It was brought to Italy by Aeneas, when the hero sung by Virgil in the Aeneid landed on the Salento coast of Seaport of Badisco… It dates back to the times of the Crusades when the knights, who set sail from the ports of Puglia at the time of the Holy Land, used it for low cost and long preservation, edible as soon as wet in water and ideal for strenuous crossings… Durum wheat flour was exclusive to wealthy families, unlike barley flour, which appeared more often on peasant tables.
As you can see, many stories and legends are told about Apulian Frisella, but which one is closer to reality still remains a mystery.
What about the origin of the name? Also in this case there are several theories and one of the most accredited leads to the Latin term “frendere”, or grind, reduce into small pieces.
Just what happens when we dip the frisella in the water.
With or without hole? Difficult to find a reliable answer because the history of this recipe is really ancient. Therefore it seems that its shape is due to transport needs, as evidenced by the central hole of the typical Salento frisa, probably designed to allow, thanks to a cord, to keep several of them together, comfortably.
Of course, however, it remains that today it is a recipe in vogue in the apulian summer and suitable for long trips. So dear tourist, student and out-of-office worker, start the supplies. Here is the recipe to fill the longing:
Ingredients (for 10 pieces):
- 1 kg semolina with durum wheat
- 25 gr dry brewer’s yeast (250 gr sourdough)
- 700 ml water
- 20 gr salt
Place the durum wheat flour in a large bowl and knead with water (where salt has been dissolved) and yeast (brought to room temperature). Finish kneading on the pastry board until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough and then let it rise in a covered container (preferably wooden) for about 4-5 hours or otherwise until it has at least doubled.
To help the rising you can put it in the oven off with a small pot of hot water.
Once leavened, cut the dough punches of about 150-180 gr, sphinx until you get strands about 25 cm long and 2-3 cm thick and shape of donuts.
Place the friselle on a lined baking sheet and let it rise until double the volume, covered with a cloth.
Then bake the friselle in a hot oven at 200°C for about 15-20 minutes.
Once this time has passed, take them out and still hot cut them horizontally along the median axis, helping you with a serrated knife or with a string and executing a choke cut, this will allow you to obtain a good roughness of the surface of the friselle.
Lay the two halves on a baking sheet with the cut part facing upwards and bake to make them biscuit, they will have to cook for about 30 minutes at 150°C.
How to season Friselle:
After moistening with water you can dress them as you prefer: oil, salt, oregano, cherry tomatoes and onion or with a tasty pepper or with simple grilled vegetables or with olive paté or with aubergines in oil. The choice is yours!