I had never seen a rolling pin that long in my life.
Nor the bread board to match.
It was about as big around as my rolling pin back in The States—as thick as Coke can, maybe less—but it was over three feet long and rounded on one end. The other end had a rounded knob affixed. It looked like a scepter for a chef. The bread board was a big as my kitchen table, dusted with flour. On that sat an unassuming round of dough.
We were in Imola for dinner, invited by some ward members for a feast (a feast!). When we neared the front door and the smell of what was to come filled my nose I could already tell this would be a memorable meal. When we walked in the kitchen I saw familiar faces from church scurrying about the neatly white-tiled space. A large stove and oven filled one deep corner of the room. A forno a legna (wood burning oven) occupied the other. It was a picturesque Italian kitchen. Filled with dishes and fruit and good smells.
An older woman worked the ball of dough in the center of the room. She wielded the rolling pin like it was an extension of her body. She rolled, pressed, extended, peeled, flipped, rolled. She gathered the dough up around the pin and then laid it out flat again, this time imperceptibly thinner. In a flourish of motion and grace (I'm serious, it was like an art form) the dough was rolled flat and nearly perfectly round. Then, using a dough cutter with scalloped edges she quickly trimmed the round into small diamonds and tossed them in the frying pan. It was obvious she had probably been doing this for twice as many years as I've been alive.
Homemade crescentine. Delicious, hint of sweet, straight from Bologna, traditional Italian fried bread. I think I ate a dozen. Maybe two.
1 kg. flour
300 gr stracchino (a soft, mild cheese that I'm really hoping I can find in The States)
2 packs lievato torte salate (I'll have to play with leavenings in The States. This is a white powder, but it's neither baking soda, nor baking powder . . .)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
milk- add until you get a firm dough
* use less milk if stracchino is more liquidy
Roll out flat, cut into squares (or fancy diamonds), fry until just golden.