Carasatu bread is a typical Sardinian bread, widespread in all the island.
Some archaeological findings suggest that it was made already in the Bronze Age, this gives us an idea of the antiquity of its origin.
Legend has it that it was the Janas (the fairies) who taught a woman the art of making carasatu bread. The first mixture was made in a secret cave with the purity of enchanted spring water.
Here the Janas entrusted the woman with the "sourdough", the original ferment to be handed down from family to family to reveal to men the maternity of bread. The merger of the dough with the primordial elements of creation: Water and earth (flour), air and fire, give life to this particular product of Sardinian cuisine.
It is a very crisp bread the preparation of which, in the past and even today, consists of a real family rite ...
There are many variations, family or peasant traditions on the preparation of the dough, the processing and cooking that determine nuances of flavour, texture and size.
Its preparation involves various processing stages.
The first stage traditionally takes place before sunrise. It begins with the preparation of the dough by combining the ingredients and kneading them vigorously on a table. The fresh pastry is flattened, enlarged with the pressure of the fists and rolled on itself, water is added and manipulated vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Once ready, the dough is left to rise covered with woollen cloths. Once leavening starts, the dough is divided into regular parts which are rounded, dusted with flour and stowed in baskets wrapped in woollen or linen cloths to leave them to settle a little longer so that the leavening can continue. Once risen, the dough is prepared with small wooden rolling pins and with the fingertips, floured continuously, flattened and enlarged to form discs of varying diameter according to the places. The discs are placed on the folds of special woolen cloths. These are then rolled out when they are to be used.
It is cooked in the oven where the heat must reach a stable temperature between 450°C and 500°C. The cooking stage of the loaves takes place after the embers have been pushed to one side. At this point, the first cooking stage begins. The high heat swells the leaf in a short time to form a ball. The air inside it starts to expand causing the separation of the two layers. Once baked, the dough disc presents the two faces now detached and they are quickly separated with a knife.
This takes a lot of skill and experience. The discs that represent the final product have a smooth face and a rough one. The final stage involves a second baking needed to complete the whole process. Sos pizos one by one are put back in the oven for the final baking called "sa carasatura" and it is from this term that the name of "carasatu" bread derives.
The discs are left in the oven for a longer or shorter time depending on one's personal taste. As they leave the oven, the discs are stacked in large asphodel baskets (isportas). These characteristic baskets are often as high as one metre, are wrapped in special cloth and a weight is placed on top, usually a round wooden board or cloths, to press the discs a bit.