Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Ricotta and Butter Panini Buns / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Panini alla ricotta e burro

Maroggia's Mill Cookbook- Ricotta and Butter Panini Buns - Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia- Panini alla ricotta e burro 1

Nothing makes me happy as inviting friends over to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. To prepare a lavish feast with all of the best foods, and pick the favourites according to my friend’s taste, to embellish the table with red mats and placing a nice bowl of fresh fruit on the table. To knead and wait patiently, to shape the dough and wait for another while, the nose stuck to the oven glass in contemplation of the soft dough rising, glossy, giving off an amazing scent throughout the house. I especially love breakfasts. Sweet, savoury…nothing is missing from my table (well, nothing missed…now with macro dieting I cut out all dairy and goodbye to my beloved cheese and yogurt). Usually I bake ciabattas and baguettes, but a little leftover of ricotta inspired me to bake these sandwiches. I never imagined they would turn out so perfect on the first try…but yes they truly are perfect. A well-leavened, soft and light dough. Another recipe which is ideal for a snack and for breakfast, or even for a sandwich to have on the fly on a lunch break. This is my gift to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook and to all of you. Enjoy!
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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Focaccia Pudding

Focaccia pudding 2

For this episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I did no kneading, at least not in the tv studio’s kitchen (of course I could not stop myself from baking the focaccia I used for this recipe) but found myself using my beloved focaccia as the main ingredient for the dish. Too little time and too many steps to bake a well honeycombed and fragrant focaccia, not to mention the structure of the dough which is very wet and difficult to handle and this might put off some viewers. But who knows, maybe I will have the opportunity to present my own recipe for focaccia on tv sooner or later. But no more talk. Pudding is a great way to recycle old bread and focaccia leftovers (even though it never occurred to me to have focaccia leftovers) and in this case instead of the usual sweet pudding dessert I decided to make a savoury version. To flavour it I used formaggella ticinese, a very fat cheese, anchovies and the right dose of one of my favourite ingredients…licorice! Are you curious? Then click here to access to the episode with the recipe and here for all the ingredients you need and the steps to follow to bake the recipe. Bon appétit!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Stale bread focaccia / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Focaccia con pane raffermo

stale bread focaccia - focaccia pane raffermo 1

I don’t know what’s your policy at home, but at my place nothing gets thrown away. Food is sacred and anything that is left over is eaten the next day, possibly converting the dish into something else or mixing up with other ingredients. This rule goes for bread too. I had already used breadcrumbs to bake pain de beaucaire, discovering how the addition of ground stale bread to give something extra to the flavour of the dough. With this in mind I came up with this tasty focaccia, covered with a crunchy breading, especially for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Suffice to say it has been all the rage at RSI (the tv channel I am working for) and people still ask me with pleading eyes to bring some more!

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“Cuochi d’artificio”, creativity and a piadina that believed itself to be ravioli / “Cuochi d’artificio”, la creatività e delle piadine che si credevano ravioli

piadina that believed itself to be ravioli - piadine che si credevano ravioli 1

What is creativity? An impulsive motion triggered by sudden illumination which moves the pen, the brush, the fingers on the keys of a computer or a piano? Or rather is it an education to see, to hear, to reinterpret things that surround us? As Bruno Munari well says in his book “Fantasia” it is both. A reading I much enjoyed during my university study and which I’ve picked up lately to help me coming out with new ideas for the theme of the second episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I have been cooking for. Obstacles are often an instrument for the development of new projects so I started from the assumption that the recipe should be prepared in a limited time and shouldn’t pose too many practical problems as long proofing times or handling a messy dough. The simplicity of a flat bread, modest, versatile, provides with a thousand possibilities of interpretation. And what if this piadina wanted to be something else? Maybe it would like to be turned into cannoli…or ravioli! To be able to come up with new ideas we need to subvert all preconceptions we have. Piadina is a staple of Rimini’s street food, stuffed with sweet or savoury filling. Is this recipe untouchable or can play with it to transform it to our liking? I decided to play with it, transforming it in a bite sized treat. One bite and the hand is already reaching out to the next “ravioli piadina”. Soft ricotta whipped with just the right amount of grana padano hits the tastebuds. Enough to salt and not cover the flavour of pistachios, which now creak under the teeth, and the one of chives, refreshed by a touch of lemon zest, an ingredient which is always able to bring back the dead. Blessed zest, blessed citrus flavours that make our palate sing! The hand is reaches out, but the plate is now empty.

