Try our “Panini alla napoletana”, or Neapolitan buns, baked according to a traditional, centuries long recipe using the best three hard cheeses and dry-cured bacon, called “Pancetta affumicata” in Italy. With all the ingredients having rich, zesty and unusual taste, Neapolitan buns are a true gourmet thing. Such buns are baked in Naples for spring and summer picnics when families head for the seaside. While baking, cheese melts, leaving little holes, which makes the dough porous, soft and airy. The buns have a buttery smack. Sometimes these buns are baked together with unpeeled eggs. Eggs are then separated from the buns and eaten with them. You can serve this awesome snack with red wine.
Ingredients for Neapolitan Buns
- 3 1/3 cup (800 g) flour
- 200 g dry-cured bacon
- 200 g Parmesan cheese
- 100 g Pecorino Romano cheese
- 100 g Provolone cheese
- 3-4 tablespoons lard
- 3 eggs
- Salt to taste.
- 25 g fresh brewer’s yeast
- Melt lard; dissolve brewer’s yeast in a glass of warm water. Heap the sieved floor on the table and make a hole in the middle. Pour in melted lard and add the yeast mixture little by little, kneading dough gradually. Knead until pliable.
- Then form a large ball and place it in a deep bowl, covering with a towel. Let rise for about an hour. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Dice the cheese and bacon. Combine.
- When the dough doubles in size, knead and transfer to the table. Knead in the filling. Now form buns about 3-4 inches in diameter (8-10 cm). Flat a few buns and stick washed eggs in the middle, criss-crossing with the dough on top. We used three eggs but you can take more if you want.
- Arrange all the buns on a baking paper lined baking sheet and let rise for 20 minutes. Preheat an oven up to 390 degrees (200 C).
- Then transfer the baking sheet in the oven and reduce the temperature to 450 degrees (180 C). Bake for 40-45 minutes. When the buns get nicely brown, remove the baking sheet and arrange the buns on a large serving plate. Let warm down and serve.
- If you like it spicy, you can add ground black pepper into the dough.