The Pane Ferrettato or Bread decorated with birds made in San Piero is a long term tradition. It is unleavened bread that is traditionally made over the Easter period and only in the town of San Piero.
The dough is thought to have Arabic origins, and once aniseed has been added and the dry dough has been cooked it stays fresh for a long time.
What makes this Easter Bread so special is that shapes of tiny birds and nestsplaced around a hard boiled egg are also made from the dough and then put on top as decorations to symbolize the fertility season: "omne vivum ex ovo".
The preparation of this bread is an art and the technique used in making the decorations has been passed down from generation to generation: according to the locals, women used to make this bread at home as far back as 100 years ago.
Today very few women know how to keep the tradition alive and the bread is made at the one and only bakers shop in San Piero.
This bread with birds is traditionally blessed during Mass on Easter Sunday.
The ingredients are 00 flour, water, salt, barm and aniseed; knead together till the dough is soft and pliable, then shape into a round base for the birds in their nests to sit on - serrated tongs are usually used to cut and shape the birds and their nests - then, once put into position in the centre of the disk a toothpick is pushed in to keep them upright. Bake in oven at 220° for 1 hour.
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