Tigelle

I have fallen in love with a food show called “Somebody Feed Phil.” Or maybe I’ve fallen in love with Phil himself, cause he’s adorable. Previously known as the executive producer of the popular American show, “Somebody Loves Raymond,” he somehow created his own show going around the world experiencing food!

So, is he like Anthony Bourdain? Oh my goodness no. In fact, I’d call Phil, whose real name is Phil Rosenthal, a sweet, goofy, fun- and food-loving nut! And let me say this. I’ve never teared up so much watching a food show.

So in one show about Chicago, which he calls “the city that tries to kill you” because of all of the fabulous food there, like the wonderful Chicago pizza, he goes to Monteverde, an Italian restaurant co-owned by Chef Sarah Grueneberg. And it was on this show that I first heard of tigelle.

Tigelle, pronounced ti-gel-ay, are little yeasted round breads that look similar to English muffins in the U.S. They originate from the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, and can also be called crescente.

But it was what Chef Sarah did with the tigelle that got me wanting to investigate. She sliced one horizontally, added burrata, prosciutto butter, a thin slice of melon, and then prosciutto. Phil looked like he’d reached nirvana! Of course, all Phil has to do is look at a donut and his face really lights up!

Anthony Bourdain, god rest his soul, will always have a special place in my heart. But Phil Rosenthal, you are my hero!

The recipe I’m using is from the website called Great Italian Chefs. Tigelle recipes were not in my Italian cookbooks.

I spent a few days searching for a tigelliera, which I learned is the press with which to make these, and lo and behold, I found one on the website Taglia Pasta. If you want one check it out here.

The dough for these is a basic yeasted bread dough. And just fyi, if you use yeast regularly, buy it in bulk. I keep this bag, that was once a 1-pound bag, in the freezer and pull it out when I need it. Here’s a pound of yeast on Amazon for $7.80. Don’t buy the little packages! It would add up to about $70.00!

Tigelle

500g or 2 cups of 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
150g or 5 ounces lukewarm water
150g or 5 ounces lukewarm milk
25g or 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5g or 1 teaspoon dried yeast
5g or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine the milk and water and stir in the yeast. Leave for 10 minutes to activate the yeast (I always sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the yeast first.)

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the oil, then stir in the milk mixture with a spoon. Once it starts to come together, tip out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until you have a nice, smooth dough.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and leave somewhere warm to proof for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, knead for a minute, and cover and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Then roll out to 1/2” thick. Use an 8cm cutter to cut the dough into discs. Re-roll trimmings and cut out more until all the dough is used, placing them all on a parchment paper-lined tray.

Let the dough proof for one more hour.

Heat the tigellieria over medium-high heat on a gas stove. Cook six at a time, for about 4 minutes on each side. Make sure to oil both sides of the press.

They should be puffed up and slightly browned.

It took a little time to get them to the proper color. Sometimes the dough squished a little, but that’s okay.

Like I mentioned, tigelle are just a basic bread dough, but once they cooked and sliced open, they are a vehicle for just about everything good that is Italian!

I put out prosciutto butter, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, melon slices, and some arugula.

I got the idea for the prosciutto butter from the show. I simply mixed a herbed garlic compound butter with prosciutto in the food processor. And wow is it good when it melts on hot bread!

Hopefully I’ll get the hang of using the tigelliera and do a better job next time. I saw someone in a video using small scissors to trim around each tigella and make them perfect rounds, but I like the rusticity of these.

61 thoughts on “Tigelle

  • OMG, we were in Modena 2 years ago and I had tigelle. Emiglio Romano truly has the most amazing food in the world. Thanks for making this and sharing the recipe and the tip to watch Phil.

  • Fascinating bread!!!!! I love the show too, he is simply genuine and sweet and adorable.

    I cannot splurge on a tigelle thingie right now, but maybe in the future….

    • Yes! I was really late discovering the show, but I made up for it binging and laughing and crying my way through them!

    • He really is like a little kid, isn’t he?! At first I thought his ways would be annoying, but he’s truly sincere in his food-loving passion!

  • So, in order to make these English muffin like tigelle, you even bought a special tigellieria. Wow..you are truly a foodie! My kitchen is over loaded with all the stuff I bought and it’s a nightmare when you have to tidy and clean the kitchen. I NEED a bigger kitchen. Those tigelle look terrific, Mimi.

