Maritozzi (Sweet Roman buns) are classics from the Roman bakeries. In Italy's capital, you can find the sweet rolls in every bakery and bar. People like to eat them for breakfast or as a merenda, a snack, preferably with a filling of whipped cream or vanilla cream.
Of fasting and betrothal
The popularity of the sweet Roman buns – even among the clergy – can even be deduced from the Lenten time of the Romans: the buns were given special approval for Lent, they just had to be a little smaller. They were also important in courtship. Young men were supposed to give their beloved a maritozzo and if they truly loved the girl, they would hide jewellery in the filling. A ring indicated the intention to marry. And this is how maritozzis, derived from marito, the Italian word for husband, became to be called “man of honour”.
A bun for every occasion
Back to reality. The sweet Roman buns were mostly baked by wives for their husbands. The energy boosters for a hard day's work contained raisins and often pine nuts. The variants with cream and cream filling are quite new creations. But in Italy, maritozzi are not only known as sweet pastries: simply omit the sugar in the dough and serve the sandwich with burrata and tomatoes, with fried aubergine or a fish or meat filling, such as vitello tonnato.
Maritozzi - Sweet Roman buns
- 100 g sourdough, liquid - licoli
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 260 ml milk
- 500 g flour , W280-W350
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolk
- 100 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100 g butter , at room temperature
- 1 lemon, untreated
- 100 g raisins
- 90 g sugar
- 50 g water
- approx. 200 g whipped cream
- If you would like raisins in the buns, you should first soak about 100g of raisins in water. Mix the refreshed licoli with the honey and milk in a food processor. Then slowly add the flour and stir it in. Next, allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Add all remaining dough ingredients in turn. Make sure the previous ingredient is well mixed into the dough each time before adding the next. Then knead the dough until it separates from the sides of the mixing bowl and wraps around the hook.
- Clean the work surface. Grease hands well with butter. Now take the dough in the middle and fold it when you put it down so that the corners overlap like an envelope. If desired, now spread the dried raisins over the dough. Repeat this method of folding the dough a few more times, always turning the dough clockwise 90 degrees before refolding it. This way it will be nicely airy afterwards.
- Grease a bowl with butter and let the dough rise in it until it has doubled in size. This takes about 4-5 hours at an ambient temperature of 27° C (such as on the radiator or in the oven under lights). If the room temperature is 20° C, the dough should rest overnight. Always cover the bowl with cling film.
- Now divide the dough into 12 equal portions. First roll out the parts into a rectangle, then roll them up like a roulade, pressing the connecting line well and place the maritozzi on a baking tray lined with baking paper with this closure facing down. Cover the buns with plastic wrap and leave to rise again at room temperature for 60 minutes (in the oven with the light on for 30 minutes).
- Pre-heat the oven to 190° C and bake the buns in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, mix the water and sugar and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Brush the still warm maritozzi with this syrup. Leave to cool. Slice the top of the maritozzi and fill with whipped cream. Use a knife to remove excess cream so that the maritozzo has a smooth surface.