Born to accompany the trips at sea they have made the fortune of the confectioners of Burano, also changing the form to be easier to dip.
Bussolai is the name by which they are best known, bussolà the pronunciation in the local dialect and buranelli the alternative way to call them. Are the historical biscuits of Venetian tradition, made with egg yolks, flour and industrial quantities of butter. They are located in two variants: round or shaped “S” and are considered a local specialty: their origin, however, dates back several centuries ago, at the time of the Venetian Republic.
The circle of history.
The first bussolai were those round, donut-shaped, as confirmed by their name, since “Busa” in Venetian dialect means precisely “hole.” Worldwide according to the ancient legends, these cookies were homemade and prepared by the wives of fishermen and sailors in large quantities when the husbands were leaving for the sea, they brought with them various bags, because they were very nutritious and above were kept well, just hardening little with the passage of time. The practice became so widespread that among the colorful houses of the island of Burano, someone began to produce them on a large scale and sell them. From biscuits of sailors on long voyages, the bussolai soon became a sweet consumed mainly during the Easter period by all the inhabitants of Venice. Without exception, because, it is said, in the sixteenth century, the Sisters of the Convent of San Maffio ordered to reduce expenses for the purchase of Bussolai because it consumed too many. Too hard to resist, given that their convent was located on the small island of Mazzorbo, connected by a bridge to that of Burano, where she concentrated on the production of these biscuits, flavored with vanilla that were also used to scent linen drawers.
The bussolai nowadays.
A few centuries later, a famous Burano restaurateur asked to a local baker to prepare a bussolaio to offer to their customers as a dessert, perhaps accompanied by a glass of sweet wine. The confectioner thought long and gave us life in a new cookie, with the same dough, but with a form to “S” that allowed to soak comfortably, guaranteeing so wide luck even at breakfast with milk. Nowadays the bussolai you eat indiscriminately in all periods of the year, although the Easter tradition survives very strong in Burano. It is the habit of ladies island in fact, during Holy Week, go to the bakers to get bake cookie dough that offer their guests on Sunday.
The flagship of the Venetian pastry.
Among the desserts of the Venetian tradition, bussolai are together with the fritole and the pan del Doge the purest, that is, those who do not have their birth to culinary “contamination” occurred in ancient times. The noble art of pastry was particularly popular in the Venetian Republic, so much so that in 1493 was born the corporation of Scaleteri, so called from “scalete”, sweet donuts typical of the weddings. Thanks to the overseas territories of the Serenissima and the many trips to the East of its merchants, the Venetians confectioners came early in contact with foreign confectionery traditions. The Jewish influence has been felt on the sweet made with almonds as impade or those made from raisins, as zaeti while under Austrian domination was the chocolate to invade the lagoon.
Mix the egg yolks with the melted butter, beating for a long time, then add the sifted flour.
Scented the mixture with the grated rind of one lemon and vanilla.
Prepare the classic ball of dough and let rest in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Picked up the pieces of dough and roll into “S” and donuts: the dough is enough for 40 biscuits.
Spread the biscuits on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Bake in preheated oven at 170 ° C for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven to let it cool on a wire rack.
Keep the cookies in a tightly closed tin box.