Sunday morning, 6 o’ clock, Chiasso. I must be crazy but I have a mission, a very complicated recipe I have been wanting to bake for many years. Breathe in, breathe out. I reach to the bag of special flour I purchased a few months ago fr the purpose…only to find out it is full of flour bugs! I have no alternative but a change of plans and must decide what to bake quickly. Luckily I had refreshed some liquid starter just the night before, but what could I come up with in order no to waste too much time and be able to take pictures while the sun was still out? Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
What makes a loaf special? Is it the crust, thick and evenly browned under proper blazing heat or is it a balanced crumb, pillowy soft and moist? Is there anything that can beat up a plain rustic loaf made with water, flour, salt and any leaven agent of choice, simply shaped? Probably not. But what would be of the art of baking if early bakers would have been content with just their first attempts at baking bread? We would be missing on gorgeous brioche doughs, on aromatic fougasses, on crispy yet chewy focaccia. We wouldn’t be eating beetroot flavoured bread, pain au chocolat, and caraway seed bread. Caraway seed breads are quite typical in northern countries such as Germany, Austria, the Trentino region in Italy… You can find fully leavened bread as thick yet crispy flatbreads, which very much resemble knäckebröd. I simply love spices and flavoursome seeds of all kind and use them in both savoury and sweet dishes. But I had never tried to bake my own caraway seed bread. I have some memories of eating a caraway flavoured bread in Toronto, at Forno Cultura, but I’m not sure whether it had some coffee in the dough too, it might have. It’s nothing new, but it’s something simply too good to miss on. So I am proud and glad to present my own caraway bread for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Try it with honey, you will be amazed at how the two flavours blend marvellously but make sure to savour it with a slice of good cured ham and a generous spread of mustard. Simply heavenly!
Sarò breve, ma spero intensa. In primo luogo vorrei ringraziare tutti, in primis la fratella Arianna (te possino te l’ho già detto?) che porgendomi lo scettro dell’MTC mi ha fatto passare un due mesetti belli tosti ma ricchi di soddisfazioni ed emozioni. Ad Alessandra, che mi ha rassicurata da subito dandomi tutto il supporto possibile per affrontare questa impresa per me titanica. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Laugengebäck is the whole spectrum of breads that are boiled in a solution of water and caustic soda (in the order of 3% on the amount of water and not more, being caustic soda highly corrosive) before being baked. I simply love any kind of bread that undergoes this process while it gives a shiny crust and a very characteristic taste. Since my early childhood I favoured this kinds of breads which are usually vaguely rubbery and a little sticky on the surface. Bretzels are one of those breads I cherish. Although more or less ten years ago I had a moment of “Sils only bread baking” (here in Switzerland these breads are called silser) only once I tried to bake bretzels. Failing miserably. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Sultanas, either you love them or you hate them. Usually when offering a cake containing raisins or even panettone (which strictly requires raisins in its dough) I hear choruses of protest rising: “Noooo pleaseeee, not sultanas.” So just imagine the joy and amazement when asking my three years old niece Ada what she liked to eat the most she answered: “”Sultanaaaaassss!”. Not to mention when I noticed she was surgically dissecting the buns to remove the sultanas, but not to eat the soft inside of the bread…no sir, that he just ignored it at large and focused her attention on the berries. And what about you? Are you a sultanas lover us or hater? Well in any case the basic recipe for these buns is spot-on if you need something easy to bake for your children’s afternoon snack. The size of the buns is ideal for children my niece’s age who cannot manage to get through large bread rolls or buns, the dough is extremely soft and light and 100% vegan! If sultanas are just too hard to swallow you can replace them with chocolate chips, nuts, or other ingredients according to your taste.
Summer is over. Fortunately the days of sweltering heat wave are only a distant memory. I do not know about you but this summer’s heat was reall unbearable to me. I stopped counting on the sleepless nights spent gasping for fresh air. Oh what a relief when the first rains came, finally, in late August. Finally the right climate to bake and experiment with doughs. July and August were particularly intense, with a lot of hard work to come up with a good recipe for croissants and different projects and works that popped out of the blue to both my surprise and delight. This year is ending definitely better than it started and I hope that 2016 will see a new chapter of my life unfold, hopefully one of many stimulating collaborations.
This month I will be throwing the gauntlet for September’s MTChallenge having won the previous challenge with my Horse Meat Hamburger with Eggplant, Beetroot crisps, Pepper Ketchup in a Liquorice Bun. It has been a hard task, picking the recipe and working on it to achieve a sort of kind of perfect version. Not to mention I have been working through July and August’s heat wave, handling butter and laminating dough. What is waiting for me is a lot of work, reading recipes, commenting, trying to to pick the best one of the bunch. I have the feeling I’ll get a proper headache… If you feel brave enough, if the temperatures are lowering and don’t exceed 20° C you might as well give it a shot. Check out my previous post on croissants to read more about techniques, tips and tricks.
La 50esima sfida ad un tiro di schioppo (la prima risale al giugno del 2010, con la tortilla di patate) l’MTChallenge non da’ segni di perdere un minimo di smalto…anzi! Un gioco, una sfida e tanto studio contraddistinguono questa community (per vostra informazione la più longeva del web) che si è rinnovata negli anni arrivando a guadagnare un posto importante sul web, specie per quanto riguarda la credibilità dei contenuti e l’affidabilità delle ricette. Festeggiamo queste 50 sfide con il nostro stile, irriverente e scanzonato perché diciamocelo, nonostante tutto siamo ancora capaci di ridere e prenderci poco sul serio. Come ci promette la nostra inossidabile ed instancabile Mrs Van Pelt ci saranno sorprese, ricchi premi e cotillons, tutti in stile MTC (pure io fremo all’idea, non sapendo assolutamente nulla). Stay tuned!
