Category Archives: Sourdough

Genoese Sage Focaccia! (more a tutorial than a recipe)

This focaccia alla salvia, a typical Genoese focaccia, is very aromatic, wonderful served with cheese, soups and cold cuts. To make this focaccia you follow the focaccia recipe method and then you add the fresh sage at the end. You have to chop the sage really finely, in order to blend it nicely with the dough. The focaccia dough also needs to rise for several hours, so we are going to make a starter that you can make in advance, in order to make the preparation method a little more manageable.

The longer the dough rises, the better the focaccia will become, so don’t rush it! This is why in the traditional method we repeat the leavening process a few times…However you can shorten the process by skipping the second leavening (step 3) and mixing all the flour together straight away, if you don’t have much time.

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I suggest you make the focaccia during the weekends (or in your spare time), as it needs to be looked after during the preparation method…It is a long process but it’s worth it!!!

Note. To make the starter there are two options: you can use normal yeast or you can use sourdough.

All you need (for the entire method).
250-300 g plain flour (depending if you use sourdough or yeast)
250 g durum wheat semolina flour
12 g yeast (or 50 g of sourdough)
a big bunch of fresh sage, very finally chopped
fine sea salt
lots of extra virgin olive oil
water
a little sugar
baking sheet
a baking tray (24 cm x 28 cm)
a bowl
cling film

Note. I am going to divide the ingredients and the preparation method into 4 main steps.

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HOW TO MAKE SAGE FOCACCIA.

Step 1. Make the starter

For the starter with yeast

Ingredients

100 g plain flour

12 g yeast

water

a little sugar

Method with yeast.

Mix the yeast with a few spoons of warm water, a little flour and a little sugar. When it forms some bubbles add the rest of the flour, more water and work it until you get a small dough (keep it quite moist). Put the dough into a small bowl, then cover it with cling film and let rise overnight at room temperature.

For the starter with sourdough (natural yeast).

Ingredients

50 g plain flour

50 g sourdough

water

a little sugar

Method with sourdough.

Mix the flour, a pinch of sugar and the sourdough with some water, until you get a soft and moist dough. Place in a small bowl, then cover it with cling film and let rise overnight.

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Step 2. The first leavening.

Ingredients

the starter we prepared earlier (with yeast or sourdough)

100 g of plain flour

100 g of durum wheat semolina flour

water

a little sugar (to help the leavening process)

Method.

In the morning, mix the starter with 100 g of plain flour, 100 g of durum wheat semolina flour and a little sugar, then add enough water to make a soft dough. Work well, then place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a cling film and let rise until it doubles in volume.

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Step 3. The second leavening.

Ingredients

the dough we prepared earlier

100 g plain flour

100 g durum wheat semolina four

water

a little sugar

Method.

Take the dough and add the flour with a little sugar, then mix with enough water and work well. Cover with cling film and let rise until it doubles in volume.

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Step 4. Adding all the ingredients and baking.

Ingredients

the dough we prepared earlier

50 g of durum wheat semolina flour

a big bunch of fresh sage, very finely chopped

fine sea salt

50 ml extra virgin olive oil (and you’ll need some more to drizzle before baking)

100 ml of water

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Method.

1. This is the final step! Take the dough and mix it with 50 g durum wheat semolina flour, finally chopped fresh sage leaves, some fine sea salt (but we are going to add more later) and mix just enough to blend the ingredients. Add 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil, previously mixed with 100 ml of water. Mix everything (just enough, don’t overwork it or you’ll lose the leavening strength of the dough).

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2. Take a baking tray, line with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and place the dough so that it covers the tray. Let rise for about an hour.

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3. Once it has risen, press the dough with the tip of your fingers in order to create wells. Drizzle with more olive oil mixed with water, season with plenty of salt and bake at 200° C (392 °F) for 30-35 minutes.

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Chickpea Flour Bread With Pumpkin Seeds

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This is a delicious bread, made partially with chickpea flour, which is a rich source of  vegetable protein and has a low carbohydrate content. I’ve developed this recipe in order to create a delicious bread to be served with a light onion soup, a tasty combination for a balanced meal that will warm you up nicely during the festive season.

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As usual, I’ve included you all the directions you need to make the recipe using normal yeast or sourdough. If you use sourdough you can prepare the sourdough starter the night before and let it rise overnight. Then in the morning (or afternoon) you can follow the recipe as written below.

