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 resembles 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-savoury 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 recent years, however, I have gotten to work. So, without historical information, after research, tests, failures, I present to you my perfect recipe .

Maritozzi, croissants and... with tuppo!

Brioche in Italy comes in many ways, from the Maritozzo to the Croissant.

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

The brioche with tuppo is poetry. In my memory it is the ice cream at the Marina, it is the one in Via Montalbo hand in hand with my grandfather, the homemade granitas in the summers spent with my aunts, the snack at school, the first parties in primary school. In the savory version it is the giant brioscione that the mother patiently emptied to fill with all the goodness of God.

This simple but laborious (and certainly very slow ) recipe restores aromas and flavors that had been somewhat lost. This, unfortunately, is now a constant, since the artisanal product is subject to too much sale for it 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 delicious taste, by the soft consistency, by the pleasure of eating them freshly out of the oven. And maybe dip them in coffee with milk or chocolate.

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

Good brioches with tuppo!

Ingredients (for 10 brioches):

  • 250 g of sifted 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 cut into cubes
  • 170 g of milk qs
  • 10 g of salt
  • 10 g of honey
  • 50 ml 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' , also making a certain effervescent noise.

Dissolve the salt in a little more milk.

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 must try to pull and fold, or give elasticity to the dough. At this point add the remaining cold milk and also the milk containing salt.

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

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

Place 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 delicately transfer it to the pastry board, rolling it up slightly.

Make large balls for the base and small ones for the tuppo. Fold the detached flaps underneath 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 , large as I like them. I advise you not to make them larger than this size, in fact, the smaller they are, the better the brioche will be.

Create a small hollow in the center of the large ball, this will be the place for the tuppo. Place it on top, pressing lightly. Place the brioches, spacing them well apart on a baking tray, lined with special paper, and leave to rise again for 5 hours in the oven with the light on and off.

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

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

These brioches have a perfect alveolation : 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 delicious especially on the first day, but I won't deny that I ate them with satisfaction even on the third. As you may have noticed, I prefer them without any other flavoring than that of their basic ingredients.

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

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


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