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pan di ramerino  

rosemary buns

makes 15 buns 

rosemary in Italian is rosmarino, in Tuscan it's ramerino and it's used with abundant raisins in these rich, perfumed holiday buns 

for the dough

5.3 oz (150 g) lievitina

2.5 g brewer's yeast (or .04 oz active dry yeast)

400 g flour 

1/3 cup (50 g) sugar

up to 1 cup (200 g) warm water

1 teaspoon (5 g) salt

1/2 cup (90 g) extra virgin olive oil

1 3/4 cups (200 g) raisins, plumped in hot water

4 Tablespoons (40 g) finely chopped rosemary needles,

1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water for glaze

for the sugar syrup

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

3/4 cup (150 g) very warm water

small piece of a vanilla bean

a few rosemary needles

for the lievitina

1 1/4 cups (200 g) flour or bread flour

1/2 cup (100 g) warm water

2 g brewer's yeast (or .03 oz active dry yeast)

The day before make a lievitina: melt the yeast in the warm water and add the flour mixing well to make a stiff dough. Let if rest  covered and in a relatively warm spot overnight and up to 24 hours.

To make the dough 

Plump the raisins to plum in warm water.

Warm 2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary in a pan with olive oil, let it bubble for a while so the oil absorbs the rosemary flavor, let cool and strain.

In the bowl of a stand mixer dissolve the yeast in half the warm water, add 5.3 oz (150 g) lievitina, flour and sugar, mix with the dough hook for 5 min; it will form a shaggy dough. Add the salt and slowly add enough of the remaining water so that it all comes together to make a smooth, dense dough.

Add the rosemary oil and knead with the dough hook on low speed for 10 minutes or so until dough has absorbed all of the olive oil, is smooth and not too sticky; this takes some time but the dough will absorb the oil (if you’re kneading by hand add the oil a little bit at a time). During the last few minutes of kneading squeeze the  raisins dry and add them with the rest of the finely the chopped rosemary.

When the raisins are incorporated and the dough has become a smooth ball let it rest in the mixing bowl covered with a dish cloth for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 15 small pieces weighing 65 g - 70 g each (just bigger than a golf ball). Form each piece into a smooth ball by tucking under the edges and rolling it around a bit to seal the bottom. Place the buns on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, distanced so they have room to rise, and flatten them slightly with your palm. Brush each bun with egg wash. Let rest 25 minutes in a warm spot.

Use a knife to incise a tic tac toe board on top of each of the buns cutting through the dough almost all the way through to the bottom. Brush with a second coating of egg wash and let rest in a warm spot until the buns have risen further, about 45 min - 1 hr.

Preheat oven to 180C/350 F, bake for 15-20 min until golden and puffed.

While they are in the oven make a sugar syrup with the water, sugar and a piece of a vanilla bean, bring it all to a boil and then let it simmer gently for 8-10 min, stir in a few fresh rosemary needles.

Remove the buns from the oven, brush with sugar syrup and and let them cool.

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