The House of Bread museum

by admin on 15/10/2013

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After our visit to Terra Noas, Roberto Atzini kindly showed us the way to the museum called “House of bread”. A house from the 1800s of the rich family Lai has been turned into a museum whose goal is to maintain ancient Sardinan traditions and, in particular, activities connected with bread-making.

This house was restored shortly by the Comunità Montana (Mountain community) and the Amministrazione del Comune di Villaurbana (Administration of the commune of Villaurbana). Inside, it’s possible to follow the path of bread, from the machines for harvesting and threshing via various types of grain to an exhibition of Sardinian breads like coccoi foll’e fa, moddixina, tureddu a fittasa, aniada, tureddu, coccoi pintau, all of them small masterpieces made by hand.

In order to make these breads, a sourdough starter was and is used. A sourdough starter contains yeasts and by feeding them, for instance,  flour and water, they can live for ages. The sourdough starter is mixed with water, salt or Himalayan salt, semolina or re-milled semolina, forming dough.  Shaping and decorating the dough by means of small tools (like tiny knives, etc.) due to the dexterity with which they are used, the shapes of the breads are turned into masterpieces. Not surprisingly, these elaborate breads are sometimes treated with preservatives in order to be given as a a sign of good wishes and in ceremonies like weddings, baptisms, communions, etc. When the shaping is finished, the breads are leavened during which food in the dough will be turned into carbon dioxide by the yeast, making the dough expand because the carbon dioxide will form air pockets. When the breads are baked, the yeast will die and the air pockets will remain.

There is also a Festival of bread in Villaurbana, a rediscovery of ancient tastes and ancient knowledge. All across the village, the public can participate in all phases of bread-making at home of the locals. Naturally, both the semolina, the re-milled semolina and the white flour from which the various types of bread are made, come from the Antique stone flour mill.

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