Regional Specialty: Scali Bread

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It’s pronounced “skah-lee” bread, and unless you grew up in Boston, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it! Credit for this soft sesame-sprinkled loaf goes to the Italians who settled into Boston’s North End, where it’s still sold and enjoyed as a daily bread. Are you a fan of scali bread?

Scali bread is a long, somewhat flat loaf that is often prepared in a braid like challah. It has a soft, white interior with a chewy, glossy brown crust. Traditionally, it’s made with a preferment, which adds both flavor and texture to the final loaf. Sesame seeds sprinkled on top add a bit of crunch along with their signature sesame flavor.

This is a bread to serve along with dinner, and it’s excellent for wiping up the last bits of sauce or countering the effects of a spicy meal. Personally, we also love it toasted and smeared with butter!

If you can’t make it to Boston to sample the real thing, it’s a great recipe to make at home. We prefer this recipe from King Arthur Flour:

Scali Bread from King Arthur Flour (step-by-step illustrations can also be found on their blog)

Do you have any special memories of eating scali bread?