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South Tyrolean Breads – An Ancient Tradition Revived

03.11.2014 - by Vitalpina Hotels Südtirol
Category: Gastronomy
 
Bread and fresh butter for breakfast, some Speck ham and crispy Schüttelbrot served with a glass of wine as a snack in the afternoon, and for dinner a portion of bread for the hot soup or sweet bread casserole with cinnamon: in South Tyrol, bread represents rural life.
At the turn of the twentieth century, every South Tyrolean farm still grew its own grain; later, milk and fruit cultivation almost entirely displaced grain cultivation in agriculture. Today the cultivation of grain and strict adherence to the traditional old bread recipes are again experiencing a vibrant renaissance in South Tyrol’s everyday culture.

No sooner was the fall grain harvest brought in and work in the field completed that mountain peasants of yore went about “preserving” the valuable raw material. Bread baked for storing for the upcoming half year was mostly made from rye. A wide variety of breads has evolved in South Tyrol’s different valleys, which have now become hearty, crunchy and flavorsome ambassadors for South Tyrol’s regional cuisine. Vinschger Paarl, Vorschlagbrot, Eisacktaler Leabele, Pusterer Breatl, Schüttelbrot and Zelten are just a few of the main players within South Tyrol’s bread-making tradition.
The South Tyrol Vitalpina Hotels draw from this invaluable tradition, giving special appreciation to this emblematic food by serving freshly baked bread at the breakfast table, giving courses in bread baking and telling stories about bread.

The most important aid in bread dough was, and still is, natural sourdough. This ancient way of making a natural leavening agent is still very popular today as a loosening agent and acidifier for wheat and rye bread dough. Many of the South Tyrolean breads owe their mild acidity, soft and airy crumbs and spicy taste to sourdough.

The main spices in the different types of South Tyrolean bread vary from valley to valley. Cumin and fennel were the essential components of the spice mix for bread; in some places clove, fenugreek, anise or coriander was also added, depending on the type of bread. The South Tyrol Vitalpina Hotels consciously use fresh, dried South Tyrolean mountain herbs, which naturally find their way into bread baking as well.

Bread baking is not for the quick boiler. Dough cannot be rushed: it needs rest and time. But then bread baking in the old farmhouse bakeries is an almost archaic act, a creative moment in which the very best is conjured up from South Tyrolean grains and herbs, with a great deal of sensitivity. Would you like to trace the mellow aroma of bread spices and, once again, appreciate and enjoy bread in a conscious way? By itself or accompanied by wonderfully fresh butter, honey, Speck ham or herb cheese: bread tastes delicious and is an expression of Alpine vitality. This return to the old traditions of cooking and baking – traditions that are connected to authentic foods but are applied with today’s knowledge about health and wellbeing – reflects the Vitalpina hoteliers’ return to a conscious lifestyle.

Restore your life force at the South Tyrol Vitalpina Hotels.

 
 
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