Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Basmati Rice Sandwiches / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Panini al riso basmati

panini basmati 1

For some months now I have been getting in the mail the Swiss bakers, pastry chefs and confectioners newspaper, Panissimo. An interesting read which informs of all the news revolving around the world of baking and a huge inspiration for the development of new recipes. In fact every now and then the Richemont School publishes its recipes for delicious breads and confectioneries. And that’s how I discovered “risotto bread”, a bread enriched with cooked rice and other flavorings. Obviously I could not refrain myself from experimenting and trying to work out a new recipe of my own for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook, and thus basmati bread was born. A nice find, a bread with a soft and fragrant crumb delightfully perfumed as only Indian rice can be. I baked the buns for the first picnic of the warm season and my friends and faithful guinea pigs liked them very much. The recipe is very simple and quick, with a short proofing, but you can experiment stretching the rest of the dough in order to get a lighter, honeycombed crumb. Are you ready for the inebriating scent of these sandwiches?

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MTChallenge nr 60: Marchesa Casati’s tapas / MTChallenge nr 60: Infiniti auguri alla nomade! O anche le tapas della Marchesa

tapas-marchesa

Another month, another MTChallenge! Mai‘s challenge is a tough one. Tapas! This month our MTC judges were really tough on us and we were asked to develop three recipes. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge: Licorice, Beetroot, Eggplant, Burrata cheese and Anchovies Pizza / MTChallenge: Pizza alla liquirizia con crema di barbabietole e pomodoro concentrato, melanzane grigliate, burrata e acciughe

pizza mtc

Pizza in a pan logbook. When Antonietta proposed her recipe for this month’s MTChallenge I could not believe it…finally my favourite, pizza! Anyone who knows me personally is well aware of the efforts I have undertaken years ago in the search for the perfect traditional pizza. What they probably don’t know is that pizza pan is a true mystery to me. Even though I am a proud owner of Gabriele Bonci’s book “Pizza”, which was given to me as a gift by my sister, all my attempts so far (very few I must admit) have ended in a big failure. Being totally honest with you I am not a huge fan of pizza in a pan. But a challenge is a challenge, and for this occasion I decided to overcome my limitations and my fears and bake Antonietta’s pizza in a pan. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Fagioli all’uccelletto / Fagioli all’uccelletto

fagioli all'uccelletto

Today I present you with a Tuscan recipe which I revisited, Fagioli all’uccelletto. A meat dish just for a change, a once in a while diversion from the usual bread baking routine. A nourishing and warming dish. Fagioli all’uccelletto is a traditional Tuscan dish, typical of the Florentine area. According to Pellegrino Artusi the name derives from the herbs and aroma used to cook this dish (especially sage) which where once used to flavour dishes made which had wild birds (uccelletti) as the main ingredient. This dish employs ingredients which are more readily available and serves as a mock version of those recipes. A rustic and rich meal, with plenty of animal and vegetable proteins, which is perfect to warm up the body and lift the spirit during those cold and gloomy winter evenings. I don’t know about you, but the perfume of meaty dishes, the sound of tomato and legumes splattering, mumbling and rumbling in a saucepan always get me in a good mood. It just smells like home…

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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: 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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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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Dark Chocolate, Candied Ginger and Orange Zest Fougasse / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Fougasse al cioccolato fondente, zenzero candito e scorza d’arancia

Maroggia's Mill Cookbook- Dark Chocolate, Candied Ginger and Orange Zest Fougasse - Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia- Fougasse al cioccolato fondente, zenzero candito e scorza d'arancia 1

I’d been wanting to try out this bread for a long time, actually since I have been given Jeffrey Hamelman’s book “Bread” for a gift last Christmas. It’s a nice way to break a little from the routine of baking large loaves, rolls and grissinis. An easy bake yet a stunning decorative bread. A perfect recipe to post for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. The original recipe I took inspiration from which is indeed the one by Jeffrey Hamelman and his book Bread although instead of a mix of white and wholemeal flour I decided to use only white flour (the farina bianca nostrana I get from Maroggia’s Mill mulinomaroggia.ch) to not interfere with the flavours of the ingredients I added to the dough. The bread is crunchy on the outside and has a soft crumb. Dark chocolate, candied ginger (here you can find the recipe to make it at home) and orange zest go wonderfully well together. I did not add sugar to the mixture to enable the flavours to come out in all their aromatic notes and to be able to taste the contrast between them. The intense chocolate flavour, freshness of the orange and the tingling sensation the ginger gives to the palate are quite special. I must admit that the only thought of those ingredients put together make me think of Christmas, what about you?

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Semolina Flour Tozzetti / Tozzetti di semola rimacinata fine

tozzetti 1

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…