How I love the cold season. Vendors at every turn of a corner, the thick smoke coming from the roasting racks. Paper cones filled with roasted chestnuts keep my hands warm. Autumn and winter are my favourite season for their distinctive perfumes and flavours. Chestnuts come in the first place of my cold season food top ten. Sweet and fragrant, once amongst the staple food of our ancestors here in Ticino it has now become quite an expensive ingredient to buy in stores. Definitely not an every day ingredient if not for those who have the chance of being able to go in the woods and pick some. Every now and then I treat myself with a bag of chestnut flour and bake kolache. Lately I have been experimenting a bit and came up for this recipe for a bread I took to a dinner with friends. It’s flavour is intense and lends itself well to accompany a vegetable soup which is so seasonal. Chestnuts, walnuts and polenta are all products which are typical of my region and blend perfectly. This bread is one with a strong personality, it is rich and dense and keeps fresh for several days…a bit like bread did in the old days.
Today for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I want to present you with a very practical and entertaining recipe, as well as delicious of course! Bread in a can is the perfect example of how man can use anything as a cooking tool. Really, there is no point in owning multiple moulds and bread tins when you can re-use tin cans. Besides the result is so nice and the rounded slices of bread are perfect for making appetizers!
Bagels. If I’m not mistaken this is the second recipe I tried after discovering my passion for bread baking. The first one was the Cottage Loaf, a bread which has been the staple of my baking when sixteen. Around that time my father used to travel a lot to the United States, something which I guess summed up with my passion for american tv series and MTV played a role into feeding my interest for this bread. I then did a 10 day holiday in N.Y. where I religiously followed my plan to eat a typical american breakfast every single morning, with the rule of changing both menu and place every single day. Amongst the breakfast I had there where bagels too, of course. I would opt for a classic philadelpia cheese and smoked salmon bagel, straight from the oven and still warm. No doubt one of my favourite breakfasts during my american holiday. I haven’t been baking bagels since, for no reason really. This time a pretty weird idea to use Maroggia’s Mill flour came to my mind. Liquorice flavoured bagels! Take a look into Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook with me and let’s see how these beauties can be baked at home.
I simply love breakfast. Sweet or savoury it makes no difference at all, it’s just one of my favourite meals by virtue of its versatility. I discovered kanelbullar while “bakery hunting” for my morning breakfasts in Copenhagen. Not that i didn’t know well it’s british-american counterpart, the cinnamon bun, but what intrigued me the most was its shape. Braided breads of all sorts have always an effect on me, it must be my aesthetic and artistic inclinations playing a big part in this fascination.
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!
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.
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.
Some time ago a friend asked me to bake some buns for a kid’s party. I took the occasion to experiment a bit, and came up for this recipe which is dairy free, both considering eventual allergies or intolerances to dairy products but also to make this bread a little less fat. It took me quite a few test to nail the recipe, but here it is…simply perfect! These buns are soft and pillowy and keep up to three days if store in a plastic bag after they have cooled down. To make them funny for the kids I decided to use the tiger bread glazing technique, but using some cocoa tu dust them, turning them into proper giraffe buns! So here are my giraffe buns for you and for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
In the past few weeks me and my father have been going gathering wild garlic (here if you want to know more about where and when to find it) and in addition to making a small batch of pesto we froze for the cold winter nights I thought I’d try out a bread recipe for a change. I took inspiration from a bread by Hamelman, the actual original recipe is for fougasse, changing some quantities adding a little oil and flour. I must say I’m very happy about these soft and aromatic rolls which I happily include in Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. If wild garlic is not to your liking you can always use some basil. These fluffy and fragrant buns can be filled with any ingredients, simply be eaten as they are or as an accompaniment to a fresh salad!