In Sicilia la brioche è col tuppo

In Sicily the brioche is with tuppo

In Sicily the chignon is called tuppo and the cap of this celestial brioche looks like a tuppo! I have not yet discovered when, how and by whom the shape, which makes the difference, of this "bread" that I consider sweet-salty was born.

Once upon a time I just ate it, fantasizing about being able to prepare it. In fact, unfortunately, I don't have a handed down recipe. In the last few years, however, I've gotten to work. Thus, devoid of historical information, after research, trials, failures, I present my perfect recipe .

Maritozzi, croissants and... col tuppo!

The brioche in Italy is presented in many ways from the Maritozzo to the croissant.

But there is one certainty: the brioche with tuppo is only Sicilian . Piece after piece ( pizzuddo after pizzuddu ) it is soaked in the sweet granita. Try to cut it in half and you will see that it transforms into the soft container that welcomes the scoops (not scoops!) of the delicious, creamy homemade ice cream. By detaching the tuppo and using it as a teaspoon, you can enjoy the cold dessert, little by little.

The brioche with tuppo is poetry. In my memory it's Marina ice cream, it's the one in via Montalbo hand in hand with grandfather, the homemade granitas in the summers spent with the aunts, the snack at school, the first parties in elementary school. In a savory version it is the giant brioscione that the mother patiently emptied to fill with all the good things.

This simple but laborious (and certainly very slow ) recipe brings back aromas and flavors that were somewhat lost. This, unfortunately, is now a constant, since the handcrafted product is subject to too much sale to continue to remain so.

Try these brioches, they are delicious and very soft. The effort in kneading and the long wait will be wonderfully rewarded by the scent that is released, by the delicate but greedy taste, by the soft consistency, by the pleasure of eating them fresh from the oven. And maybe dip them in milky coffee or chocolate.

Of course, you have to get up a little early but, believe me, at least once it's worth it. I recommend, even if you own a planetary mixer, abandon yourself to the sublime joy of the handmade dough.

Good brioches with tuppo!

Ingredients (for 10 brioches):

  • 250 g of sieved Manitoba flour

  • 250 g of sifted 00 flour

  • 50 g of granulated sugar

  • 10 g of fresh brewer's yeast

  • 4 medium eggs at room temperature

  • 75 g of soft butter, diced

  • 170 g of milk qs

  • 10 g of salt

  • 10 g of honey

  • 50ml of milk


Dissolve the yeast and sugar in a little warm milk and wait for it to become active. This means that it will have to release bubbles, which usually appear on the surface within about 10' , even making a certain effervescent noise.

In another little milk, dissolve the salt .

Use a large bowl to create a fountain of flour with the eggs in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and honey and start kneading. Transfer everything onto a well-floured surface and continue to knead vigorously for at least 10-15 minutes . You have to try to pull and fold, or give elasticity to the dough. At this point add the remaining cold milk and also the one containing the salt.

When everything is well absorbed, add the butter and knead for at least another 10'-15' until it is perfectly incorporated.

The dough could be a little soft, don't worry: the important thing is that the dough is so elastic that, if pulled, it doesn't tear.

Put it in a bowl and cover it with cling film.

Place it in the lower part of the fridge for 18 hours . After this time, bring it back to room temperature for 1 hour , then gently transfer it to the pastry board, rolling it up slightly.

Make big balls for the base and small ones for the tuppo. The detached flaps fold them under the base.

The balls must have the same size, to maintain uniform cooking.

I chose 80 g for the base and 15 g for the tuppo , as big as I like them. I advise you not to make them larger than this size, on the contrary, the smaller they are, the better the brioche will be.

Create a small hollow in the center of the large ball, it will be the housing for the tuppo. Place it on top by pressing lightly. Place the brioches spacing them well from each other on a plate, lined with special paper, and let them rise again for 5 hours in the oven off with the light on.

Subsequently, create a mixture of yolk and milk. Brush evenly, being careful not to overdo it, otherwise the golden coating will be too thick and hard.

Image of freshly brushed brioches with tuppo with egg yolk and milk

Bake in a preheated static oven at 170° for about 30' .

Image of freshly baked brioches with tuppo

These brioches have perfect honeycombs : a culinary term borrowed from geology, which indicates a well kneaded and leavened product, inside which there are many dense and minute air niches.

The brioches with tuppo are very good especially on the first day, but I won't hide from you that I ate them with satisfaction on the third too. As you may have noticed, I prefer them without any flavor other than the base ingredients.

A genuine and buttery taste, with a slightly salty edge that marries beautifully with the sweet one.

Enjoy your meal in the name of ancient tradition and family warmth.


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