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Bread as it once was: the 10 best artisan bakers in Italy
Bread as it once was: the 10 best artisan bakers in Italy

I evaluate the leavening, I judge the cooking, I calculate the seasoning, I establish the fragrance. Maintain attention on the bread I buy it's hard. A stress that I could avoid by doing it at home, choosing undenatured flours and preserving the yeast as it used to be. The problem is that, like you, I lead a hasty existence.

Fortunately, after decades of industrial production that has removed flavors, smells and identity, which has pre-cooked and frozen it, especially wasted, bread now seeks its total rehabilitation.

We widen our nostrils with pleasure to welcome the scent of fresh bread, we appreciate it when it is made with quality flour, natural fermentation and mother yeast (but without additives and improvers).

I also learned what are the characteristics of good bread. For example, a crumb that has small and well distributed bubbles, the large ones are often the indicator of a fast leavening, of the brewer's yeast that has swollen.

But where are the protagonists of this one revolution on the contrary? THE retro-innovators, the bakers who defend bread from lightning processes or from the abuse of brewer's yeast, guilty of canceling the smell of wheat?

Dissapore tells you this (with the usual interest in your integrations).

10. Carlo Eugenio Fiorani

Cremona Agricultural Company, you can find it in the markets.

carlo eugenio fiorani
carlo eugenio fiorani

Since 2012 he has had a farm where he processes pork and transforms agricultural products into jams and sauces. Besides, of course, dealing with bread.

With the determination and the pride of following the entire supply chain, starting with the Bologna-type soft wheat grown on its own. As do the paysan boulanger, a movement of peasant bakers that in France is changing the history of bread.

He does not lack the pleasure of experimenting, see the loaves with desiccated fruit, those with pumpkin and hamburger bread. Far from the time when he learned bread-making techniques from …

9. Massimo Grazioli

Grazioli bakery, via Rossini 15, Legnano (MI)


Bake 40 types of bread, one for each year spent in the ovens, all made from mother yeast. The desire to make bread by rediscovering the ancient way of baking has never passed him, indeed, few like him are generous in passing it on to new interested parties like Carlo Eugenio Fiorani.

Sure, he's an extravagant type.

At the Mercato del Duomo in Milan he started selling cannabis bread, on the other hand with three kilos of raisins for one of flour he still makes Pan Tranvai, so called because after World War II it was sold at the tram stop.

8. Simone Rodolfi

Scent of Yeast, via Corsica 86, Brescia

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He is only 29 years old but to the sound of Apulian baguettes, loaves and breads made with sourdough he has already twice won the title of best baker in the world: in Lyon in 2007 and in Verona in 2010.

In his shop in Brescia, the patisserie sprinkled with France with pan au chocolat and brioche with butter was appreciated. Then all the variations on the Panettone theme, which in itself is a specialty: fragrant pandoro and an enviable production of sweets for the holidays.

7. Alessandro Battazza

Lièvita, viale Emilia 18, Riccione.


Pedalos, umbrellas and roasted tourists. I know, the image seems hard to reconcile with an unmissable gourmet destination such as the minimalist workshop where Alessandro Battazza cooks bread on the grill, or in traditional Serbian earthenware pots.

And it does not do it out of fashion but out of conviction, just like the broken wheat bread (coarsely crushed) and ear of the “miracle”, a native Emilian variety. But we are still in Riccione, where the generous breakfasts after a sleepless night are much appreciated. The dual training of ours, baker and pastry chef-maître chocolatier, has made him a specialist of the genre.

6. Antonio Lamberto Martino

Workshop in progress

Screen shot 2016-06-24 at 12.04.45
Screen shot 2016-06-24 at 12.04.45

For those who missed it, let's talk about the new judge of Bake Off Italia, talents for pastry chefs. It promises to be the "good one", for now we know it will be the good one.

Certainly good: the thirty-year-old Sicilian who moved to Tuscany has a degree in Agronomy and has long been preparing for TV in his "Workshop in Corso", where he teaches the ancient technique of dough and the use of sourdough.

