MTChallenge: Rolls! / MTChallenge: Paracul Rock’n’Rolls!

As I write it is my birthday. I woke up at 6.30 to prepare everything, both the rolls for the challenge and a sweet dessert to celebrate. So forgive me for cutting short, time is short and I even have to pack for tomorrow since I’m going to fly to the UK for a family reunion.

MTChallenge keeps lifting the stalk and I admit, I am struggling. It’s a lot to deal with, the degree of complexity, not to mention the degree of sophistication required…imagine what happened in my mind when I saw these beautiful rolls with which Giovanna challenged us. I quite not fit in. I’m rough and tough. Im not good with sophisticated things, at least not in the kitchen. These kind of challenges always make me quite anxious. On top of it the UK trip and a fridge to empty rather than to fill. So no coup de theatre, just two little recipe in order to participate. I hope Ale and Giovanna will forgive me but after all, the most important thing is to participate, isn’t it?

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

“Cuochi d’artificio”: An easy peasy home baked bread / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Pane casereccio facile facile

pane casereccio facile facile

Ready, steady, go! With a little delay on the start of the new “Cuochi d’artificio” season, but here I am. This year we start with a few changes. From now on the cooks on the show can be consulted directly by the public by writing an email. All of the show’s chefs are here to help you resolve problems in the kitchen, giving tips and providing you with the best recipes.

The first question that was sent to me concerns homemade bread in its simplest form. Thinking about it, I realized that this question often comes from people who haven’t got much experience in the kitchen, who might have tried over and over the same recipe without obtaining any satisfactory results but still want to be able to make a genuine bread in their own kitchen. Better if all the process is sort of fast, effortless, without messing the kitchen too much. Daunting task…Luckily a few months ago I came across this gadget, a rubber bowl which allows you to mix the dough, let it proof and bake it in the same container. Not bad for those who do not want to havee too many kitchen tool to clean (after baking the mold is basically clean and just needs a good rinse) and doesn’t have a great dexterity to engage in types and shapes of bread which are far too complicated. The proofing schedule is specifically meant for people who work. This bread just needs a little kneading, proofing a few hours and can be put to rest in the fridge during the day if you want to bake the bread in the evening to return from work, or overnight if you want to cook it the morning after a good night’s sleep. I added a bit of whole wheat flour and seeds to give a more rustic and authentic flavor to the bread, to make it more homely.

Here you will find the list of ingredients and step by step description of the recipe, and here you can see the video recipe to have a more accurate visual reference.

And what about you, do you have any questions?

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Wholemeal and Cinnamon Rusks / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Zwieback integrali alla cannella

fette biscottate integrali alla cannella 1

The first meal of the day is the most important, needless for me to say it for the nth time. May it be breakfast on working days or a rich Sunday brunch spent in the company of family and friends it doesn’t really matter, it’s carbohydrates that make the difference. A proper source of energy, carbohydrates are better to be consumed during the first part of the day mainly because by approaching the night hours our capacity to burn down calories is reduced and this may lead, if carbs are consumed in excess, to an important weight gain. Today’s recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook is a twist on zwieback, a great classic of Swiss breakfasts. I admit I do prefer them much to their Italian cousins, rusks, which always seem to be inconsistent and unwilling to be properly dunk in tea. For while dunking a rusk in tea it is important not to exceed those five seconds soaking time separating a properly soaked slice from an impalpable slurry which irredeemably splashes in the cup resulting in Pollock splatters all around, staining clothing, tablecloth and newspaper. Zwieback on the other hand are more compact and can be dunk twice. Italy 0 – Switzerland 1. And why not…lets be dragged by a little national pride, roll up our sleeves and accomplices our faithful and reliable Maroggia’s Mill flours let’s bake together these crispy delights! I added whole wheat flour and a pinch of cinnamon to the mixture to differentiate our zwieback from those available on the market, but you can try to make the classic version using only white wheat flour or pick any other combinations of sweet and savoury ingredients to flavour them. For the record this recipe has been subjected to a brunch tests and got top marks from all of my five enthusiastic guinea pigs. What are you waiting for? Ready, steady, bake!

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

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!

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Whole Wheat Flour “Pain de Lodève” / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: “Pain de Lodève” integrale

pain de lodeve 1

Wholemeal flour. I must admit it, its’ a kind of flour that I use little…very little. Blame it on my passion for pillowy white bread, but maybe it’s about time to change my habits and try to use it more often in my recipes. Alessandro, our favourite miller, was recently a guest of Swiss Italian television to talk about this very special kind of flour and I was asked by him to develop a recipe specifically for the occasion for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Quite a challenge since I usually use whole wheat flour just to add flavour and hardly in amounts greater than 30%. But the results of this recipe were so good that I’ll try to introduce more often whole wheat flour in my recipes.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Valais Rye Bread / Pane alla segale vallesana

Valais rye bread, pane segale vallesana 1

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

Poolish
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.

Dough
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.

Valais rye bread, pane segale vallesana 2

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

Poolish
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.

Impasto
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.

L’école de boulangerie de Panissimo: Epi with Wholewheat and AP flour / L’école de Boulangerie de Panissimo: Epi di farina integrale e farina 00

7976_10152570345193266_198065454_n

Like every month in Panissimo’s bread bakers group we have been asked to try out a new shape for our virtual baking school. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Delinquent bread, don’t try this at home! An offence to bread baking but still tastes good. Excess sourdough wholewheat bread / Una pagnotta criminale o anche un affronto a tutte le regole della panificazione. Pane integrale agli esuberi brutto ma buono.

delinquent bread

New year, new goals, new…news?
I’m still in a transitioning phase in which scheduling has to be done, ideas must not only be put on paper but need to get in action and unfortunately time is short. So short I’m posting a plain recipe, no anecdotes, no funny story…oh well maybe there’s something funny about this bread and a few things to say. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maria’s Spiced Cauliflower Flan / Lo sformato al cavolfiore e spezie di Maria

sformato 1

Since the 4th of December, when I started working part time at a goldsmith shop, my weeks have been quite hectic. Recipes and blog post scheduling, the weekly appointment with Wing Chun training, trying to be present on my usual social networks and fitting in multiple appointments hasn’t been easy. Let’s add my Panettone Obsession and the picture is quite clear. But chaos is my element, stress has always been my cup of tea (or loaf of bread) and even though feeling a bit tired I wouldn’t change a single thing. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Spelt, wholemeal and wheat bran bread / Pane al farro-spelta, farina integrale e crusca di frumento

1185207_10152199217878266_1686746403_n

Few days ago I was discussing with Barbara, on a bread baker’s group on facebook , about dough hydration. Highly hydrated doughs scare the wits out of me, and I have disastrous memories of my first attempts at highly hydrated ciabatta. Barbara encouraged me to try and hey, there is nothing as a good challenge to get me going. Since I had been doing very little baking and feeling a bit down in the previous days I decided I needed a proper kick in my backside.
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…