Orvieto has become our go to town for the weekly market, dinners out and meeting up with friends. The town is best known for its incredible white wine, Orvieto Classico, but also has had an amazing history since Etruscan times. If you’re nearby and your itinerary does not include Orvieto you are definitely missing out on great food, wine, museums and that incredible Duomo, it’s a beautiful city.
Although wine dominates the epicurean headlines of Orvieto there are a few culinary delicacies that are hidden within and this is one of them, Lumachella (plural lumechelle). Directly translated Lumachella means snail, referring to the shape of this savory bread. Found in bakeries around Orvieto, lumachelle are an awesome snack that pair nicely with an aperitivo or a quick bite with a glass of Orvieto Classico for lunch. The fillings will vary slightly from recipe to recipe, our favourites are made with bits of pancetta and pecorino cheese, we add a pinch of pepperoncino for a little spice.
It’s that perfect pairing of bacon and cheese turned up a notch with a touch of heat and who doesn’t love unrolling a snail shaped bread until you are left with that perfect tender, flavour packed, bite in the centre. There is no doubt Orvieto Classico is the king of Orvieto but lumachelle is definitely the queen. An authentic taste of an Italian classic, lumachelle, easy to make and hard to stop eating.
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup water (approximately)
- 1/2 cup lean bacon or pancetta
- 1/2 cup Pecorino
- 1 Tbsp lard (or bacon fat)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp yeast (or one envelope)
- pinch of salt & pepper
- Mix together warm water, 1/2 cup flour and the yeast.
- Let sit until it starts to bubble, add the rest of the flour and bring together until you can handle it by hand.
- Add cheese, bacon or pancetta, lard and olive oil.
- Knead for 10-15 minutes.
- Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let sit for about an hour.
- Divide into 12 balls (or more if you want a smaller end product).
- Roll out into a long snake and shape into a loose snail.
- Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Let rise for 15 minutes.
- Place in 375F oven for 20 minutes.
- Lower temp to 310F and bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.