I Bibanesi narrated by Jacopo Fo

What are Bibanesi? What is their secret?

The magic of bread

Producing Bibanesi requires not only wheat flour, water, extra virgin olive oil, malt, lard and salt, but also a special, unique process.

Why are Bibanesi so good, crispy, crumbly and light?

The fragrance of bread, the real thing, is not something you experience every day. If you then add Italian extra virgin olive oil to it, along with a few selected, natural ingredients, the fragrance is enriched and becomes unique.

This is how Bibanesi are born.

A long and very slow natural leavening process

Flour and water are mixed together, and a touch of natural yeast is added to make the sourdough, which is left to rise for at least a day at room temperature. The yeast is activated and the sourdough becomes new yeast. It is a process similar to yoghurt: hundreds of billions of microorganisms make the dough leaven.

To make Bibanesi so good and crispy, a special flour is used. After many experiments, Manitoba flour was chosen, which is made from a wheat grown in the Manitoba region of Canada. But why in Canada, on the opposite side of the world? Because this wheat needs a special climate and soil to develop and grow at its best. Then by ship, the wheat crosses the ocean and arrives in Italy in large containers.

This flour has a special feature: it is rich in gluten. Gluten is a substance in the form of thin, elastic, twisted filaments. The network of gluten traps carbon dioxide, a gas that is produced during leavening. Millions of microscopic carbon dioxide bubbles push against the gluten web, expanding it like a balloon… It is from these bubbles that the dough rises and swells.

In the kneading machine, the leavened sourdough is mixed with more flour, extra virgin olive oil, water, lard, salt and malt. The result is a soft, smooth dough that is given the shape of a long ‘serpentine’, which moves slowly in a moist, warm leavening cell.

The dough and its transformation

When the dough comes out of the leavening cell, it is soft and easy to work with. At this point it is manually modelled and stretched because only the hands can lovingly caress the dough with a gentle touch.

If machines were used, it would not be the same. In fact, the mechanical pressure would cause the gluten to ‘unravel’, breaking its thin filaments and causing most of the carbon dioxide bubbles to escape.

It is important to stretch the dough by hand, gently and with love. Only in this way are the 4 million Bibanesi produced every single day all different, and each Bibanese becomes a unique piece that has many friends like it, but none with the same shape.

The baking process

At this point, the Bibanesi enter a new leavening cell, and then conclude their journey in an oven. In the oven the Bibanesi are many, and all different: you can find the small and thin one, but also the slightly chubbier one. It is important, however, that they all come out well cooked. Cooking takes almost an hour, which is a very long time: just think that it takes about 4 minutes to cook a cracker!

During the baking process, the water slowly evaporates, and the Bibanesi turn into crispy and appetising bread, to be happily munched with friends.

The secret of the oil

Among the secrets of Bibanesi’s goodness is a special ingredient: Italian extra virgin olive oil, produced in Puglia. This oil is obtained from an olive tree called Coratina, which is rich in valuable substances that are important for human health. These include antioxidants that help keep our body cells young. A lot of oil is used, which is checked and analysed so that it is always of the best quality and therefore makes the taste of Bibanesi unique. Not only the oil, but all the ingredients are chosen with care and attention. Bibanesi are a good, wholesome type of bread, which is why no preservatives or food additives are used. After they have been packed in bags that protect their freshness for a long time, you can find Bibanesi in shops and supermarkets. But please be aware that the most important secret of the magical goodness of Bibanesi is the passion we have for our work!