Here is another traditional recipe from Lombardy that respects I’m Morty, All souls. Pan the Mort (Literally “bread of the dead”) are distinctive Lombardy biscuits sold in bakeries between the end of October and the first week of November. They are in the shape of a diamond, chocolate biscuits, spicy, full of nuts and candied citrus peels, quite chewy but not crispy.
They are usually made with crushed biscuits but I think it’s too sweet. I prefer the gloomier version than And Kia Milano in Cochina By Ottorina Perna Bozzi, who manages without the biscuits. The dough involves white wine and it gives a subtle alcoholic hue; I made them with marsala, with vermouth and even with light red wine and they always come out delicious.
Pan the Mort Biscuits are preserved for a long time – in fact, unlike humans, they improve with age. Over the years I have been tinkering with the recipe and this is my latest version.
Spicy Chocolate Biscuits Pan Di Mort / All Souls from Lombardy
Makes about 30 biscuits
Adapted from And Kia Milano in Cochina By Authorina Prana Boozie.
Unrefined chopped sugar, 300 g
00 flour, 260 g
Fine wholemeal flour, 40 grams (I also tried with light rye flour and it also works)
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder 2020 update
A mixture of roasted walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, finely ground, 300 g (though not ground to a powder)
A mixture of candied, chopped citrus peels, 150 g
Roasted pine nuts, 50 g
Sweet mixed spices, 10 g (see notes)
1 orange grated finely grated
Unsweetened cocoa powder, 50 g
Bitter chocolate 70%, 50 g, finely chopped
Dry vermouth / white wine, 120 ml, approx
1 heaping tablespoon honey
2020 update: I tried everything in the food processor version, so to speak and they were better (I also added some baking powder).
I put sugar, flours, salt, baking powder, whole nuts, candied fruit cut into cubes, pine nuts, spices, orange zest and cocoa in the food processor and turned on until I reached a fairly fine granular mixture. I transferred the mixture to a bowl and added the finely chopped chocolate. Then I added the white wine + honey and worked until you could rub. I made two logs 18-20 cm long. I wrapped them and cooled until they were solid. From each log I cut about 16 biscuits (mark each log in half, then quarters, then mark each quarter into four parts). Lightly fasten each slice to a shape. Diamond (thinner).
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for 25 minutes. They will be crispy and cool and as a result they will soften as time goes on. They are indeed better after at least 24 hours. Powdered sugar before serving.
Place all the ingredients except the vermouth in a large mixing bowl and mix well to combine.
Add the wine and honey and start mixing the dough. Your hands are your best tool here: Squeeze the dough through your hands and put with your knuckles. It will look like it will never connect: be patient and keep kneading. Add some more wine only if really needed and the whole thing still feels crumbly and too dry.
When the dough became a crystallized mass, divide it into tangerine-sized balls. Flatten them into patties and give them a diamond shape with the help of the sides or palms. To make them more regular, you can now flatten the sides of the biscuits with a bench knife.
Place them on a lined baking sheet. They will not grow much, so they should not be too spaced apart.
Bake for 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. They will still be a little soft, but that’s fine, because they’ll be crispy when they cool. Eat them when they are completely cold, even if they enjoy a 24-hour rest. Keep at room temperature.
On sweet spices: Whenever I bake something that requires complex seasoning, I use this mixture: 3 teaspoons each nutmeg and allspice, 5 cm cinnamon bark; 2 teaspoons cloves, 5 cm dry ginger root – everything Roasted and finely ground in a coffee grinder. This recipe is actually from a beautiful book on English baking by Elizabeth David (Cooking English bread and yeast), But they lend themselves to most spicy goods.
Nato fuorimilano, lungamente a Londra, ora in Sempione (Mi). 2013 update: ritornato in the UK. Aperto un ristorante a Lyme Regio, nel Dorset Update 2015: venduto il ristorante e tornato a Londra … ora bisogna re / inventarsi … Il mio blog in italiano è: www.qbbq.wordpress.com (qbbq = Quanto Basta Basta Quanto) il mio blog / mini sito in English è: www.italianhomecooking.co.uk —————— I was born just outside Milan, so I lived in London, now back in Milan. Update 2013: I returned to the UK, we bought a restaurant in Lime Regis, Dorst Update 2015: More in London: We sold the restaurant and now it’s time to reinvent ourselves ….. Let’s see what happens … My blog in Italian is: www.qbbq .wordpress.com My blog in English is: www.italianhomecooking.co.uk
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