Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Music paper bread


Baking tools:

  • 40×35 cm baking tray
  • pizza peel


Dough, makes 10 ‘breads’:

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 100 very fine semolina,
  • from durum wheat *
  • 6 g salt
  • about 175 ml cold water


For rolling out:

  • ample flour mixed with semolina

Pane carasau from Sardinia: ‘rustling bread’, or because it  makes such a paper-like sound when crunched: Carta di musica, ‘musical card’ . A traditional bread because ancient dwellings excavated on the Island have proved that it was baked as early as at least 1000 B.C.

According to the Istituto Nazionale di Sociologica Rurale the dough consists of semola di grano duro rimacinata *, plain flour, water, yeast and salt. Modern authors give a recipe without yeast. Understandable, as for making the traditional version no less than three people (women)  are required. Guliano Bugialli shows this in Foods of Sicily and Sardinia (1996). The dough is baked in a wood-fired oven into a kind of small balloons. Then split in two and baked again so crunchy that it can be kept for months. It was meant for shepherds when they had to move their herds to other higher grounds on the island. But our ‘paper’, sealed hermetically, will keep for a long time too.

You can even cook a shepherds’ lasagna with it: pane frassau (broken bread): immerse pieces of this ‘bread’ for a moment in boiling water. Transfer with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Spread it in layers with a thick tomato sauce. On top a poached or fried egg, chunks of pecorino (sheep’s cheese) and thyme, rosemary or basil. Wine: rosé.

Also ideal to soak briefly in a sauce: instant pasta.

  • Mix flour, semolina and salt. Stir in the water with a knife until no dry ingredients are left . Knead quickly into a non-sticky ball.
  • Make a roll; divide into 10 equal pieces. Form little balls. Cover with a moist cloth. Leave to rest for a quarter of an hour to settle the gluten. After that the dough can be rolled out easier.
  • Preheat the oven to 230˚C/450˚F/gas 9 with the baking tray on the lowest shelf.
  • Powder a work surface with half flour, half semolina. Press down a little ball on it, roll out into a (sloppy) 23 cm circle. Dust on each side.
  • Slide repeatedly two of these dough circles onto the hot baking tray by means of a pizza peel: bake for 3 minutes, turn over and bake light brown in about 2 minutes. In between roll out another pair of little balls, and so on …
  • Can be reheated: brush with some water, bake 2-3 minutes at 180˚C/350˚F/gas 4.


* For sale in Italian specialist shops.

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