What is pitta?
Pitta is a baked specialty typical of the Calabrian bakery. It is a rustic, low, donut-shaped bread and excellent to fill with Calabrian specialties: tuna and red Tropea onions, ‘nduja, capocollo, provola Silana, peppers, eggplant, tomato and calabrian chilli sauce, or sardine-based filling (anchovies and sardines seasoned with chilli and wild fennel).
History of Calabrian pitta:
The term pitta derives from the Latin picta, meaning “painted,” and according to some, it reflected the Roman custom of using decorated focaccia as a gift to the gods. Other sources instead lean toward a Greek origin.
Historically, pitta was a product considered of lesser value than other bread. It was used to test the oven temperature for baking bread.
U’suffritt and u’morzeddhu:
Traditionally, the production of Pitta was closely linked to two other typical Catanzaro dishes: u’suffritt, prepared with pork mixed with offal, and u’morzeddhu, with cow tripe mixed with offal. These specialties are eaten strictly with pitta.
Calabrese pitta recipe
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- olive oil
- Dissolve the yeast in the water with the honey.
- Add the flour and knead vigorously, then add the salt and continue to knead for about 15 minutes.
- Let the dough rise in a bowl greased with oil for 6 hours in a warm place.
- Roll out the dough into a disc and make a hole in the center with a glass.
- Transfer to a dripping pan greased with a little oil and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes.
- Lower the temperature to 350°F and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Let cool and serve with your best Calabrian food.