Crescente Bolognese: an all-Emilia recipe

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A simple and ancient recipe that has become one of the most famous specialties of Bolognese cuisine.

  • Servings
    6 people
  • Preparation time
    40 Minutes
  • Cook time
    40 Minutes
  • Passive time
    3 Hours
  • Total time
    4 Hours 20 Minutes

Ingredientsfor 6 people

  • 500 gr flour 0
  • 250 gr water
  • 5 gr brewer's yeast secco
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 100 gr Raw Ham thick cut
  • 100 gr pancetta thick cut
  • 50 gr lard
  • 1 little spoon salt

Today we will talk about the ancient original focaccia of Bologna, the Crescente Bolognese, prepared with flour, water and lard. If you want to learn how to make it directly to your home, do not miss our recipe, but not before having traced the history of this specialty.

History of a “recovery” dish.

The Crescente Bolognese has its roots back in time, when the Bologna bakers used to preserve the leftovers of bread dough (in the dialect “carsent”, “which grows”) and work them together with lard and the less sought after part of the ham, the so-called gambuccio.

From this mixture they obtained a nutritious and tasty focaccia, with which they used to have lunch and breakfast.

After World War II, thanks to the extremely improved living conditions, the recipe assumed the current characteristics (the Gambuccio, for example, was replaced with finest meats) that made it a great classic of Emilian cuisine.

For those who do not know, that of Crescente bolognese is one of the many recipes deposited at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna by the Italian Academy of Cuisine, which for years has been committed to safeguarding the culinary heritage of the boot.


Crescente Bolognese: the original recipe.

The real recipe for this specialty, to be handed down to future generations, is shown on a notary document, along with those of other key dishes of Bolognese cuisine. Here are the ingredients:

  • 10 kg flour
  • 200 grams of salt
  • 1 kg of lard
  • 3 kg of biga
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 800 grams of yeast
  • 4 liters of water
  • 6 kg of bacon mixed with ham

Of course, the doses that we will use today will be smaller, but the ingredients will be exactly those, less the “biga” (the pre-dough that needs almost two days of leavening), which is best left to do expert bakers.


  1. Dissolve the yeast in a bowl with a little warm water and leave for about 10 minutes.
  2. Chop the bacon and the ham into small cubes.
  3. Pour the flour, water and melted yeast into a bowl, mixing everything together.
  4. Add lard, pancetta and ham.
  5. Once the dough has reached a certain consistency, transfer it to a pastry board and knead it vigorously (adding the salt in the final kneading phase), until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.
  6. Form a dough and put it to rise in a warm and dry place for about 2 hours.
  7. When the dough has reached twice its original volume, lay it on the floured surface and spread it with the fingertips until it is about 2 cm thick.
  8. Put the dough in a baking pan lined with parchment paper, cut it into a diamond with a cutter wheel and let it rest covered with a cloth.
  9. After about 1 hour, place the Crescent in a pre-heated oven at 200 ° for about 40 minutes.
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