MTChallenge: Chestnut Honey and Feta Pizza / MTChallenge: Pizza al miele di castagno e feta

pizza feta e miele di castagno, chestnut honey and feta pizza 1

Here comes another month, here another MTChallenge. This time Eleonora and Michael, the two minds behind the blog Burro e Miele, threw their gauntlet not with a recipe but with an ingredient instead, and honey it is. Panic. This exact month is filled with work and new ideas, meetings, recipe testing and I won’t deny that such a great freedom within the challenge scares me a bit. In order not to exhaust myself I decided to keep a low profile, a very low one…but always with the desire to test new recipes and enjoy something different. Feta and honey have been a staple of Sunday brunches for a long time now and I’ve been crumbling feta on almost all of my white pizzas in the past years. It seemed to me like a perfect combination. A sweet and salty pizza, bring it on! The idea of putting honey directly into the dough is a winning one. Chestnut honey has a very distinctive taste and the result is pretty good…I already have been thinking of other recipes and I think I will be experimenting next Autumn. For the umpteenth time I want to thank MTC for being such a source of inspiration.

Chestnut Honey and Feta Pizza
Makes 12 pizzas of a diameter of approximately 11 cm

Preferment

240 g AP white flour
240 g water
1 g of instant yeast

Mix flour, yeast and water, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature 9 hours.

Dough

preferment
180 g Ap white flour 0
180 g finely ground semolina flour
90 g water
90 g chestnut honey
6 g salt

200 g feta
chestnut honey

Dissolve the honey in water and add to the preferment.
Mix with the aid of a fork, then add the sifted flour.
Knead until almost all the water is absorbed, add the salt and knead until all ingredients are completely absorbed.
Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for one hour.
Knead into a ball, cover the bowl and let rise two hours.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape into even balls.
Store them in containers brushed with a little olive oil, cover with clingfilm and let a few minutes at room temperature.
Put the dough to rest in a refrigerator for about 24 hours.
Let the dough into the containers and let rise in a warm place for about two hours.
After this time, flatten out the dough with your hands (rolling pin is forbidden!), gently deflating the dough from the centre and pushing the bubbles out leaving a thick border on the outside.
Bake for about 5′ in the oven preheated to 275° C.
If the dough swells in the middle deflate with the help of a wooden spoon.
Crumble the feta cheese on the pizzas and pour honey according to your taste.

pizza feta e miele di castagno, chestnut honey and feta pizza 2

MTChallenge: Pizza al miele di castagno e feta

Altro mese, altro MTChallenge. Questo giro siamo stati imbarcati da Eleonora e Michael del blog Burro e Miele che ci chiedono non di interpretare una ricetta bensì un ingrediente: il miele. Panico. È un periodo denso e ricco di idee, lavori, proposte, incontri e non nego di far fatica a muovermi in cotanta libertà. Alla fine per non esaurirmi e non fare fumare troppo il cervello ho deciso di tenermi con un profilo basso, che dico bassissimo…ma sempre con la voglia di provarci e assaporare qualcosa di diverso. Feta e miele sono oramai da parecchio tempo un caposaldo dei brunch domenicali e già la feta la sbriciolo da anni sulle mie pizze bianche. Mi è sembrata una combinazione perfetta per una pizza tra il dolce ed il salato. L’intuizione migliore è stata quella di mettere il miele direttamente nell’impasto. Essendo il miele di castagno un miele molto saporito il risultato si sente eccome…prevedo già altre sperimentazioni (penso che rimanderò al prossimo autunno ma per non rischiare di dimenticarmi prenderò appunti)! Per l’ennesima volta grazie all’MTC per essere una continua fonte di ispirazione.

Pizza al miele di castagno e feta
x 12 pizzette dal diametro di 11 cm circa

Prefermento

240 g Farina Bianca Nostrana (disponibile presso le filiali di Migros Ticino) oppure farina 0
240 g acqua
1 g lievito di birra istantaneo

Mischiate farina, lievito e acqua, coprite la ciotola con pellicola e lasciate a temperatura ambiente 9 ore.