Chickpea flour bread (quickest method with normal yeast)

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Preparation time: 20 minutes + the rising time

Ingredients

2 small breads (4 servings)

150 g chickpea flour

150 g whole spelt flour

300 g plain flour

18 g yeast

a little brown sugar

10 g salt

water

For garnish

a handful of shelled pumpkin seeds

Method (with yeast).

1. Make the yeast starter. Mix the yeast with a little bit of warm water, then add two tablespoons of flour and a pinch of brown sugar. Make a small dough, then let double in volume.

2. Separately, mix the rest of the flour with 10 g of salt and enough water to make the bread dough. Add the yeast starter and knead well.

3. Slash an X cut on the surface and then let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume (at least 2 hours).

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4. Divide the dough into two equal parts, then shape two breads. Slash an X cut on both breads and garnish with the pumpkin seeds (possibly, let rise for another 30 minutes).

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5. Line the base of an oven tray with baking paper, then grease with a little extra virgin olive oil and dust with flour. Bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for 25-30 minutes.

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Chickpea flour bread with sourdough

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Preparation time: 20 minutes + the rising time

2 small breads (4 servings)

150 g chickpea flour

50 g whole spelt flour

270 g plain flour

10 g salt

water

For garnish

a handful of shelled pumpkin seeds

For the starter (to be prepared the night before).

50 g sourdough (I used a semi-solid sourdough made with plain organic flour)

100 g of whole spelt flour

a little of brown sugar

a little bit of water

Make the starter.

Mix 100 g of whole spelt flour with 50 g of sourdough and a little water, then cover with some cling film and let stand overnight.

Method (with sourdough).

1. In a large bowl, mix the rest of the flour with 10 g of salt and enough water to make a soft dough.

2. Combine the dough with the sourdough starter and then add some flour, but only if necessary (the dough shouldn’t be too sticky or dry).

3. Slash a big X on the surface of the dough, cover with a cloth and let stand in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume (3 to 6 hours, depending on the sourdough strength).

4. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape the breads, then slash an X on the surface and let rise once more.

5. Garnish the breads with the pumpkin seeds and bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for 25-30 minutes.

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See also the Farinata recipe (a delicious focaccia made with chickpea flour)

Pane con farina di ceci (preparazione con lievito di birra)

Tempo di cottura: 25-30 minuti

Tempo di preparazione: 20 minuti + il tempo di lievitazione

Ingredienti

Per 2 panini grossi (per 4 persone)

150 g di farina di ceci

150 g di farina di farro integrale

300 g di farina 00

18 g di lievito di birra

pochissimo zucchero di canna

10 g di sale

acqua q. b.

Per guarnire

una manciata di semi di zucca (senza buccia)

Preparazione dell’impasto con lievito di birra.

1. Sciogliete il lievito di birra in poca acqua tiepida, poi aggiungete due cucchiai di farina e un pizzico di zucchero di canna ; quindi mescolate fino a creare un panetto morbido e lasciate raddoppiare di volume.

2. A parte, mischiate le farine con il sale e aggiungete gradualmente l’acqua, fino ad ottenere un impasto uniforme. Incorporate il panetto di lievito e lavorate bene.

3. Fate un taglio a croce sulla superficie e poi fate lievitare l’impasto per 2 ore.

4. Dividete l’impasto in due parti uguali, date la forma a due panini (vedi le foto) e decorate con i semi di zucca (sarebbe meglio far lievitare per altri 30 minuti).

5. Ricoprite la teglia con carta da forno, ungete con poco olio d’oliva e infornate il pane a 200° C per 25-30 minuti.

Pane con farina di ceci (preparazione con lievito madre)

Tempo di cottura: 25-30 minuti

Tempo di preparazione: 20 minuti + il tempo di lievitazione

Ingredienti

Per due panini grandi ( 4 persone)

150 g di farina di ceci

50 g di farina di farro integrale

275 g di farina 00

10 g di sale

acqua q. b.

Per guarnire

una manciata di semi di zucca (senza buccia)

Per il panetto di lievito (da preparare la sera prima).

50 g di lievito madre (uso un lievito semisolido con base di farina biologica 00)

100 g di farina di farro integrale

pochissimo zucchero di canna

acqua q. b.

