Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Bread Tin Brioche / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Brioche in cassetta

Shall those who do not like to have breakfast with a sweet and pillowy soft bread raise their hands. Well, as expected…no one! For some getting up in the morning is really hard, but I swear this brioche bread I baked for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook will make your day perfect at the first bite. Maroggia’s Mill AP white flour lends itself perfectly to bake this grumpiness-proof bread. You don’t believe me? Well, there’s nothing left for you but try!
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Daring Bakers: White Chocolate and Pistachio Flower Brioche / Daring Bakers: Fiore di brioche al cioccolato bianco e pistacchio

fiore db 1

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…

Autumn Brioche Flower with Chestnut and Butternut Squash, a winner recipe / Fiore d’autunno alla castagna e zucca butternut, una ricetta vincente

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Put together a contest, some seasonal ingredients, my brioche dough and shake until thoroughly mixed. The result? An extremely soft sweet bread and a first prize win. But let’s start from the beginning. Almost two months ago I stumbled into an article in Azione, a weekly newspaper by Migros which is one of Switzerland’s retail chains leader. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Brioche obsession and Chocolate Babka / L’ossessione per la brioche e la Babka al cioccolato

babkaaltoweb

Lately brioche has been the queen of my kitchen. It all started with italian facebook baking groups raving about this russian flower and the endless posting of pictures, videos and blog posts. I’m not usually inclined to follow trends, but admit the shape was so gorgeous I couldn’t help myself. And having friends around for dinner is always a great excuse, isn’t it?

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Brioches for singles having breakfast with friends / Brioches per singoli con amici a colazione

IMG_3794 Sometimes we may be put off and a bit scared of trying out new recipes, especially those classics with foreign names evoking high class, manners or simply a tradition that may not be soiled by our tragicomical home baking attempts. Such is the effect that brioche dough makes on me. I think about Marie Antoinette (even though she never said: ”Let them eat brioche”), french baking tradition and I freeze. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Savoury Vegan Babka with Black Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Babka salata vegana con olive nere e pomodori secchi

Brioche vegana con olive e pomodori secchi 1

I had been working on a new vegan dough for my last episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” a few months ago and fell in love with it. The use of cocoa butter has proved decisive for its softness, something I would never imagine possible without the use of butter. Having experimented with sweet dough I thought it might be interesting to develop a recipe for savoury brioche, and here it is. For the shaping I looked back to the good old babka (check out my Chocolate Babka and Licorice, White Chocolate and Strawberry Babka). The result? A pillowy soft, scrumptious, fragrant and summery bread! Even my friend Nevia, who is skeptical about “bread which has stuff in it” tried a slice and loved it! Perfect to whip up some Sunday brunch sandwiches, eaten alone or with a nice cream cheese.
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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Sweet Pesto Snails / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Lumachine al “pesto dolce”

lumachine al pesto dolce copia

And here we are, time flies doesn’t it? This is my last episode on this season of “Cuochi d’artificio” as the program is taking a well deserved summer break. A challenging adventure which made me grow so much and discover the fascinating world of tv production, one experience I hope to have the honour and privilege to repeat next year. This episode has for a theme snails. Well, nothing more suitable for bread, as dough is often shaped in this guise, and bread snail can be found in bakeries filled with all kind of ingredients, both sweet and savoury. In the past I have used this shaping to make my Crunchy Licorice Snails, Rye and fennel seeds snails with blood oranges and red onion chutney and Poppy seed snails. This time around I thought it could be fun to bake snails that at first glance might seem stuffed with basil pesto…while instead they are flavoured with a fresh mix of minced mint, pine nuts, white chocolate and a touch of grated lemon zest. The dough is 100% vegan. The use of cocoa butter makes it particularly soft, the best vegan bread I have developed so far…it’s really light as a feather and very similar to brioche dough. You can change the filling omitting white chocolate and put another 100% vegan ingredient. Unfortunately my knowledge in this area is limited and my attempt to produce a vegan vanilla custard failed miserably.

Here is a list of the required ingredients and step by step instructions to bake the bread and to make the filling. Here you can see the episode where I explain all the steps to bake these cute snails at home.

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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: 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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MTChallenge n°50: And the recipe is… / MTC n°50: La ricetta della sfida di Settembre è…

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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.

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