A Forno in Florence – Bake from Scratch

a forno in florence

By Giulia Scarpaleggia

S.forno is a comfy bakery with classic, bohemian vibes that’s situated in Oltrarno, one of the genuine neighborhoods of Firenze (Florence), Italy, not removed from the Arno River. It’s been a forno, a neighborhood bakery, for greater than 100 years. Angelo, a neighborhood baker, baked bread there each morning for 40 years till 2014, when he bought the bakery to Il Santo Bevitore, a restaurant a few minutes away from the bakery, for which he was already baking bread. It was Angelo who handed down his abilities to Rose Hélène Govoni, who’s now the top baker at S.forno.

From the skin, S.forno remains to be the identical store, a humble bakery whose entrance door is topped by the unique signal, panificio, courting again to the Nineteen Seventies. Inside, they stored the unique cotto tiles and vaulted ceilings and furnished the bakery with classic parts: a butcher’s counter, a goldsmith’s octagonal desk, bookshelves and stools with a patina of age, and a faculty blackboard the place you possibly can learn the every day specials.

forno in florence
photogrpahy by Joann Pai

Simply behind the counter, the bread loaves are neatly organized in baskets and on cabinets, their shades and textures a pleasure for the attention. Right here, you will discover the flagship product of Tuscan gastronomy, pane sciocco, a white, crusty nation loaf historically baked with out salt, a bread that marries the native cheese and charcuterie superbly. Together with Tuscan bread, S.forno affords a variety of loaves, from complete wheat bread and rye flour-and-cumin loaves to Pugliese semolina bread, seeded buns, and baguettes. There’s additionally a Florentine basic, pan di ramerino, a smooth, sticky rosemary bun studded with raisins, historically related to Easter however now a fixture of the bakery. It makes for a terrific panino when full of mortadella, Galaverna del Mugello (a neighborhood bloomy-rind cow cheese), and saba (a cooked, syrupy condiment produced from grape should).

If you’re extra of a pizza particular person, S.forno will tempt you with focaccia, Tuscan schiacciata doused in additional virgin olive oil, pizza with a number of seasonal toppings (should you’re there in late summer time, you’ll be fortunate to attempt the fig and prosciutto pizza), and cecina, a skinny, savory chickpea pancake native to the Tuscan coast that’s naturally gluten-free and vegan.

Need to sit for breakfast? Be fast to snag a barstool or one of many few tables by the entrance door. Order espresso and one of many bakery’s conventional choices designed to make you’re feeling at dwelling: pane, burro, e marmellata (bread, butter, and jam, a youngsters’ favourite), pane e cioccolata (bread with chocolate), granola with recent fruit and yogurt (from the native Mugello farm Il Palagiaccio), croissants, ache au chocolat, and crostata. Pop in for lunch and also you’ll discover quiches bursting with greens, croque monsieur, crostoni with cheese and native charcuterie, panini made to order, and soups.

forno in florence
images by Joann Pai

And let’s not neglect the candy aspect of S.forno, which takes each a world and a really conventional method. On one aspect, you possibly can have a style of tarte Tatin, apple desserts, fruit pies, frangipane tarts, cinnamon and cardamom buns, cheesecakes and chiffon desserts, brownies, and cookies. On the opposite, S.forno affords a correct collection of conventional treats: torta della nonna, a pastry cream tart bejeweled with almonds; castagnaccio, a chestnut flour cake made with raisins and pine nuts; scarpaccia di Viareggio, a candy basil and zucchini cake from the northern coast of Tuscany; rice pudding tartlets (my favourite as a baby); grape schiacciata; and biscotti.

S.forno can be a proximity or connoisseur meals retailer, the place you possibly can top off on high-quality pasta, flour, bread crumbs (made in-house from the bakery’s unsold bread for a zero-waste method), cheese, eggs, canned San Marzano tomatoes, apple juice from Trentino, and artisanal jams and preserves.

After having fun with the stunning baked items at S.forno, plan to spend time wandering the streets of this space, the place artisan workshops nonetheless share house alongside native shops, cafés, vintage outlets, wine bars, and family-run trattorias. It’s the proper place to get misplaced and uncover Tuscan makers and flavors.

Discover extra about our travels by way of Italy in our July/August 2022 situation!