The Galletta di Castellammare, is one of the most famous bakery products of the city of Castellammare di Stabia.
The name comes from the French galet, pebble, and is a reference to the rounded shape of the biscuit, slightly flattened and with a pitted surface.
With its hardness and absence of humidity, the Galletta di Castellammare was perfect to be kept for a long time.
Many years ago, in fact, it was chosen by the sailors of the area as the ideal food during sea crossings, in order to soften it they immersed it in sea water, which made the galletta more tasty.
The original recipe of this product was really basic and it included the use of water and flour only. Today, the galletta is prepared by adding yeast and a pinch of salt to the dough
The history of the product
Since the Middle Ages, thanks to the prosperous activity of maritime transport, both the port of Torre Annunziata and Castellammare di Stabia, served as a means to supply the neighboring areas with flour.
When the Bourbons strengthened, in about 1700, the Merchant Navy, commercial exchanges between regions were increased, thus leading to the spreading of this product all over the country.
The Galletta was very appreciated as a food supply even by armies during the Second World War.
Between popular sayings and dialect
A very ironic popular saying goes: «È na galletta ‘e Castellammare ca nun se spogna!». Used as a metaphor to describe in a derogatory way a very stingy person, just like the galletta that does not soften easily.
However, the Galletta di Castellammare has also influenced the local dialect. The verb “ngallettare” is often used to indicate the process according to which a baked product is baked twice.
The recipe of Galletta di Castellammare
With its simplicity, this bakery product can be enjoyed with both savory and sweet combinations.
As we said, the original recipe of the Galletta di Castellammare was without salt and without yeast, but here there’s a “modern” variant with yeast and salt.
Always remember to wet it a little!
The ingredients to prepare this typical food are very simple:
- 1kg of flour
- 500 gr of water
- 5 gr of dry brewer’s yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
In a large bowl, pour water and yeast, and mix, when yeast is dissolved add flour and start mixing.
As soon as the water is absorbed, add a teaspoon of salt and continue to mix for another 3-5 minutes, until the dough is compact.
Transfer to a pastry board, and form into balls, about the same size, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest for half an hour.
Roll out the balls with a rolling pin, remembering to leave half an inch of thickness, then cover them again and let them rise for 45 minutes.
Then poke holes in the dough, place on a baking sheet and bake at 220° for about 8-10 minutes.
After this first cooking, transfer the biscuits to a grill and cook at the same temperature for another 5-6 minutes.
Once the cooking is finished, let them cool.
Here are your Gallette di Castellammare! There are many variations of this recipe, and the one we’ve suggested is just one of them.
Once prepared, they can be stored for a couple of months. For this reason it is necessary to cook them twice, so that they can be hard and light, and lose all their moisture.
Undoubtedly there are also other noteworthy products of the culinary tradition of Castellammare di Stabia, but these biscuits with their authenticity, are a symbol of the history of this city.
What are you waiting for to prepare them too?