Cuochi d’artificio: Buckwheat and Orange Zest Rusks / Cuochi d’artificio: Fette biscottate al grano saraceno e scorza di arancia

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Good habits…what a task! How many of us run like crazy in the morning in order to get ready and get to work fresh and on time…often with an empty stomach? Over the years I too have learned to wake up a little earlier to allow me to sit and have breakfast. And it feels different, it feels good. No mid-morning jitters, enough energy and concentration to face the day at its fullest. The latest episode of Cuochi d’Artificio I have baked for focuses on good habits and breakfast is the subject given to me. And what kind of bread more than rusk screams breakfast? The addition of buckwheat flour and orange zest (but you can flavour the bread otherwise) make of the plain old rusks something worth getting out of bed, don’t you think so? The loaf itself is delicious eaten as a simple sandwich bread but the rusks will keep longer especially if placed in a tin box lined with parchment paper.

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Buckwheat diamonds in autumnal broth / Pasta di grano saraceno in brodo autunnale

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Autumn. If you have been following my blog for a few years there is no need for me to stress on how much I love this season. If I had to pick a few words to describe this season those words would be: orange, leaves, perfumes, chestnuts, woolly jumpers, fireplace, home. A few words which are already eight…oh the nasty habit of dwelling that I have! To these “few words” I would just add another one: buckwheat.

No other kind of grain embodies in itself all the scents, colours and flavours of the most beautiful season of the year. Aromatic, intense, hot, buckwheat is very well suited for a variety of recipes ranging from sweet to savoy with the advantage of being a highly warming food (something I learned during my macrobiotic phase), therefore ideal for these months that are slowly introducing us to the cold winter. There is nothing better than a good hot soup to reconcile yourself with the world after a hard day’s work. Just imagine being in the cozy warmth of your house, holding a steaming bowl while sitting on the couch watching one of your favourite tv series.

The dough can be prepared it in advance and frozen laying the diamond shaped pasta on a cutting board covered with plastic wrap. When the pasta is thoroughly frozen you can store it in box to prevent it from breaking.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cast Iron Pot Buckwheat Bread / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pane in pentola con grano saraceno

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There are days blessed with perfect recipes, during which experiments in the kitchen exceed all expectations. Those are the best days. The bread recipe I am sharing with you today in Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook is the result of one of these magical days. Baking bread in a cast iron pot is one of of my favourite techniques, one that never disappoints me and I always recommend to all baking fanatics.
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A Spring Menu nr 3 / Un menù di primavera nr 3

fishcakeHere we are with the third appointment with my spring menus (you can check out here the first and second menu). Aren’t you curious to read what’s up for this week? Here are the four courses of the second menu:
Buckwheat Salad with Mixed Sprouts, Avocado and Mint
Lasagna with pears , cream of celeriac and creamy goat cheese
Leeks and Flounder Fishcakes
Anise pudding with rhubarb compote

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A friendship’s tale: Msemmen bread from Morocco / Storia di pane e amicizia: lo Msemmen dal Marocco

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This is a special bread, a bread of friendship. A bread to tear and share. My friend Amal taught me ho to prepare and bake it. I met her at a swap event in Chiasso, “Il trovatutto”, which is held monthly in a recreational center in town. I started going to it when I realized that many things stored during my last move weren’t of use anymore. Simply they stayed several months in the boxes without me noticing. An old mirror, some jeans I was given but never wore, things like this. Since waste is not an option in my house I was more than glad when my path crossed the one of “Il trovatutto”. I got rid of many things and met new people, and among them Amal. Funnily enough we met over our passion for food and baked goods.
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Comfort food: Buckwheat and Hazelnut flour Pie with Broccoli and Walnut filling / Comfort Food: Crostata salata di grano saraceno e nocciole con ripieno di broccoli e salsa di noci

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Last week I started working again, part time, after 10 months unemployment. It feels weird, since the blog was born it became a fulltime job for me and it’s hard to let go, even if a little. Still struggling to make my schedules meet, maybe Panettone weekend wasn’t helpful and scrambled my brain a little, I had the chance to bake some bread only once with a semi-failed experiment that turned out nicely (but in the rush forgot to take notes). This is not good. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Of Buckwheat ciabatta Quest / Alla ricerca della ciabatta al grano saraceno perfetta

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Some recipes are like miracles, perfectly balanced from the first test to the hundred times you cook/bake them after their discovery. Some recipes are like nightmares, thoughts of the numerous failures hunting you at night, the need to nail them a monkey on your back. Especially if you’re like me, instinctive and a bit lazy on the technical/study side of the cooking/baking world. I am improving, but to me nothing beats some proper experiments and action in the kitchen. Guerrilla cooking (oh and how many times I come out defeated!). Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Spelt, Semi-Whole Wheat, Buckwheat flour, Wheat Germ Sourdough Bread / Pane al lievito madre con germe di grano, farina di farro, semi integrale, e farina di grano saraceno

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Until a few years ago, when I baked my bread with yeast and used AP flour only, it didn’t occur to me that flours could be so different and serve different purposes. In Switzerland we do not have a thing such as AP flour, mostly because wheat flours found in the shops have all 11% protein content, unless semi-whole meal, wholemeal or other kind of grains flour. Yes, how distressing.
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Sourdough and Hazelnut Grissini / Grissini alla pasta madre e nocciole

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After my post on sourdough crackers I thought it would be nice, every now and then, to post some recipes that use excess sourdough. There are plenty around and I think it’s a nice way to use our little blobs excesses without having to pack the freezer with sliced bread. One of my favourite solution ever, and I warn you these sticks are addictive, is grissini. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…