And here we are, back to the Mill’s cookbook. Having already experimented with baked goods such as grissini, ciabatte and muffins this month I decided to turn my attention to a pasta recipe. With an incredible timing I came across a recipe for pici, a tuscan pasta, by Margherita/La petite casserole, and loved so much its rustic simplicity I just had to do it straight away. And rustic is the sauce I pulled together for this dish. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
This is a special bread, a bread of friendship. A bread to tear and share. My friend Amal taught me ho to prepare and bake it. I met her at a swap event in Chiasso, “Il trovatutto”, which is held monthly in a recreational center in town. I started going to it when I realized that many things stored during my last move weren’t of use anymore. Simply they stayed several months in the boxes without me noticing. An old mirror, some jeans I was given but never wore, things like this. Since waste is not an option in my house I was more than glad when my path crossed the one of “Il trovatutto”. I got rid of many things and met new people, and among them Amal. Funnily enough we met over our passion for food and baked goods. It is custom at this swap event to bring an afternoon snack, and that day I was asked by Elisabetta (the brains behind “Il trovatutto”) to bring something. I baked and brought my “famous” and much loved Chocolate Babka, Amal brought her Msemmen bread. She tried mine and I tried hers, fell in love with one another recipe and decided to meet up as soon as possible to bake together and swap recipes. And so it went, a few weeks after our encounter we were able to meet at her place where I showed her how to bake Babka and she generously taught me how to make this gorgeous traditional bread. Msemmen take time to prepare, it needs sensitivity. Writing down the steps is not very easy, that’s why I suggest you to see this video I found on youtube, one, two, three times. You will eventually be able to replicate this bread, even though the feeling is that mastery of this technique comes only with many baking sessions. Trust me, it’s worth it. Not only for the gorgeous bread, but also for the relaxing and almost meditative feeling given by spreading the dough with your hands.
x 8 pieces
300 g AP flour
180 g semolina flour
280 g warm water
8 g salt
2 g dry yeast
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup melted butter
Approximately 60 g of semolina flour to dust
In a cup mix the vegetable oil and melted butter.
Mix the flours, yeast and salt.
Add the water and knead into a dough and work it until you have a smooth and compact ball, soft but not sticky.
Let dough rest 10′ to make it soft and manageable.
Divide dough in two by two until you have 8 pizza-like balls, dip them in the oil and butter mixture and set aside on a tray flatten them out just slightly.
Pour a little oil and butter mixture on the work surface and flatten one ball at a time, using your hands, until you have a thin veil.
Fold it in 3 until you get a square, with every folding sprinkle before with with oil and butter mixture and some semolina flour.
Place on the tray and do the other balls.
Place a frying pan on high heat, with some butter and oil mixture.
Take the first square you folded, on the greased work surface flatten it out with your hands trying to keep its square shape.
It has to quadruple its volume.
Sprinkle the top with semolina.
Put in the frying pan, if it puff on one side just turn it so that it cooks uniformly.
Sprinkle with oil and butter mixture and turn.
Sprinkle with semolinsa flour, oil and butter mixture.
Cook until golden brown, place on a plate and proceed with the others.
Storia di pane e amicizia: lo Msemmen dal Marocco
Questo post parla di un pane speciale, che ha fatto nascere un’amicizia. Un pane da strappare e condividere. La mia amica Amal mi ha insegnato a preparare l’impasto e cuocerlo. Mia coetanea, marocchina dal volto bellissimo e due profondi occhi neri, Amal l’ho conosciuta ad un evento mensile di baratto di oggetti e vestiti che si tiene mensilmente a Chiasso, la mia città. Ho iniziato a frequentare “Il trovatutto ” quando mi sono resa conto che molte cose inscatolate durante il mio ultimo trasloco giacevano ancora nelle scatole, inutilizzate. Un vecchio specchio, un paio di jeans regalatimi ma mai indossati, cose così. Dal momento che lo spreco non è un’opzione contemplata in casa mia sono stata più che felice di scoprire questo evento così vicino a casa mia. Mi sono liberata di molte cose che hanno trovato nuova vita e ho conosciuto tante persone, e tra loro Amal. Ed è stata la nostra passione per il cibo e la cucina a farci conoscere. Al “Trovatutto” è consuetudine che qualcuno, a turno, porti qualcosa per fare merenda e quel giorno Elisabetta (la mente dietro “Il trovatutto”) mi chiese se volevo portare qualcosa. Quel giorno sfornai la mia prima “famosa” Babka al cioccolato e Amal portò il suo pane msemmen. Io assaggiai il suo pane, lei il mio e ci innamorammo l’una della ricetta dell’altra così ci scambiammo la promessa di trovarci al più presto per cucinare insieme e condividere le nostre ricette. E così fu, qualche settimana dopo il nostro primo incontro andai a casa sua. Io le insegnai a fare la Babka e lei generosamente mi fece vedere tutte le fasi necessarie per fare questo splendido pane tradizionale marocchino. Gli msemmen richiedono pazienza e delicatezza nella lavorazione. Descrivere questa lavorazione a parole non è molto facile questo che vi consiglio di guardare questo video che ho trovato su youtube. Guardatelo una, due, tre volte. Solo dopo un’attenta osservazione sarete in grado di replicare questo pane, anche ho come l’idea è che la padronanza di questa tecnica venga soltanto con numerose prove. Fidatevi di me, ne vale la pena. Non solo per il pane che è bellissimo e buonissimo, ma anche per la sensazione di relax quasi meditativo data dallo stendere l’impasto con le mani.
