Chestnuts Flour and Walnut Bread / Pane alla farina di castagne e noci

Chestnuts Flour and Walnut Bread - Pane alla farina di castagne e noci 1

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.

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Semolina Flour Tozzetti / Tozzetti di semola rimacinata fine

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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…

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

pane grano saraceno chicchi 1

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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Multigrain Flour, Sesame Seeds and Polenta Taragna Grissini / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Grissini alla farina 4 cereali, semi di sesamo e polenta taragna

grissini 4 cereali, sesamo, taragna 1

And it’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook time again! I love grissini, just ask my family and friends. One of the easiest and tasty way to use sourdough leftovers, those crunchy breadsticks (even though I loathe the word, bread is bread and grissini are…grissini!) never fail and I usually bake a batch once a week or on special occasions as having dinner with friends. Actually I have the habit of giving away tons of bags of grissini, being single and living on my own! The best thing is there are no limits to your fantasy when it comes to baking grissini. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…


Pao Alentejano

Pao Alentejano 1

This bread was a nice discovery I made this summer, after meeting Nelson Carvalheiro at the Foodblogger Connect conference in London. On that occasion, during a long chat in front of a pizza at Franco Manca’s, Nelson asked me to be a guest on his blog, with a recipe of Portuguese bread. Needless to say I immediately accepted with enthusiasm. Other commitments and various things came in the way, and we have postponed the project. But now, with the upcoming changes, I decided to post this recipe and another one that will be posted on the blog Friday. Pão Alentejano is a long fermentation bread made with sourdough. It positively struck me for its taste, texture and beautiful crispy crust. Discover with me how to do it at home, it will take some time but it is absolutely worth it! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…


Sourdough Braided Butter Bread / Treccine al lievito madre

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About my family’s traditional Sunday breakfast with braided butter bread I already wrote in this post. That recipe, however, required instant yeast, and finally I decided to elaborate a sourdough friendly version of this swiss bread, and my expectations have not been disappointed. Soft, fragrant, a bread to be eaten sliced or slowly “unravelled” (yes, my usual habit of “unraveling” food!) these braids are perfect for people who, like me, live alone. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…


Sourdough Surprises: Croissants

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It’s the 20th of the month, Sourdough Surprises’s challenges day. This month Jenni and Shelley dropped a proper ace: the croissant! Indeed, the dreaded croissant! I still remember the only two times gave a shot at making this recipe. Needless to tell you the result were shrivelled and nothing close to leavened croissants, oozing with butter and very badly baked. Such experiences leaves you with a deep sense of failure mixed with a strong feeling of revenge (croissant, I will nail you!). It took me this challenge to take courage in both hands and try once more. I rolled up my sleeves and faced my fears, and must admit I am quite impressed with my first “proper” croissant baking attempt (the other ones I’m not even considering, since I wasn’t even baking with the knowledge I have now). Continue reading / Continua a leggere…


Whole Rye Flour and White Wine Taralli / Taralli alla segale rotta e vino bianco

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It has been quite a while since I last posted a recipe to use up sourdough leftovers, but once more my leftover jar lay in the fridge almost filled to the brim. What to do? Yes, we all do love bread thins, breadsticks and fritters but I wanted to bake something new. In the end inspiration came to me in guise of a tarallo. I still remember discovering taralli during the first year of Art School in Varese. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…


Sourdough Surprises September: Aniseed flavoured Blue Corn Johnnycakes / Sourdough Surprises Settembre: Johnnycakes al mais blu e semi di anice

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It seems ages from the last Sourdough Surprises I have taken part to, with the Gozleme. Might it be the injury leave, which left me idle for a few unbearable weeks, or just that healthy summer “withdrawal from work” feeling? Almost fully recovered from my injury, feeling my usual self, I am ready to get my sourdoughs working on some proper recipes. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…


Michela’s cazzottini buns / I cazzottini di Michela

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It was April when finally my blog and facebook friend Michela and I met. A friendship born out of luck onto the pages of Panissimo‘s facebook group. Something immediately clicked between us, and as we always say we found each other like two little dough balls originating from the same mixture. She flew from Rome with a small trolley bag full of little presents and her addictive laughter. Amongst her presents she took two little packages of flour. One was the renomated Senatore Cappelli, which I had read so many raving reviews about. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…