Impasto

prefermento
360 g farina per pizza del Mulino di Maroggia (disponibile presso le filiali di Migros Ticino)
oppure 180 g di farina 0 + 180 g di farina di semola rimacinata fine
90 g acqua
90 g miele di castagno
6 g sale

200 g feta
miele di castagno

Sciogliete il miele nell’acqua e aggiungetela al prefermento.
Amalgamate con l’aiuto di una forchetta dopodiché aggiungete la farina setacciata.
Impastate finché quasi tutta l’acqua sarà assorbita, aggiungete il sale e impastate fino a completo assorbimento.
Riponete l’impasto in una ciotola, coprite con pellicola alimentare e lasciate lievitare a temperatura ambiente per un’ora.
Impastate ancora e formate una bella palla, coprite nuovamente la ciotola e lasciate lievitare due ore.
Dividete l’impasto in 12 porzioni uguali e fatene delle pallette ben tese.
Riponetele in contenitori spennellati con pochissimo olio, coprite con pellicola alimentare e lasciate qualche minuto a temperatura ambiente.
Mettete a riposare gli impasti in frigorifero per circa 24 ore.
Lasciate gli impasti nei contenitori e lasciate lievitare gli impasti al caldo per circa 2 ore.
Trascorso questo tempo stendete l’impasto con le mani (il matterello è vietato!), sgonfiando delicatamente la parte interna e spingendo le bolle verso l’esterno e lasciando un bel bordo spesso all’esterno.
Cuocete la base, in forno preriscaldato a 275 °C, per circa 5′.
Se gli impasti si gonfiano al centro sgonfiateli con l’aiuto di un cucchiaio di legno.
Sbriciolate la feta sulle pizzette e fate colare miele di castagno a piacimento.

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Tortelli who believed themselves to be chiacchiere / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: I tortelli che si credevano chiacchiere

chiacchiera 1

Carnival could be easily renamed “Feast of fried stuff”. The most common recipes in Italy and Ticino are chiacchiere, frappe, tortelli and frittelle. Needless to say frying makes everything better, crisp and irresistible! A quick dusting with icing sugar and tortelli are ready to taste, hot and straight out of their brown paper cone, while parading between bright coloured masks and multicoloured confetti. Each region has its own specialties, and it is not hard to confuse them between one another. And what if tortelli believed themselves to be chiacchiere?
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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Black Cracker Shells filled with Za’atar Hummus / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Conchiglie di cracker nero ripiene di hummus allo za’tar

black cracker shells with zaa'tar hummus - conchiglie di crackers nere con hummus allo zaa'tar 1

Food and trends. We can’t deny it for as long as food has been in the spotlight techniques, gadgets, ingredients and recipes have been changing from one year from the other as fashion trend have been since the past decades. We can’t have enough of novelty and our taste for the unknown, the most healthy, the most flavourful product has no end. This time I have been asked to work on the subject of fashion as trends in food. Something quick, easy but with an impact, something that could stand out of the crowd. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Mustard Flavoured Pita / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pita alla senape

Mustard Flavoured Pita - Pita alla senape 1

Flatbreads are amongst my favourite breads. Why? First of all they are already portioned and ready to be eaten on the go for a quick snack or stuffed for an easy lunch to take with you to eat on your mid-day break. They also make the perfect side dish bread, to be dunked in rich gravies, to clean the plate from the tomato sauce that hasn’t been trapped linguine or spaghetti or even to be used instead of cutlery to scoop food from the plate as one would do with a spoon or a fork. No slicing, no morsels, no fuss. For this recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I thought to add a little flavour and spice to the dough by simply mixing in some mustard. Heavenly…you don’t need to spread mustard anymore as the flavour is already in the bread! These pitas are pillowy soft, melt in the mouth and keep fresh up to 5 days if stored in plastic bags. You can also freeze them and keep them stored on case of a bread emergency. Simply pop them in the toaster or the oven!

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Tuscan Crostini with Chicken Livers / Crostini con fegatini di pollo

Fegatini

Chicken livers…so much I have eaten, so much I love them! I discovered this delicacy during my studies at the university of Florence, and I still enjoy them after so many years. There’s nothing more winter and cuddly. The ingredients are simple and poor. Bread is always in the pantry. Appetizer anyone?