A long time has passed since I posted a recipe for fresh pasta on Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. During my last visit Alessandro asked me to test their special pizza flour, which is sold at Migros among the loacl products selection, to make pasta. This flour is both ideal for pizza and pasta making, being a special blend of wheat and semolina flour. The results are great. After trofie with chestnut and sauce and rye flour tagliolini with oil emulsion and fresh sage I present you with a new recipe for you to try your skills in the art of fresh egg pasta making. This time I tried make farfalle, butterflies, a kind of pasta easy to do but very effective. Get your pasta machine out of the cupboard or dust your rolling pin, it’s time to make pasta!
Whole wheat bread, rye bread. I simply love rustic breads, with their thick and tasty bread crumb. The fibers contained in these flours, in addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, give bread a rough texture which I find very pleasant. During my last visit at Maroggia’s Mill I asked Alessandro to give me some rye flour from the Valais region, to make some tests in the kitchen. I tried to make Valais rye bread but unfortunately my first attempt didn’t turn out well and I decided to take it slow, since baking with this flour is not an easy task I added some strong bread flour. The result is a wonderful bread ideal to be consumed in the morning for breakfast. Filling, tasty and not heavy on digestion it matches perfectly with a spoonful of honey (well yes, for practical reasons and not to come out with a too minimalistic picture I had to cheat on my diet!) and, for those of you who can, a nice glass of cold milk. The crumb is very compact and is ideal to be smeared with honey and jams, but still remains very soft. With this recipe, I greet you and wish you a wonderful August, I decided to take a little break from recipes and post and will be starting to post again from September. Happy summer everyone!
Valais Rye Bread
100 g Valais rye flour
200 g water
3 g instant yeast
Mix the dry ingredients, add the water and mix with a fork until there are no lumps.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours at room temperature, then let stand in refrigerator for about 10 hours.
300 g poolish
70 g rye flour
180 g strong bread flour
15 g seed oil
7 g salt
Remove the poolish from the refrigerator 30′ before kneading and leave at room temperature.
Add the flour and salt and mix until the flour is almost completely absorbed, then add the oil and mix until you get a smooth mixture.
To prevent the dough from sticking moisten your hands several times.
Make two sets of folds, one on the short side and one on the long side of the dough and shape the dough into a sausage.
Put the dough in a 20×10 cm plumcake mold.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for one hour.
Bake in the oven preheated to 230° C for about 20′, then lower the temperature to 180° C and bake for further 20′.
Out of the oven let cool on a wire rack.
Pane alla segale vallesana
Pane integrale, pane di segale. Non so voi ma ho una vera e propria passione per i pani rustici, densi e saporiti. Le fibre delle farine integrali oltre che essere ricche di vitamine e sali minerali conferiscono al pane una texture grezza che trovo molto gradevole. Perciò alla mia ultima visita al Mulino di Maroggia ho chiesto ad Alessandro di darmi della farina di segale Vallesana per vedere un po’ i risultati in cucina. Ho provato a fare il pane di segale vallesano ma purtroppo con il mio primo tentativo non sono stata troppo fortunata e per il momento ho deciso di prenderla con calma affrontando questa farina un po’ difficile con una aggiunta di farina bianca nostrana. Il risultato è uno splendido pane che ben si presta per essere consumato la mattina a colazione. Saziante, saporito e per nulla pesante è perfetto gustato con un velo di miele (eh sì per ragioni pratiche del blog per non fare una foto troppo scarna ho dovuto fare un piccolo sgarro alla mia dieta!) e, per voi che potete, un bel bicchierone di latte freddo. La mollica è molto compatta, dunque ideale per essere spalmata con miele e marmellate, pur rimanendo molto morbida. Con questa ricetta vi saluto e vi auguro uno splendido mese di Agosto, mese per il quale ho deciso di prendermi una piccola pausa da ricette e post. Ci rivediamo a Settembre!
Pane alla segale vallesana
100 g farina di segale vallesana
200 g acqua
3 g lievito di birra istantaneo
Mescolate gli ingredienti secchi e poi aggiungere l’acqua e amalgamare con una forchetta finché non ci saranno grumi.
Ricoprite la ciotola con pellicola alimentare e lasciate lievitare 2 ore a temperatura ambiente, dopodiché lasciate riposare in frigorifero 10 ore.
300 g poolish
70 g farina di segale
180 g farina bianca nostrana oppure farina 0
15 g olio di semi
7 g sale marino
Togliete il poolish dal frigorifero 30′ prima di impastare e lasciatelo a temperatura ambiente.
Unite le farine e il sale marino e impastate finché la farina sarà quasi completamente assorbita, dopodiché unite l’olio e impastate finché otterrete un composto omogeneo.
Per evitare che l’impasto si appiccichi alle mani bagnatele più volte.
Fate due serie di pieghe, una sul lato corto e una sul lato lungo dell’impasto e formate un salsicciotto.
Bagnatevi le mani e formate un salsicciotto che stia in uno stampo per plumcake di 20×10 cm.
Coprite con pellicola alimentare e lasciate lievitare a temperatura ambiente un’ora.
Iniziate la cottura in forno preriscaldato a 230° C, per 20′, dopodiché abbassate la temperatura a 180° C e cuocete per ulteriori 20′.
Fuori dal forno fate raffreddare su di una gratella.