    • I know. I’m lucky I have a basement. That’s where most of my extra pots and pans and appliances are. These were just so truly unique I had to make them the right way. And I will be making them again!

  • Ooh, thanks for the food show recommendation – sounds like one I’d totally enjoy! And these tigelle look amazing! I definitely have Emilio Romana on my list for travel, once we are able! Stanley Tucci show was first I’d seen of that region!

    • Oh, that’s a fabulous show as well, for different reasons. He’s also charming, though. My favorite was Sicily. Amazing seafood!

  • How clever it that! You mentioned that the prosciutto butter melted on the warm bread, I think ideally they should be cooked while everyone gathers around the kitchen counter. Really awesome Mimi. We do grilled cheese parties when everyone gathers around the panini maker.

  • Those look really nice. I’ll give him a watch, I quite enjoyed Anthony bordain as he always felt a bit edgy and I often find American food shows either extremely cheesy or just stuffing their faces for kicks which is just gross. AB, Netflix chefs table (one of the best food shows ever) street food, taco chronicles and salt, fat, heat acid the exception.

    • I agree with you on those shows. And honestly, you might find him cheesy. I just think he’s really endearing, but he’s not trying to be an expert anything but a food lover!

  • Oh yes, it’s such a fun show! Definitely a welcome escape from everyday life, literally, for all the incredible travel. I love how you took that inspiration and ran with it here. Beautiful and delicious!

    • Thank you Hannah. I’m lucky I discovered it during the pandemic. It provided hours of fun and amusement and also getting introduced to new foods, like these breads!

    • Anthony Bourdain was a god. This guy is like a loveable angel! Pick one episode out of any of the seasons, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with him! And yes, these breads are fabulous, and fun to make!

    • I always think if I prefer rustic just because it’s easier but it’s really because I have no patience! So I call it rustic and my job is done!

  • what cute little round breads these are. and i love the press! i’ve not heard of Phil but he sounds like fun. I always laugh when i hear of that show Everybody loves Raymond cos i really did not love him or the show:-) Awful stuff. i hate people insulting each other; not my kind of humour at all…

    • I get that, but it’s such an Italian American thing! And the mama of Italian boys never wants another woman in their lives! Phil is just sweet and endearing. I have no idea if you can find it where you live, but I don’t understand networks. The breads arent’s, by themselves, something as exceptional as, say, a croissant, but as sandwiches they’re really incredible!

  • These are absolutely gorgeous, I love this Tigelle press. I’ve never had Tigelle before, and you’ve got me craving it with your pics and description. Sounds absolutely delicious! And I’m putting Somebody Feed Phil at the top of my list of shows to watch!

    • I hope you like Phil. It’s not your typical food show. But boy he gets around, and tastes and enjoys and his eyes roll back in his head! I wish he was my uncle!!!

  • I’ll have to check out Phil’s show – I love a cooking show that keeps me entertained. So many of the ‘main-stream’ food shows are just boring in my opinion. Phil sounds like a character! And I actually have seen tigelle around here, but I didn’t know what they were. (We have a big Italian population in the area with lots of authentic Italian grocery stores…that’s where I stumbled across tigelle.) I want to make a batch myself now…and then fill it with burrata and prosciutto butter (!!) :-)

    • He’s not an expert, although he’s been around. He’s just a passionate guy, sort of a sweet geek, and has no problem with it. He lives a great life. His wife was on Raymond also, and she and their kids pop into shows occasionally, and he also facetimes his elderly parents at the end of each episode. You’re lucky to have a Little Italy where you live. Next time you see tigelle grab some!

    • They were so good my husband had to leave the room! They were warm and cheesy and sweet and spicy and just fabulous!

    • Well you’re way ahead of me! I’d never heard of them. So fun. Just yeasted bread dough, but so good!

  • Now you made me interested in that show, I love travel and food shows that is why I missed Anthony B a lot and just watch the reruns. BTW that bread looks like fun to make, reminds me of English muffins but flatter. I bet it would be good with anything you throw on it, bacon, ham, cheese, salmon, etc

    • Exactly! Just fun little breads, not great just by themselves, but you could also eat them for breakfast with jam I imagine. Not exactly English muffins, maybe more like crumpets? This show is not in Anthony Bourdain style at all. He was the best. But it’s really fun and I still get introduced to wonderful foods like these tigelle!

