Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Paprika Puff Pastry Crescents / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Cornetti di pasta sfoglia alla paprika

cornetti-pasta-sfoglia-paprika-1

Here we are with our usual appointment with Maroggia’s Mill and its Cookbook. Today’s recipe is homemade puff pastry, a recipe I spent several days working on many years ago in order to find the perfect recipe as you can well see my numerous posts on millefeuille. I re-tested the recipe a few months ago using only Maroggia’s Mill flour and, needless to say, the result was excellent. On this occasion I tweaked the basic recipe with savoury pies and croissants in mind and decided to add sweet paprika powder to the flour. This puff pastry is ideal for small pies and finger food to nibble on before dinner. I shaped them into crescent shape, a form that lends itself very well to various fillings (but I haven’t filled them…I am on a diet!).
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Saffron and Chilli Bread Thins / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Sfoglie di pane allo zafferano e peperoncino

Crackers allo zafferano e peperoncino 1

Crack, crunch, crock! As I crunch through a bread thin the first thing coming up to my mind is the classic comic balloon words written in a bold uppercase font and the exclamation point, slightly bigger than the character as to give strength to the onomatopoeic sound. To me crunchy foods, especially if they are baked goods, are irresistible. Is it an ancient heritage we carry with us that drives us to go through entire packs of crunchy crisps and crumbly grissini?

After a quick glance at the blog I realized that along all these years I posted few recipes for crackers. Such a gap had to be filled as soon as possible, I thought to myself! It’s thanks to chilli and a brilliant intuition (which I admit was totally random as when opening the “Food Thesaurus” the first ingredient I came across was saffron) I baked these amazing bread thins. Without modesty I can say this recipe is among the best I ever made for the blog when it’s up to crackers and Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook.

These bread thins are quite spicy, so if you do not like spicy food but you still want to feel a slight tingling I recommend to halve the amount of chilli.

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Wholemeal Flour Friselle / Friselle con farina integrale

friselle integrali 1

Summer is almost over but some juicy tomato are still hanging on the plants of most of home gardens…a wonderful opportunity to try out a great classic of Italian baking: friselle. Have you ever tasted one?

Before moving on to the recipe let’s find out more about these delicious baked goods. Frisella (or frisedda, freseḍḍa, frisa or friseddha in the various variants of Apulia) is a bread biscuit which is only partially baked, cut in half and then baked once more to dry it. It is typical of Southern Italy regions such as Campania, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria. Before the war, wheat flour friselle were reserved for the most affluent and celebrations. The poor ate barley flour or barley and wheat flour friselle. The characteristic shape is the result of transportation and storage needs, in fact friselle were strung on a cord to facilitate transport and storage. Fishermen used to wet them with sea water to make them soft and to be able to eat them.

Generally the bread is rubbed with garlic, wet with water and seasoned with fresh tomato and a drizzle of oil, but you can be more creative and use all sorts of ingredients…I even had friselle with lumpfish roe once! Friselle keep for several days if kept in a tin box but personally I can get through a batch in just a few days with the pretence of a snack or an aperitif!

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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Bicycle! / “Cuochi d’artificio”: La bicicletta!

Bread Paris Brest

Bicycle! Bycicle!, when Alice proposed me this theme I clearly sensed her perplexity…what would I do of it? Was it feasible, with bread? Her uncertainty was palpable and I had to think quick in order to convince her everything would be fine and not miss this opportunity. Paris-Brest, of course! One of the most famous and popular French pâtisserie classics was created in 1910 by chef Louis Durand to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race begun in 1891. It’s basically a wheel shaped choux filled with praline flavoured cream. What about a bread wheel, filled with a foie gras cream? To recreate the craquelin effect, a decorative crackly topping, I relied on the recipe for the topping for tiger bread rolls. The result? Simply stunning! Unfortunately due to ethical issues my first recipe for the filling was rejected. But since I personally find it amazing and love foie gras I decided to post it, in case you would like to try it. The recipe I cooked in the studio has more of a strong and rustic flavour, but is still very good.

