About this recipe

I discovered this recipe thanks to a friend of mine from Messina who sent me the link to this site. They are soft milk rolls flavored with cinnamon and cloves that are usually enjoyed on Holy Thursday before Easter. Their name derives from the fact that they are a rich dough that serves as a dinner (cena).

Not having lard (and not wanting to spend hours queuing during this period to buy it), I decided to use only butter. In addition, I brushed the surface of the rolls at the end only with milk (I had more than the eggs), while I must admit that their characteristic would be to be beautiful browned (so it would have been better
to use the egg).

The recipe immediately intrigued me for various reasons: the first is that I love milk rolls and all that category of soft sweet breads. The second is that usually this type of leavened is made with fresh yeast, while in this recipe there was the option of using sourdough.

The consistency of the rolls actually came slightly more compact than the same product made with fresh yeast, but in general it satisfied me very much. I will still work on the times and proportions
of the yeast because in my opinion I am
on track …


  • 60g of sourdough
  • 250g of plain flour
  • 250g of bread flour
  • 125g of milk
  • 125g of water
  • 60g of sugar
  • 75g of butter
  • 4 cloves
  • the tip of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • egg or milk to decorate




30 minutes


24 hours

Cooking time

20-25 minutes


Heat the milk with the spices, let it cool down, filter it and pour it into a bowl or the bowl of the mixer.

Chop the sourdough and add it to the milk with the water and sugar, then add half of the sifted flours, the egg and the rest of the flours; add the soft butter into small pieces and finally complete with the salt. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, form a ball, put it in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 20 hours.

Take the dough back from the fridge, leave it at room temperature for at least 4 hours (it must no longer be cold and must have risen a little more), then divide it
into approximately 12 pieces of 75-80 g each.

Roll out each piece, roll it up into a kind of cigar, roll the cigar again to obtain a kind of ball, then roll it on the work surface (which must not be floured) by sliding the little finger and the rib of the hand against the work surface.

Place the rolls obtained on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and let them rise, covered, for another
2 hours.

Heat the oven to 180 °, meanwhile brush the surface of the sandwiches with milk or a beaten egg and cover them with sesame seeds. Cook the sandwiches for about 20-25 minutes, then put them on a wire rack to cool.

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