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Pumpkin, Pears and Walnut Ravioli in Vegetable Broth / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Tortelli di zucca, pere e noci in brodo vegetale

Pumpkin Pears and Walnut Ravioli in Vegetable Broth Tortelli di zucca pere e noci in brodo vegetale 1

I haven’t posted a fresh pasta recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook in a while http://www.mulinomaroggia.ch and the opportunity now comes along with the new packaging for pasta and pizza flour which has been available in stores since November. Alessandro gave me some samples and I decided to try out a tortelli recipe, since I’ve never had the chance to make them myself. I highly recommend you to try making them on a Sunday afternoon, preferably with some family members who can help you out and with whom you can spend some good times with. Making the dough is a long process and requires some patience but the result repays with a fresh product which is also easily customizable. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

“Cuochi d’artificio”: Brunch time!

english muffins

                                                 English Muffins

I simply love brunch. If and when I have the occasion of indulging into some proper brunching I never miss out to eat both savoury and sweet dishes, even if it often means I will leave the table with a bloating stomach. It’s simply irresistible. With this premise you can well imagine my reaction when I was asked to think up two recipes for a brunch themed episode of “Cuochi d’artificio”. I was over the moon and of course my main concern was to present two recipes that would incarnate well the whole concept of brunch. At first I obsessed quite a while around crumpets, which I still have to nail, then resigned to downshifting to the most easy pikelets (since I doubt anyone in Ticino would buy crumpet rings just for the thrill of attempting to cook crumpets when it is really difficult to pull out a proper result). Of course crumpets and pikelets are best eaten with salted butter and honey or jam but I had to add another recipe in order to fill up the many minutes I was given to illustrate both recipes so I thought they would be definitely scrumptious if paired with a velvety lemon curd. As for the savoury part of the brunch what is more suitable than proper crispy english muffins topped with an avocado cream and a well poached egg? I can’t tell you how many eggs I have poached (luckily my aunt’s hens have started producing an incredible amount of egg and there is nothing better than a fresh egg to achieve the perfect poaching) but in the end, through internet surfing and tips studying and many trials I finally made it! So here you will find the video illustrating all steps to cook english muffins and pikelets, make a heavenly lemon curd and poach perfectly eggs. Here you will find all the quantities and instructions you can google translate (hopefully something intelligible will turn out) and print. And don’t forget to call your friends over for a Sunday brunch!

P.S.: The blog is on holiday until January the 8th!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Sage and Mixed Seeds Grissini / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Grissini alla salvia e semi misti

Sage and Mixed Seeds Grissini - Grissini alla salvia e semi misti 1

Do you know what it takes to make me happy? Hand me a pack of proper grissinis and this will keep me good, quiet and happy for a good half an hour…just long enough for me to eat them all! There is nothing I can do, they are simply irresistible to em! It has been a while since I have baked a batch especially for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook so I came up with a new version, which have passed successfully my guinea pigs’ test. To add more crispiness and crunch I added some mixed seeds which Alessandro, production director at Maroggia’s Mill and my faithful miller, handed me over the last time I visited. I added some dried sage too. The result is fragrant, aromatic, crisp and extremely addictive. Try the recipe and let me know what you think about those ones!

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A piadina that believed itself to be ravioli, sweet version / La piadina che si credeva raviolo, versione dolce

la piadina che si credeva raviolo 1

In this post I propose the original recipe for the piadina that believed itself to be ravioli. Oh yes, the recipe was originally conceived as a sweet and only later I was asked to change it into a savoury version. In fact, the first recipe’s name should have been “Piadina that believed itself to be ravioli… but also a bit cannoli”because of its sweet filling made with goat cheese and candied fruit, like the traditional cannolo. Since no recipe goes to waste and blog posting optimization has become vital to me I propose the recipe with a slight modification in the dough too, with a mix of fine semolina and AP white flour which is reminiscent of fresh pasta. I recommend using goat cheese because it is much more delicate on the palate and less creamy (too much creaminess is likely to cover the flavours of the other ingredients). I added lemon zest and fennel powder to give some freshness to the filling which would be otherwise a little too bland. Sometimes it takes very little to make a recipe special and I am very happy to say this one passed the guinea pigs test with no problem, despite the presence of candied peel which are not always to the taste of everyone. If you are among those who do not like candied peel you can always replace this ingredient with chocolate chips or other ingredients you like the most.

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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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