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?

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Pistachio, Lemon and Fennel infused Cake / Torta di pistacchi, limone e infuso di finocchio

Torta di pistacchi limone e infuso di finocchio 2

A recipe is a stratification, sweet or salty, bitter, spicy or sweet and sour, of the manifestations of one’s love. I do firmly believe in this statement. May it be a gesture of affection, a manifestation of esteem and friendship, or love expressed as an overwhelming passion if you proceed to remove layers of flavours and gestures to distill its essence what you will obtain is one of the deepest and most sincere of all human feelings. A thought waiting to take shape, the choice of ingredients and the process of turning them into something familiar, desired, which has the power of warming the heart, or an unusual pairing of flavours, a surprise, love at first sight. The long wait, that feeling so similar to the eager stare at the window when waiting for a lover who has been away for a long time. What will be next? A perfectly risen cake, eyes bursting with desire or a collapsed soufflé and a quick peek on the cheek, a glacial politeness falling heavy like a gravestone on a long time exhausted relationship? Food speaks, or allows us to speak to others when words fail or are simply useless. I have seen more manifestations of love on a rich and well prepared table that in readymade Valentine gifts and in badly chosen birthday gifts.

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La ricetta che ha vinto è…

Sarò breve, ma spero intensa. In primo luogo vorrei ringraziare tutti, in primis la fratella Arianna (te possino te l’ho già detto?) che porgendomi lo scettro dell’MTC mi ha fatto passare un due mesetti belli tosti ma ricchi di soddisfazioni ed emozioni. Ad Alessandra, che mi ha rassicurata da subito dandomi tutto il supporto possibile per affrontare questa impresa per me titanica. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Pistachios, Anchovies and Buffalo Mozzarella Arancini / Arancini ai pistacchi, acciughe e mozzarella di bufala

Pistachios, Anchovies and Buffalo Mozzarella Arancini - Arancini ai pistacchi, acciughe e mozzarella di bufala

Summer is over. Fortunately the days of sweltering heat wave are only a distant memory. I do not know about you but this summer’s heat was reall unbearable to me. I stopped counting on the sleepless nights spent gasping for fresh air. Oh what a relief when the first rains came, finally, in late August. Finally the right climate to bake and experiment with doughs. July and August were particularly intense, with a lot of hard work to come up with a good recipe for croissants and different projects and works that popped out of the blue to both my surprise and delight. This year is ending definitely better than it started and I hope that 2016 will see a new chapter of my life unfold, hopefully one of many stimulating collaborations.

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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.

Mantovanine

mantovanine 1

Bread bread bread. Hydration, shaping, scoring – oh lord that’s something I can’t get my head over yet – how many different factors concur to a perfect loaf, bun or roll! Not to name temperature and lord only knows how much my oven sucks. The tricky buggar acts like a normal oven through 2/3 of baking, then suddenly turns into Mr Hyde’s oven and attempts to murder, uhm burn, whatever is in its mouth. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

#Twelve Loaves: Rye and fennel seeds snails with blood oranges and red onion chutney / #Twelve Loaves: Girelle di segale e semi di finocchio al chutney di arance sanguinelle e cipolle

girelle 1

I’ve been thinking a lot about this recipe, most of all because the need to create a savoury bread was stronger than ever. What triggered this flavour combination was the poll that Lora-Cake Duchess launched in Twelve Loaves to choose April’s theme. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Celeriac, White Chocolate, Cardamom and Fleur de Sel Caramel tartellettes / Tartellettes al sedano rapa, cardamomo e caramello al fleur del sel

sedanorapa1

I have been toying with this idea for a long time now. The inspiration came both from Kate’s beautiful blog, Veggie Desserts, and a mock bechamel sauce I made a few years ago with the use of celeriac to avoid fatness and heaviness given by butter and milk while using the natural sweetness and creaminess of this plant. Creaminess, sweetness, white, white chocolate, cardamom. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Of friends and recipe swapping: Luigi’s Rustic Mini Babà / Di amici e scambio di ricette: I mini babà rustici di Luigi

baba rustici 1

Since I’ve started my blog my path has crossed those of many other bloggers, passionate home bakers and cooks, or simply people who love to eat good food. With some of those friendships were born, even though we never met in person. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

A late Christmas treat, Gingersnap biscuits by The Garum Factory / Un dolcetto molto natalizio…po’ in ritardo! Biscotti allo zenzero e spezie di The Garum Factory

gingersnaps

Last Christmas I was full of good intentions. Many challenges were thrown around the web, themed especially for the festive season and in all good faith were pinned down on my calendar, looking forward to participate. Not only I forgot to bake a bread for Twelve loaves but didn’t participate to a single contest. Blame it on the panettone obsession, on the new part time job, and well…on the festive season! The only recipe that was completed, foreseeing many happy festive baking moments was candied ginger. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…