  • Perfect street food indeed ! Love your prosciutto butter idea and since there is no sunbathing this year ( again ) and nobody cares about the waist line I could easily get hooked ! Thank you so much !

    • I liked making that. I didn’t make my own compound butter, although you know how easy that is. I’ve been buying an actual garlic and herb butter, sold just in sticks, that is excellent. I typically don’t like anything with garlic that isn’t actually fresh garlic, because of an odd taste. The only other exception is garlic paste in a tube – good stuff. But anyway, I think just good unsalted butter and prosciutto would have been excellent as well!

  • I live in Chicago, and I’ve been to Monteverdi! And it is spectacular! Man, I can’t wait until I feel comfortable eating indoors again. I’ll be back there in a heartbeat. I did not have tigelle there, though. I sounds wonderful. (By the way, Chicago IS the city that tries to kill you, but I think it’s with guns.)

    • Oh ugh, I’m sorry. Things are so scary now. Makes me glad I live in podunk Oklahoma for the first time in 30 plus years. My birthday is Monday and I’m not going to a restaurant, but then, there aren’t any good restaurants where I live. I haven’t been to Chicago since my daughter’s 18th birthday – We went to Frontera, and also Charlie Trotter’s, where she was treated like a queen. You really can’t have tigelle as an hors d’oeuvres, cause you can’t only eat one. Believe me!

  • Sounds like a fun show! And this sounds like something I need to make. I’ve heard of tigelle, but have never had it, and obviously never made it. We store our instant yeast in the freezer, too — lasts for years that way.

    • YEARS!!! It saves so much money, and always works! These are fun. I think they might be like crumpets, but I know nothing about crumpets. Next project!

  • Ooo this looks splendid! I’ve never tried Tigelle. I think I’ve seen them before – assuming they were a sweet kind of buns (Those beautiful patterns are a bit misleading, right?) But savoury bread is the best! Cheese, melon, and prosciutto would be an excellent way to enjoy some. And this tigellieria looks awesome and nostalgic (There were similar pans for making cookies and mini cakes in my childhood.)

    • They were really fun to make to actually eat. I guess they could be seen as little sweet flat buns, but in that case I wouldn’t have tried them! I’m way more into savory than sweet. The fillings were so fun. My husband had to seriously walk away from them after I made them because they were that good! Yes, I love the pan…

  • We love Phil as well. It’s one food oriented show I can share with my husband. He is thoroughly entertained by Phil’s happy demeanor. I don’t recall the episode where these beautiful Tigelle were presented, but I’m thinking they would be beautiful to present!

    • I understand that. He’s not an expert, just a fun-loving guy! At first I thought his happy demeanor would get to me, but then you realize it’s really sincere! It was his Chicago show. There’s always something to learn!

  • I love tigele and I’m so impressed that you have a tigelleria! I think yours look wonderful! They look as good as any I’ve had in Bologna. My cousin spends much for time in Bologna and it is through her that I know of these. They are the best! Now I have a serious case of tigelleria envy!

    • I haven’t been to that part of Italy! Hopefully we’ll get back again. I Really wanted to make tigelle, and there’s really no other way to make them. The gadget wasn’t expensive, I was just excited to find one online. It took many days.

  • I love that show too. The new season starts May 29,or so I’ve heard. If you can’t wait til then then Google him. He is spent his LA lockdown making video shorts where he shares his hilarious take on Donald Trump, his antics house-training a new puppy, and of course exhaustively deliberating on his nightly takeout options. He’s evidently my neighbor (though I’ve never seen him) so his take out choices became my take out choices! I know he’s love you your tigelle. GREG

    • Ha! That’s funny! I will check him out. Can’t wait to see him and where he goes next. Without knowing them, I’m really jealous of your take out choices!!!

  • I think Phil is great too. I’ve never had tigelle but I so want to make them now! That tigelle pan is so cool.

    • Yeah, I couldn’t resist tracking one down. Not terrible shipping either, but wow it was hard to find!

  • I never tried Tigelle, and looks intriguing to me. I better look out for Tigelle pan. I think there might be more uses for that beautiful pan.

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