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Five ingredients fora sweet goodness

Who said that to prepare a "recipe with all the trimmings" you need to have an endless list of ingredients? Five are enough to create an irresistible delight: Zuccherini Montanari, made with flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and aniseed liqueur . 

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Zucaréin muntanèr: the simplicity of tradition 

In the days of our grandmothers, these special ring-shaped donuts, covered with white anise-flavored icing, were prepared at home for Christmas or Easter. Furthermore, on the occasion of weddings, baptisms, confirmations and other ceremonies, they were given as a sign of good omen. Called "sugars" or "spouses' biscuits", mountain sugars are the typical sweets par excellence of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and in particular of Bolognese biscuits. The recipe is jealously guarded by every family of the Bolognese, Modenese, Florentine and Prato mountains who contend for the origin of this delicacy. Despite small variations from area to area, the undisputed protagonist of the recipe remains the anise. There are those who use natural aroma, those who prefer seeds and those who use liqueur. The element  important,   however, remains the dense anise-scented sugary icing that distinguishes these traditional sweets and gives them a white and candid aspect, really inviting .

Sweet shades of territories

Do you want to experience the Bologna-Prato journey in an immersive way? Whether you are walking along the Wool and Silk Road or you intend to cross the Regions on your two wheels, you cannot miss the tasting of mountain sugars. Starting with those of Bologna, continuing with those of Castiglione and ending, then, with the famous sugars of Vernio and Prato, you can savor the sensitive variations of the recipe.

The recipe: Zuccherini Montanari by Lucia Antonelli

Ingredients for about 1 kg and 100 of finished glazed sugars: 500g flour 00, 50g sugar, 1 sachet of yeast, 5 eggs, 1 pinch of salt, grated rind of a lemon, 1 handful of anise soaked in water, 150 g of melted butter (or extra virgin olive oil).  For candying, weigh the sugars and make an equal weight of icing (ratio 1: 1) with 500g of sugar 200g of water approx.

Procedure: Preheat the oven to 200 ° C static. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients, add the eggs, mixing them well, the anicini and finally the butter. Knead for a few minutes until the mixture is soft and elastic. Take small pieces of about 10 g each from the dough, rolling them with the palm of your hands made into small cords, join the ends by crossing them and form donuts. Bake for about 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, add the water and sugar and bring to a temperature around 110 ° C (check with a thermometer or if you don't have it, take a little syrup with two forks and let it drain from above, if you don't have it). make the thread is ready) ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ Arrange the sugars in a heap on top of a sack or parchment paper or marble surface, pour the boiling sugar syrup and start mixing GENTLY and SLOWLY so that the sugars are completely coated. As the sugar cools it will form the characteristic glaze.

(recipe by Lucia Antonelli from

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Hands in the dough!

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