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Pane Carasau, Flatbread in Sardinia
Pane Carasau is the most famous kind of Italian bread, or pane, originating in Sardinia. Traces of Pane Carasau flatbread have been found in nuraghi, Sardinian stone structures dating back to the Bronze Age (3,500-1,200 BC). Some believe that the name is sa cara, “the face” in the Sardinian dialect. Carasau would therefore mean “faced” in reference to the unique process of placing it at the mouth of the oven for a few moments until it inflates from the heat.
Another origin could be in the Sardinian verb carasare, indicating the formation of the crust that characterises the bread. It is also called “music paper” due to its thinness, colour and the noise it makes when eaten.
Pane Carasau is made using durum wheat flour, salt, yeast and water. Traditionally, at least three people were required to prepare it. To the adept the task of making the dough, and laying it out in round, flat circles, which are then placed in a blazing wood-burning stove. The sheets, quickly inflating like balloons, are taken out, carefully cut, then put one on top of the other for one more stint on the fire. This procedure, known as the casatura, is what gives Pane Carasau distinctive crispiness, as well as its unmistakable hue.