of San Costanzo

Torcolo of San Costanzo is a typical dessert of Perugia that can now also be found at Italian bakeries throughout the Italian peninsula. Torcolo is donut-shaped bread, glazed with egg yolk for a rich golden sheen. The bread traditionally contains candied orange, raisins and pine nuts and is made for holiday celebrations. But you can make it any day of the year because… why not?


Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and create a crater in the center of the pile of flour. Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Then add the warm water and mix for a few minutes, until the mixture is the consistency of bread dough. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm spot for about 1 ½ hours.


While the dough is proofing, toast anise seeds and pine nuts. If the raisins are dried, you can soak them in grappa, warm water, or orange juice to rehydrate them. Cut the citron into tiny pieces, depending on how much bite you want.


When the dough has doubled in size, turn it upside down on a pastry board. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand, then add the diced candied citron, raisins, pine nuts, olive oil, butter, sugar and the anise seeds. Knead the dough for about ten minutes, then shape into a donut. Put the dough in a cake pan or on a well-buttered sheet tray. (You can use cooking spray if you prefer.)


Put the dough in a dry, warm place to proof once more, for 1 to 2 hours. When the dough is leavened, brush the top with egg yolk and bake at 325F degrees for 40-50 minutes or until very golden brown.