Pinza (or penza) bolognese


Bolognese mostarda jam-filled sweet dough

Pinza bolognese - Provincia di Bologna (Fabrizio Dell'Aquila)
Pinza bolognese - Provincia di Bologna (Fabrizio Dell'Aquila)

This is the recipe of the pinza , the Bolognese mostarda jam-filled sweet dough, decreed by the Italian Academy of Cooking (Accademia Italiana della Cucina) and recorded on  May 17 2006 at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna, in the palace of Mercanzia (Merchants). It is the rich and festive version of the donut.



1000 gr flour

50 gr brewer's yeast

lukewarm water

1 egg

300 gr fruit jam (apricot or plum)

75 gr peeled and chopped almonds

75 gr chopped nuts and hazelnuts

25 gr bitter cocoa powder

25 gr raisins

1 glass of rum

75 gr dried figs

75 gr butter (melted)

1 lemon (grated peel)




For the homemade "Pinza bolognese" you start from the preparation of the dough: you crumble the brewer's yeast into the flour, you mix and melt it with a few tablespoons of lukewarm water and let it stand in a lukewarm place for 15-20 minutes. Then you pour a glass of lukewarm water and 1 egg into the mixture, you need to work it and cover it with a cloth and let it leaven for about two hours. At that point you put the dough on the cutting board and you work it and roll it out  until it is about 2 cm thick. No need to add sugar.


In a different container you mix jam, almonds, nuts and hazelnuts, cocoa powder, raisins (previously soaked into a glass of rum to soften them), finely chopped dried figs, melted butter and grated peel of one lemon.


You pour this filling on the dough and you include it in the dough roll, which should have a semi-rectangular shape. Let it stand and leaven  for at least two hours, then bake at 180° for about one hour.


The pinza can be enjoyed all over the Bologna's area, still prepared at home by families and for sale in bakeries, shops, fair and festivals. In particular in Anzola you find it at the Festa dei Sughi in October along with several traditional sweets such as raviola and brazadela-donut.