x 8 pezzi
300 g farina 00
180 g farina di semola
280 g acqua tiepida
8 g sale
2 gr lievito di birra in polvere
½ tazza olio di semi
½ tazza burro fuso
60 g di semola circa per spolverare
In una tazza mischiate ½ olio di semi e ½ burro fuso.
Unite le farine, il lievito e sale e unite l’acqua poco alla volta.
Impastate finché otterrete un impasto omogeneo, compatto e morbido ma non appiccicoso.
Lasciate riposare impasto 10’ per renderlo più soffice e lavorabile.
Dividete impasto a due per due finché avrete 8 palline tipo pizza, intingetele nel mix di olio e burro e mettete a riposo su un vassoio, schiacciandole leggermente.
Sulla superficie di lavoro versate un poco del mix di olio con burro e con le mani stendete una pallina finché otterrete un velo fine, ripiegate l’impasto su sé stesso con pieghe a 3 finché avrete un quadrato.
A ogni piega cospargere con olio e burro e un po’ di semola.
Mettere sul vassoio e fare le altre paline.
Mettete una padella, con del mix di olio e burro, al massimo del calore.
Prendete il primo quadrato che avete fatto e stendetelo di modo che mantenga la forma quadrata ma che quadruplichi di volume.
Spolverate la parte superiore con semola.
Mettete a cuocere, se gonfia da un lato girate in modo che gonfi uniformemente.
Versate un goccio di mix di olio e burro e girate.
Ricoprite con semola, olio e burro.
Continuate a rigirare finché ben dorati e proseguite con gli altri msemmen.
Panissimo’s theme for this month was regional breads. As soon as I read Sandra’s post I knew I would be baking pane alla ticinese, one my favourite breads as a kid. Funnily enough my first article for Azione was about this special kind of bread, a thing which brought back to mind many colourful memories about my childhood and the afternoon snack I used to eat with my friends: bread and chocolate. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Beauty surrounded the Daring Bakers this month as our host, Sawsan, of chef in disguise,
challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads. Who knew breads could look as great as they taste?
This month Daring Bakers is hosted by one very good blogger I’ve been following since the early days of my blog, Sawsan of Chef in disguise. Her choice fell on a recipe and shape I know quite well, a recipe that brought a good share of luck to my life landing me to Azione with whom I collaborate every now and then and to an interesting collaboration with Maroggia’s Mill: the Brioche Flower. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
MTC Challenge this month is being held at the home of Mari, aka Lasagna Pazza, who has challenged us with strudel. Now I will bother you once more by saying how much I love these challenges, every month living the anxiety and joy of a new culinary discoveries (a proper strudel made with homemade dough, not a plastic store bought version), breaking my head against the wall thinking about flavour pairing and seeking the right ingredients. Improving my skills. And I can not but be grateful. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Here we go, another “other friday”, another recipe from Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. This time it’s not a recipe I made up but one that was given to me by the miller itself. Alessandro Fontana in fact is not the miller but headchief of production at the Mill, but I’m sure he won’t mind being “labeled” the miller, it has a romantic and vintage allure to it, don’t you think? Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
It’s the 20th and Sourdough Surprises is back. As always I am delighted to discover a new bread kind, and what bread! I must admit this has been a great hit among my new official recipe testers: Flavia (go and take a look at her work here, she’s an amazing photographer and graphic designer) and her studio buddies Daniela, Micha and Alessandro not to mention Antonio, Flavia’s boyfriend, who devoured 3 and a half out of 4 monkey bread balls she had taken home. I must admit I was quite skeptic, not being a huge fan of overly sweet things, and was a bit scared only looking at the shape and fierce fatness of this very special bread. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
I have been toying with this idea for a long time now. The inspiration came both from Kate’s beautiful blog, Veggie Desserts, and a mock bechamel sauce I made a few years ago with the use of celeriac to avoid fatness and heaviness given by butter and milk while using the natural sweetness and creaminess of this plant. Creaminess, sweetness, white, white chocolate, cardamom. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Since I’ve started my blog my path has crossed those of many other bloggers, passionate home bakers and cooks, or simply people who love to eat good food. With some of those friendships were born, even though we never met in person. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Last Christmas I was full of good intentions. Many challenges were thrown around the web, themed especially for the festive season and in all good faith were pinned down on my calendar, looking forward to participate. Not only I forgot to bake a bread for Twelve loaves but didn’t participate to a single contest. Blame it on the panettone obsession, on the new part time job, and well…on the festive season! The only recipe that was completed, foreseeing many happy festive baking moments was candied ginger. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…