This is the recipe told in words. Here you can find the video where it is explained step by step, and here you will find all the ingredients and quantities needed to make your taste buds dance. If you not so much into some of ingredients just be creative, customize the recipe, play with it, have fun. Use your imagination!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Planetary Buns / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Panini planetari

Maroggia's Mill Cookbook- Planetary Buns - Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia- Panini planetari 1

You wouldn’t suspect it. From the outside yet another bun, soft as a pillow no doubts about it, but perhaps a little bland for taste buds all too accustomed to the combination of white bun, chocolate, fruit juice. The staple of almost every kid’s mid day snack. But no don’t be fooled, these buns are planetary. A cosmos made out of cocoa and toasted hazelnuts in which a planet of soft-hearted chocolate floats, the milky way dough flavoured with tonka bean containing a primordial explosion of flavours. The bun you didn’t expect, which in itself contains all that is good, sweet, rewarding. An idea which originated from an assignment, may be too complex for the beginning of a new adventure. I’ll give as a gift to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook then. I hope this makes you dream of starry nights and cocoa flavoured planets.

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A new adventure: “Cuochi d’artificio”…my recipes on tv, starting with seduction! / Una nuova avventura: “Cuochi d’artificio”…le mie ricette in tv, partendo dalla seduzione!

brioche zafferna e cardamomo, saffron and cardamom brioche

I have been keeping a secret from you. Since August I’ve been biting my tongue out of superstition. Ok some of my closest friends knew and eventually, when drawing nearer to the first recording, I disclosed the news to some acquaintances. A new adventure has started for me since I’ve been called to collaborate with “Cuochi d’artificio” the newest cooking show on La1, the first channel of the Swiss Italian Broadcasting Corporation. On the 13th of October my first recording was aired, and to much of my surprise it went down very well even though all my friends underlined the fact I came across as quite bossy towards the tv presenter, who I say in truth I simply adore and must thank once more since without her by my side I would never have been so “relaxed”. And lets face it I was funny bossy not bossy bossy…I just hope people at home got the playful mood! Here is the link of the episode which of course is in Italian. I baked a saffron and cardamom flavoured bread to accompany a beetroot and mango gazpacho. Unfortunately due to copyrights reasons I am not able to post the recipe directly on the blog, so if you’re interested you will have to click directly on the link and use a translating tool. I’m pretty sure you won’t have any problems, the recipe is easy peasy! The bread pictured is different from the one I baked for the tv. Since the whole process was too long I had to skip the first proofing. To achieve a more brioche-like texture like the bread picture i suggest you proof the dough untile doubled in size, shape it and then go to the final proofing. To help fermentation I use a little trick putting a pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven. Moisture and heat help a lot proofing of the dough, speeding up the overall time of fermentation.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Dark Chocolate, Candied Ginger and Orange Zest Fougasse / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Fougasse al cioccolato fondente, zenzero candito e scorza d’arancia

Maroggia's Mill Cookbook- Dark Chocolate, Candied Ginger and Orange Zest Fougasse - Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia- Fougasse al cioccolato fondente, zenzero candito e scorza d'arancia 1

I’d been wanting to try out this bread for a long time, actually since I have been given Jeffrey Hamelman’s book “Bread” for a gift last Christmas. It’s a nice way to break a little from the routine of baking large loaves, rolls and grissinis. An easy bake yet a stunning decorative bread. A perfect recipe to post for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. The original recipe I took inspiration from which is indeed the one by Jeffrey Hamelman and his book Bread although instead of a mix of white and wholemeal flour I decided to use only white flour (the farina bianca nostrana I get from Maroggia’s Mill to not interfere with the flavours of the ingredients I added to the dough. The bread is crunchy on the outside and has a soft crumb. Dark chocolate, candied ginger (here you can find the recipe to make it at home) and orange zest go wonderfully well together. I did not add sugar to the mixture to enable the flavours to come out in all their aromatic notes and to be able to taste the contrast between them. The intense chocolate flavour, freshness of the orange and the tingling sensation the ginger gives to the palate are quite special. I must admit that the only thought of those ingredients put together make me think of Christmas, what about you?

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Cardamom and Turmeric Pancakes / Pancakes al cardamomo e curcuma

pancakes curcuma e cardamomo, cardamom and turmeric pancakes

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…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Coffee and caraway seeds bread / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pane al caffé e semi di cumino

Coffee and caraway seeds bread, Pane al caffé e semi di cumino 1

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!

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La ricetta che ha vinto è…

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…