Bussolano, the typical Easter dessert of Mantua

In all probability there is no state in the world with a food and wine heritage capable of equaling the Italian one. When we talk about typical desserts, we enter a vast world. Take for example the they compassalso known as compass o boila typical Easter dessert widespread especially in the Mantua area. This sort of slightly leavened donut it has very ancient origins and is usually served cut into slices and soaked in wine. Let’s find out the story and the recipe, today slightly different from the original.

History of the bush

Many trace the origin of the bush to the mid-seventeenth century. In reality written traces reveal its presence at the court of Isabella d’Esteabout two hundred years earlier. Here it was above all his children who were fond of it, while the noblewoman believed it was the cause of her heartburn.

“We are very thankful for the feast sent to us, of which we have not eaten, however, because we find that our stomach hurts, causing us a certain burning; but we gave it to Hercule and Ferrante, who enjoyed it on our site”.

In fact, it remains a dessert of humble origins: just look at the ingredients and the total absence of yeastnon-existent at the time.

Bussolano recipe

As often happens with traditional recipes, it is also difficult to identify a single one for Bussano. In fact, the ingredients are always the same, that is flour, eggs, butter and sugarwhile the proportions vary from family to family.

As mentioned then, the original recipe did not provide for the use of yeast which today, albeit in small quantities, is used together with milk to make the cake softer.

Ingredients of the bush:

  • 250 g of flour
  • 70 g of sugar
  • 70 g of melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ sachet of baking powder
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

How to prepare the bush

It is a preparation without too many frills, thanks to its peasant origins. For this reason it is sufficient to combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix, first with a wooden spoon and then by hand on a work surface.

Then give the dough the shape of a loaf of bread or a donut thickness of 3cm and bake in the oven 170°C for 25-30 minutes. Let it cool before serving, accompanying it as tradition dictates with a glass of wine.

We could say that the bussulano is a typical sweet of the holy days in general, not only of Easter therefore but also of Christmas. Try it on its own or cut into slices and soaked in Lambrusco: it won’t disappoint you.

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