A few days ago I went to the Mill to collect some flour to develop new recipes and asked Alessandro if he had any new interesting products. Happens that I just arrived on a lucky day while freshly ground wheat germ was available. Wheat germ is no more than 3% of the entire grain kernel, and is generally discarded because of its more intense flavour and the presence of moisture which can reduce shelf life of the flour. A product rich in vitamins, starches, proteins and lipids, wheat germ is really good for our health. Presence of Omega 3, Omega 6, vitamins A and D, make it a very valid aid for skin, hair and helps fighting free radicals too. To best preserve all its nutritional qualities the advice is to eat it raw (in this way all its properties, especially vitamin E and B and fatty acids are kept intact) in addition to milk, yogurt or soups but without exceeding a daily dose of 50 g. Being a highly perishable product in order to keep more than a few days you can toast it lightly to remove the moisture which encourages rancidity and mould formation.
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.
Bagels. If I’m not mistaken this is the second recipe I tried after discovering my passion for bread baking. The first one was the Cottage Loaf, a bread which has been the staple of my baking when sixteen. Around that time my father used to travel a lot to the United States, something which I guess summed up with my passion for american tv series and MTV played a role into feeding my interest for this bread. I then did a 10 day holiday in N.Y. where I religiously followed my plan to eat a typical american breakfast every single morning, with the rule of changing both menu and place every single day. Amongst the breakfast I had there where bagels too, of course. I would opt for a classic philadelpia cheese and smoked salmon bagel, straight from the oven and still warm. No doubt one of my favourite breakfasts during my american holiday. I haven’t been baking bagels since, for no reason really. This time a pretty weird idea to use Maroggia’s Mill flour came to my mind. Liquorice flavoured bagels! Take a look into Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook with me and let’s see how these beauties can be baked at home.
Nothing makes me happy as inviting friends over to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. To prepare a lavish feast with all of the best foods, and pick the favourites according to my friend’s taste, to embellish the table with red mats and placing a nice bowl of fresh fruit on the table. To knead and wait patiently, to shape the dough and wait for another while, the nose stuck to the oven glass in contemplation of the soft dough rising, glossy, giving off an amazing scent throughout the house. I especially love breakfasts. Sweet, savoury…nothing is missing from my table (well, nothing missed…now with macro dieting I cut out all dairy and goodbye to my beloved cheese and yogurt). Usually I bake ciabattas and baguettes, but a little leftover of ricotta inspired me to bake these sandwiches. I never imagined they would turn out so perfect on the first try…but yes they truly are perfect. A well-leavened, soft and light dough. Another recipe which is ideal for a snack and for breakfast, or even for a sandwich to have on the fly on a lunch break. This is my gift to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook and to all of you. Enjoy!
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
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!
You wouldn’t suspect it. From the outside yet another bun, soft as a pillow no doubts about it, but perhaps a little bland for taste buds all too accustomed to the combination of white bun, chocolate, fruit juice. The staple of almost every kid’s mid day snack. But no don’t be fooled, these buns are planetary. A cosmos made out of cocoa and toasted hazelnuts in which a planet of soft-hearted chocolate floats, the milky way dough flavoured with tonka bean containing a primordial explosion of flavours. The bun you didn’t expect, which in itself contains all that is good, sweet, rewarding. An idea which originated from an assignment, may be too complex for the beginning of a new adventure. I’ll give as a gift to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook then. I hope this makes you dream of starry nights and cocoa flavoured planets.
As previously mentioned in the post about madeleines for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I haven’t been posting sweet recipes anymore, given my macrobiotic diet. Here I indulge with another sweet recipe which calls for a lot of butter too. We’re not born to suffer, are we? Croissants is one difficult recipe I finally managed to bake properly last year, but as you know one never stops learning or experimenting. This time I tried substituting cow’s milk with oat milk and used margarine in the dough instead of butte, just for a change. The result is very good, although I’ll never stop experimenting until I will achieve the perfect layers! I added cinnamon to both the dough and filling but nothing prevents you to experiment and create your own personal recipe, even a savoury version. I recommend you take your time and above all be patient. Read throughout the tips below and watch the videos i linked, especially the one by Envie de bien manger. They will help you get good results. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Here I am a little sleepy and with half closed eyes as I sit here, typing at my computer. What an adventure for this month’s MTChallenge! Diabolical Arianna saparunda.blogspot.ch, who won the contest last month, launched a pretty complex challenge inviting us to cook our own version of the world famous American Hamburger. I can’t deny it, as all the staff of the challenge is very understanding when allergies and special diets ar involved I first contemplated the option of participating with a macrobiotic hamburger. That thought lasted about thirty seconds, then I realized that it had no sense at all, at least from my personl point of view on this dish. Let’s face it hamburgers must be rich, fat and rewarding. It didn’t feel quite right to stick a vegetable burger into a wholemeal bun with a tahini and umeboshi sauce. Hey, hold on a second…now that I came up with this I must admit it does sound quite appealing. Maybe I’ll give it a try soon. But anyway back to my burger. Blame it on the diet restrictions or just my own view on burgers (burger = meat), but I decided to focus on a juicy and tasty version of the American fast food par excellence. And I don’t regret it. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Thanks to my new diet and lifestyle in the past months I have come across many ingredients that I did not really know or had never tasted so far. Among these millet flakes, which have become a staple for a creamy breakfast or even an afternoon snack. This ingredient immediately struck me for its taste and creamy texture. I was so intrigued by it’s qualities I decided to pull together a recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. And here it is. The addition of millet flour provides with a more dense focaccia than the ones made with wheat flour only, with an extremely creamy and fragrant crumb. This focaccia is ideal for a quick and filling lunch, something handy to take with you. My mouth is already watering, what about yours?
In the past few weeks me and my father have been going gathering wild garlic (here if you want to know more about where and when to find it) and in addition to making a small batch of pesto we froze for the cold winter nights I thought I’d try out a bread recipe for a change. I took inspiration from a bread by Hamelman, the actual original recipe is for fougasse, changing some quantities adding a little oil and flour. I must say I’m very happy about these soft and aromatic rolls which I happily include in Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. If wild garlic is not to your liking you can always use some basil. These fluffy and fragrant buns can be filled with any ingredients, simply be eaten as they are or as an accompaniment to a fresh salad!