Preparazione del panetto di lievito.

Mescolate 100 g di farina di farro con 50 g di lievito madre e  poca acqua; quindi ricoprite con una pellicola e lasciate riposare per tutta la notte.

Preparazione dell’impasto con lievito madre.

1. In una ciotola grande, mischiate le farine con il sale e l’acqua necessaria per ottenere un impasto liscio e morbido.

2. Unite il lievitino al resto dell’impasto, aggiungendo un po’ di farina se necessario (l’impasto non deve risultare troppo umido).

3. Fate un taglio a croce sulla superficie, poi ricoprite  con un panno e lasciate lievitare l’impasto fino a quando sarà raddoppiato di volume (generalmente dalle 3 alle 6 ore, ma dipende dal lievito madre).

4. Dividete l’impasto in due,  date la forma a due panini (vedi le foto) e poi fate lievitare ancora.

5. Guarnite il pane con i semi di zucca e infornate a 200°C per 25-30 minuti.

Vedere anche la ricetta della Farinata

Focaccia Rustica Alle Cipolle (Rustic Onion Focaccia)

This is another popular version of the Focaccia Alla Genovese. This onion focaccia comes from a traditional recipe, but here I am making my own adaptation, using different flours and not just plain flour (we use plain flour in the traditional recipe).

In fact, for this recipe I am preparing a dough mixing plain flour, semolina flour and spelt flour in equal parts.  It is quite a rustic focaccia, with the addition of the onions that keep the focaccia nicely moist and sweet. It is definitely something to try…

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Focaccia rustica con le cipolle (onion focaccia).

Ingredients

for a medium sized oven tray

150 g plain unbleached flour

150 g whole spelt flour

150 g semolina (durum wheat) flour

14 g yeast

8 g salt (and a pinch of salt to put on top)

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 a glass of water (a small glass!!)

1 large onion, finely sliced

Method.

1. Mix the yeast with some warm water, than add two tablespoons of spelt flour (take two tablespoons from the 150 g of spelt flour mentioned in the ingredient list). Create a starter and let it rise until it doubles in volume.

Note. You can use yeast or make a starter using 50 g of semisolid sourdough (I used plain flour sourdough), a pinch of barley malt, a little bit of water and 100 g of spelt flour). If you are going to use sourdough, let the starter rise over night and then follow the recipe, starting from step 2.

2. Mix the remaining flour, arrange it on a working board (or a table) and create a well in the centre. Add 8 g of salt with a little bit of warm water and combine the ingredients to create a soft dough. Add the starter and work well.

3. Let rise until the dough has doubled in volume.

4. Roll out the dough on a baking tray,previously greased with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and let rise for an hour. When the dough has risen, pressed with your fingers to create regular indents on the surface.

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5. Top with the onion slices, add a little bit of salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

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6. Bake at 200° C (392°F) until the focaccia is slightly golden. Remove the focaccia from the oven and pour half a glass of water on the surface. Bake again until golden-brown and crisp.

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also see the focaccia alla genovese recipe.

Focaccia rustica con le cipolle.

Ingredienti

per una teglia da forno di media grandezza

150 g di farina 00

150 g di farina di farro integrale

150g di semola rimacinata di grano duro

14 g di lievito di birra

8 g di sale fino (e un pizzico di sale in più, da aggiungere alla fine)

olio extra vergine di oliva q.b.

Mezzo bicchiere d’acqua (un bicchiere piccolo!)

1 cipolla grande, tagliata a fettine sottili

Preparazione.

1. Sciogliete il lievito di birra in poca acqua (tiepida) e aggiungete due cucchiai di farina di farro (prendete i due cucchiai di farina di farro dai 150 g indicati negli ingredienti). Create un panetto e lasciate raddoppiare di volume.

Nota. In questa ricetta è possibile utilizzare il lievito di birra oppure il lievito madre. Se utilizzate il lievito madre, fate un lievitino con 50 g di pasta madre semisolida (io ho usato lievito madre a base di farina 00), un pizzico di malto d’orzo, un po’ d’acqua e 100 g di farina integrale di farro). Lasciare lievitare tutta la notte e poi seguite la ricetta, a partire dal secondo passaggio.

2. Mischiate bene le farine rimaste e disponetele su una spianatoia (oppure su un tavolo). Aggiungete 8 g di sale con un po’ d’acqua tiepida e lavorate fino a creare un impasto morbido. Aggiungete anche il panetto di lievito e lavorate bene.

