Tigella-less tigelle

Tigella is the name of both a bread that is typical of certain areas in central Italy and the tool to cook it, an earthenware disc that was traditionally heated in the fireplace.

Typically, the bread is served with salumi, cheese (expecially stracchino/crescenza) and pesto modenese (lardo - cured pig fat, garlic and rosemary).

Nowadays, tigelle are usually cooked in an aluminium mold over the stovetop or an electric self-heating machine with aluminium or nonstick plates. Both are commonly available in the stores of said area, but not as common where I live, and they are quite a single use tool, worth buying only if you plan to use it extensively.

One day, I had some crescenza cheese in the fridge and a need for tigelle and I saw my Philips HD2384/70 sandwich maker lying on the countertop, with heating plates that have the wrong shape, but are otherwise quite similar to an electric tigelliera. Experiments had to happen.

The results are quite satisfying: taste and pattern are good (at least to a non-native tigella eater like me), and worked well for dinner for 2 persons. It is not, however, very practical to cook tigelle for lots of people: being able to cook just 4 triangles every 10 minutes limits the number of people you can serve, and I'm also not quite confortable leaving the sandwich maker on for more than 30 minutes.

I had planned to bake more tigelle and freeze them, but I decided to freeze the leftover dough instead.


I used a tigelle recipe from an italian cooking website, with some changes both in the ingredients (lard instead of butter) and the procedure.

For about 30 triangles (4-6 servings).

  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 25 g yeast
  • 500 g flour
  • 50 g lard
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Knead everything together, form a smooth ball and leave it to rise covered and in a warm place for a couple hours. Divide in 15 parts, form smaller balls and let them rest for a few minutes. Turn the sandwich maker on; when it has reached the cooking temperature flatten two balls of dough and place them on the plates, close the sandwich maker and cook for 10 minutes. Remove with a spatula, serve and cook the next tigelle.

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