Pinza Bolognese



Pinza is a soft pasta frolla roll typical from Bologna in Emilia Romagna filled with mostarda bolognese. Mostarda bolognese is a tart jam, very different from the more well-known spicy fruit mostarda from Mantova. This is a rustic pastry often enjoyed with wine but also perfect to go along with a coffee or a cup of tea. Mostarda bolognese is hard to find outside Bologna but Pinza can be made with a tart plum jam.



Ingredients (for about 22-24 cookies)

300 g all-purpose flour
5 g of baking powder (about a teaspoon)
100 g of granulated sugar
100 g of unsalted butter diced at room temperature
5 g of honey
70 g of egg yolks (about 4-5 eggs depending from the size of the egg)
1 large whole egg beaten (add half egg to the yolk and reserve half egg for brushing the Pinza)
Coarser sugar for dusting the Pinza (you can use raw turbinado sugar or any coarse sugar you have at hand)
1/3 of a jar of plum jam mixed with a couple teaspoons of bitter orange jam (orange jam is optional)
A handful of walnut pieces

  1. Preheat the oven at 325 F
  2. Sift together the all purpose flour and the baking powder.
  3. In stand mixer with the flat beater mix without whipping the unsalted butter, sugar, honey, egg yolks, egg and salt until you have an homogeneous cream.
  4. Add the flour sifted with the baking powder and incorporate on low speed until no more flour is visible. Don’t whip.
  5. Roll the dough in between two sheet of parchment paper, dusting with a little bit of flour to prevent sticking into a large rectangle. The thickness of the dough is not set but it’s up to your preference, it will only impact the visual aspect of the Pinza once cut. A very thin dough will make more layers than a thicker dough.
  6. Spread a thin layer of jam on top of the rectangle avoiding the borders and roll the dough. I like a thin layer and generally I start rolling on the short side of the rectangle because a like the sliced Pinza  to have more layers.  Place the Pinza on a baking pan layered with parchment paper with the seam down and tuck underneath the ends.
  7. Brush with the reserved beaten egg and dust with coarse sugar.
  8. Bake until golden brown turning the tray if necessary.


This is a very simple pastry to make but I really enjoy it with my morning coffee.


Did you know

Besides the Pinza, the same dough is used in Bologna to make a ciambella (anything with a donut shape is called ciambella in Italian) dusted with a pearled sugar, or raviole, small cookies filled with mostarda bolognese. This dough is used also in other towns in Emilia Romagna. It will be called Bensone in Modena, Brazadela in Ferrara and still Ciambella in the Southern part of the region even without a hole in the middle.