Bring a taste of old-world Italy to your family's holiday table with this favorite from Verona, Nadalin.
Ciao a tutti, my name is Sara and I usually blog from CaffeIna. But today I have the great honor of sharing my recipe for Nadalin.
When thinking of what to share, I made myself an espresso. I grabbed a slice of bread spread with jam. I sat on the sofa and my mom worlds came to my mind “you should always remember and celebrate your roots”.
So, on this Christmas Eve’s post, I will cherish them.
By origins, she and I, don’t just mean the fact that I am Italian but more specifically that I come from the adorable town of Verona and from a very humble family. Many of you probably know that Italians don’t miss an occasion to eat pandoro and panettone at Christmas time.
I had several reservations, though, in making a pandoro (which was born in Verona!) for this post. Pandoro is pretty much well known around the world and…it takes forever to make it! I did not want to share a recipe that few would really have the courage to attempt. Also, pandoro is not “humble” anymore. It’s a famous dude!
That’s how I decided to instead share with you the recipe of the Nadalin. Nadalin is known as the father of Pandoro. Nadalin was born in a moment, place and family of poverty. I love Nadalin. All people from Verona love it! He is beloved and respected for his rustic nature and appearance.
So much less pretentious than Pandoro. So today I’m sharing with you the making of Nadalin in my new home, here in the US. Because Christmas should be about family, roots, simple things, and humbleness.
Nowadays, many people tend to buy a star-shaped mold but the truth is that Nadalin does not really have the shape of a 5 points star. As I said, it’s much more rustic than pandoro and the shape is supposed to be very irregular, recalling a multiple-points star without being well defined. As you can see, mine does not really look like a “refined” dessert. But that’s how you will find it if you go and buy it in one of those family-led bakeries that still make it in a limited amount. So, instead of using star shape mold, I simply
*The original recipe is still a secret property of a family of bakers (Perbellini). There are several recipes that go around but this one, coming from a small bakery close to my mom’s home, is the one I like the best.
One note: in theory, you should store the Nadalin in a plastic bag for 5 days before eating it but honestly…I cannot resist that long and I often take it out and cut it much earlier. So, you see? You are still on time to make your own Nadalin for this holiday seasons! If you enjoyed this traditional Italian dessert you may also like my Cannoli recipe.
- 17.6 oz or little less than 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 oz butter at room temperature and cut into small pieces
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp instant dry yeast
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.4 oz pine nuts
- confectioners’ sugar
- In a big bowl or on a flat surface, sift the flour and make the well.
- In the center of the well, put the eggs and lightly beat them incorporating a small amount of the flour.
- Then add all the other ingredients, except for the pine nuts.
- Mix all the ingredients fairly quickly until you obtain a compact dough. (don’t overwork it!)
- Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a big bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for about three hours, or until the dough has doubled in bulk (if you do not have time to finish the job on the same day, you can let the dough rise overnight at room temperature).
- When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350F degrees and proceed to shape the dough.
- Place the dough on the back of a cake pan sprinkled with flour. I made a few cuts into the dough and then stretched it in all direction. (If you like very defined and pretty dessert, I suggest you buy a star shaped mold)
- When you are done with shaping (or un-shaping) the dough, sprinkle the pine nuts on top, pressing them into the dough a little bit.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the crust starts getting golden (my oven bakes very slowly and it took me almost an hour).
- Let the Nadalin cool on a cooling rack completely and then sprinkle with abundant confectioners’ sugar.