The house specialty is manual skills, even by force of circumstances. At 28, he discovered he had Crohn's disease which brought him closer to more digestible grains. Today it only processes flours with a low quantity of gluten, less malleable, such as Kamut and monococcus.

5. Maurizio Spinello

Santa Rita oven, C.da Santa Rita (CL)

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See under achievable dreams (in the 1990s).

He started with a bank loan and a jar of grandma's sourdough. But even today that, starting from Santa Rita, a village with a few dozen inhabitants near Caltanissetta (plus a few tourists who follow his baking courses), owns a bakery known throughout Sicily and a newly opened pasta factory, speaks of desire of working and unjustified abandonment of small towns.

The specialty of this authentic retro-innovator is an organic bread produced with the ancient Sicilian grains of the Molini del Ponte di Castelvetrano, baked in a terracotta oven with almond and olive wood.

4. Pasquale Polito & Co

Brisa oven, Via Galliera 34, Bologna


The geographer Pasquale Polito is one of the doctor-artisans baked by the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo, which since 2013 has been organizing "High Apprenticeship", a master's degree for food craftsmen such as brewers and bakers. Together with him: Davide Sarti, Gregorio De Agostini, Enrico Cirilli and Esmeralda Spitaleri, that is the Mastra Birraia.

Blessed with an article by Carlin Petrini, founder of Slow Food, they opened a bread and pizza workshop in Bologna, followed by a Brisa-branded brewery.

The union is strong even in agriculture: they believe in "evolutionary mixtures" (they mix different varieties of wheat previously abandoned, obtaining better nutritional characteristics), they make large-sized loaves, even 2 kilos, on a regional basis: Emilian specialties, the bread of Marche with walnuts, up to ancient Sicilian grains.

They will soon have their first flour, obtained from eight hectares of wheat in Abruzzo.

3. Ezio Marinato

Marinated Bakery, Via Roma 134, Cinto Caomaggiore (VE)

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Since today there is Italy - Spain, I present to you the European bread-making champion of 2002, as well as the trainer, in 2011, of the Italian team for the European Cup in the Netherlands. In short, one who has converted hordes of young bakers to white art.

Artisan esthete, he makes loaves that would look good even in a museum of modern art (the most beautiful: pan polenta and corn breadsticks).

To see them you have to go as far as Cinto Caomaggiore, a small town between Veneto and Friuli, where his bakery is located. Or sign up for one of his frequent courses that he teaches in the best Italian training centers.

2. Davide Longoni

Davide Longoni bakery, Via Tiraboschi 19, Milan


More than a degree in literature or a master's degree in communication, it was his inspiration, Eugenio Pol, who gave him the strength of an expression such as "bread of the past" (see position number 1).

In the beautiful Milanese shop, and recently in a laboratory in Rozzano inside the Cascina Sant'Alberto, there are breads made with ancient cereals such as rye and spelled, or with olives, obviously wholemeal, or mixed with tummina, wholemeal flour organic durum wheat from Sicily.

His latest project? Robetta from nothing: the Mercato del Suffragio in Milan

1. Eugenio Pol

Vulaiga bakery, V ia Rizzetti 22, Fobello (VC)


The retro-innovator par excellence. Or, in the opinion of many, bread made person.

He starts working at two in the morning to make 500 kilos of bread a week, he doesn't use leavening cells, there aren't any in the small workshop in Fobello, a town of a few hundred inhabitants in Valsesia. Instead, it uses a sourdough obtained with 50 percent of monococcus, the first cereal to have been cultivated by man over 10,000 years ago.

Senatore Cappelli and Gentil rosso are the other two grains used by Pol, the flours obtained are then ground by Renzo Sobrino, miller in La Morra, in the province of Cuneo.

Icon of natural yeast, or rather, iconography: today even the most famous chefs reach Val Mastallone ("Where good water flows", says Pol) to understand how in this kind of bucolic hermitage our bread is so good, that it also lasts two weeks. "Fresh bread to make every day is another modern oddity", says Mr. Pane.

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