (bagel shape) and press the edges together well. Place the formed dough rings on a lined baking tray, about 5 cm apart. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for 2 hours in a warm, non-draughty spot.
  4. After 90 minutes preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Bake the friselle in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden. When cooked, remove the friselle from the oven and carefully cut them horizontally through the middle. Return them to the oven, cut side up, and bake for a further 10 minutes until they are completely dry, but not burnt.
  6. Cool the friselle thoroughly. When ready to serve, dunk the dried friselle in some cold water for about a minute so they are moist but still crunchy (not mushy). Immediately pile the friselle with the topping of your choice (or any other ingredients you like). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, drizzle over some olive oil and serve. Store the friselle in a sealed container.
Tags:
italy
italian
puglia
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