Here you will find the list of ingredients needed and the directions to bake the bread and to whip up the filling (sorry it’s in Italian but I’m pretty sure google translate will be ok) and here you can find the whole episode with me explaining all the steps to bake this beauty at home. Are you ready?

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Cuochi d’artificio: “Messy Spring Frisella” / Cuochi d’artificio: “Frisella primaverile pasticciata”

Frisella primaverile pasticciata

It was a long wait…the first weeks of April showering with rain and confusing us with it’s sudden meteorological moods switching from cold autumnal temperatures to sunny days, but finally Spring is here to delight us with it’s sunny and mild climate. To greet the coming of Spring I thought up this simple recipe which I presented on my last recording at “Cuochi d’artificio”. The theme of the episode was “Mess”.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Parmesan and Chive Polenta Muffins / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Muffins alla polenta, parmigiano e erba cipollina

muffin polenta 1

Polenta. For centuries it has been the staple of our grandparents and great-grandparents diet, accompanied by meat, cheese, or more commonly by milk (even though I’m aware it is a quite childish on it’s my favourite combination). Corn is a tenacious plant with a very good yield, two features which make of this plant the most commonly cultivated and the staple of many peoples diet all around the world. It can also be toasted and reduced to a fine powder to produce farina bona, a special flour which is typical of the Valle Onsernone, a Valley in Ticino. Corn flour can be used in many different ways, as coating meat or bread sticks instead of using breadcrumbs, and can also be used in sweet preparations such as cakes (like amor polenta) and biscuits. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

“Cuochi d’artificio”: Turmeric Bread Casket and it’s jewels / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Scrigno di pane alla curcuma e i suoi gioielli

Scrigno di pane alla curcuma 1

“All that glitters is not gold” has been the theme of the last episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I took part to. My main inspiration came from Iran, a place I’ve never visited but whose cuisine I know enough to declare my love for. I imagined a chests, made of breadand filled with “precious jewels”. What about these precious jewels?
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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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Semolina Flour Tozzetti / Tozzetti di semola rimacinata fine

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Bread sticks, bread sticks…an endless love. Grissini have always been my favourite snack (as a child when we went out for a pizza I would steal grissini bags to all diners at our table, then grissini became the staple snack I would nibble during trips on trains when I went at the university), I never get tired of trying new recipes and mix of ingredients. This time I tried to put together one of my favourite flour (the friscello or fine semolina) with some farina bianca nostrana, equivalent of a strong bread flour. From the fridge I removed a tiny jar of shortening which was left from making pies, mainly out of curiosity (shortening is often amongst the ingredients of artisanal bread sticks that can be found in shops and supermarkets) as it seemed the right amount for this recipe and waste not want not, right? I used some refreshed and very active liquid sourdough and voilà the perfect recipe is served, more out of luck than anything else. I’m not sure whether the flour, lard or simply the mix of all these ingredients made the trick, but this recipe is among the best I’ve created so far. These tozzetti (meaning stocky, as I named them for their flat, short and thick shape) are the apotheosis of crunchiness. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Multi grain, Fennel Seeds, Lemon Zest and Black Pepper Crunchy Donuts / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciambelline croccanti ai quattro cereali, semi di finocchio, scorza di limone e pepe nero

ciambelline finocchio, pepe, limone 2And here we are with the usual appointment with Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. This time I delight you with a recipe for some very nice crunchy appetizers, to offer to your friends with a good cocktail or simply to munch in front of a good movie. I made them a few weeks ago, to thank a couple of friends who invited me over to theirs for fantastic persian dinner. Of course I indulged with various baked goods (I hate going over to friend empty handed!) including some toasted flour and black sesame seeds naan and my legendary chocolate and cinnamon cake which my friend Laura calls “the most delicious chocolate cake in the world”. The crunchy donuts were received with much enthusiasm and frantic chewing, an unmistakable signs of success! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…