Cappelli bread is made by a special process that has been passed down from father to son for decades since 1930. The bread, which is a speciality of the Province of Chieti, is made with durum wheat flour, typical of the Abruzzo
hills and its unique smell, combined with the making of the culture yeast and the addition of sourdough, is what produces the traditional aroma.
The ingredients are: durum wheat semolina (10kg); water (8kg); culture yeast (pH 4.1-3.5kg); sourdough (pH 3.8-500g); salt (250g).
The production of this bread begins in the evening when one third of the culture yeast is mixed with two thirds of the durum wheat semolina, left for three and a half hours, then the operation is repeated, in the same proportions. When the dough doubles in size it means the culture yeast has leavened exactly and is therefore ready to use.
The sourdough is a piece of dough that the baker sets aside in the morning so it can be added to the next day’s bread; it is left in containers of cool water to encourage fermentation through production of acetic acids that
give the bread its delicacy and extend its shelf life to several weeks.
The kneading, carried out with traditional kneading machines, lasts about thirty minutes and the dough is left to rest in wooden containers that have been lined with coarse, dry cloths, so when the loaves are placed on them the dough does not stick to the cloth. These wooden containers also allow the raw dough to leaven naturally and as the yeasts reproduce in the presence of oxygen, acetic ethers are generated.
Leavening requires about three and a half hours. The dough is cut into loaves that go from 500g to 2kg in weight.
After this, the bread is scored and put in the oven. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the loaf. Inside, the bread is straw yellow in colour with pronounced oval-shaped pockets; it can be kept for several weeks.
Nutritional values per 100g of cooked product: protein: 15%; carbohydrates: 60%; fibres:1.5%; water: 28.5%; fats:0.5%; kcal: 276.
The most important element in making this bread is the raising dough, also known as culture yeast, which today’s baker still prepares in the traditional manner. Cappelli bread has been made for at least three decades and it has
various dialect names (“filoncino di municarella”; “coppietta”; “pagnotta alta”; “filone”; “cuscino”; “schirone”).