3. Lasciate lievitare in un luogo riparato, fino a quando l’impasto sarà raddoppiato di volume.

4. Stendete la pasta su una teglia (precedentemente unta con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva) e lasciate lievitare per un’oretta. Quando la pasta sarà nuovamente lievitata, pressate con le dita la superficie per creare delle fossette.

5. Ricoprite la focaccia con le fette di cipolla, aggiungete ancora un po’ di sale e irrorate con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva.

6. Infornate a 200°, fino a quando la focaccia sarà leggermente dorata. Togliete la focaccia dal forno e versate mezzo bicchiere d’acqua sulla parte superiore, poi infornate nuovamente, fino ad ottenere una focaccia ben dorata e croccante.

Da vedere anche la ricetta della focaccia alla genovese 

Light Wholemeal Spelt Brioches

Brioche and cappuccino are, without a doubt, Italians’ favourite breakfast! Yes, our ideal breakfast would be a brioche filled with plenty of custard and a nice warm cappuccino, topped with a lot of cocoa powder! It’s not something we would have every day (even though some people might do) but it’s something we’d treat ourself with during weekends and special occasions. Sometimes waking up to a warm brioche and a cappuccino is a really nice way to start the day in full swing!

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Since I started this blog, I have always wanted to try and make my own brioches, but for one reason or another I kept on postponing it…Last week I finally gave it a go and here is my brioche recipe! I have to say, I thought it was going to be much more complicated! The method is not too difficult if you follow all the steps of the recipe, it just takes some time and care. You can prepare your brioches in your spare time and store them in the freezer, where they will last up to a month. They are very nice when you warm them up in the morning!

Italian brioches have a similar shape to croissants but the dough is sweeter and softer. This recipe is quite light, it has some fibres and it’s not too sweet, so you can fill the brioches with whatever you like, if you wish.

Wholemeal Spelt Brioches (sourdough recipe).

Medium difficulty

Ingredients

For 2 trays (approximately 12-14 brioches)

For the starter

100 g (3.5 oz)  manitoba flour

50 g (1.7 oz) semisolid sourdough (made with manitoba flour, or plain flour)

water

For the dough

150 g (5.29 oz) manitoba flour

100 g (3.5 oz) plain flour

100 g (3.5 oz) wholemeal spelt flour

100 ml (3.38 us fl oz) milk (at room temperature)

2 egg (1 egg for the dough and 1egg to brush on top of the brioches)

1 egg yolk

60 g (2.1 oz) butter, softened

a pinch of salt

50 g (1.7 oz) brown sugar

1 teaspoon of honey

2 drops of vanilla extract

a little bit of grated lemon zest (use an organic lemon)

icing sugar

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Method.

1. Prepare the sourdough starter the night before and let it rise overnight at room temperature. Mix 100 g manitoba flour with 50 g of sourdough and enough water to get a smooth and moist dough. Cover it with cling film and let it rise for 12 hours.

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2. The next morning, mix the rest of the flour with the starter, then add 1 egg, the egg yolk, the brown sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, a little bit of grated lemon zest and honey. Mix well. Add the butter and a pinch of salt. Knead well, adding a little ‘flour if necessary.

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3. Allow the dough to rise until it doubles in volume (it will take a few hours).

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4. When risen, gently roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Then divide the sheet of dough into 2 and cut a few triangles (see the picture).

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5. Roll each triangle and shape the brioches like small croissants. Then place them on 2 baking sheets greased with butter and dusted with flour. Brush your brioches with a beaten egg (or milk).

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6. Bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for about 20 minutes with steam (you can do that by putting a small pan filled with boiling water in the oven; while the brioches are cooking the water will release steam and the brioches will remain soft inside). Let cool and dust with icing sugar.

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Brioches semi-integrali di farro (con lievito madre).

media difficoltà

Ingredienti

Per 2 teglie (circa 12-14 brioches)

Panetto di lievito o biga

100 g di farina manitoba

50 g di lievito madre semisolido (con base di farina manitoba o farina 00)

acqua q. b.

Per l’impasto

150 g di farina manitoba

100 g di farina 00

100 g di farina integrale di farro

100 ml di latte a temperatura ambiente

2 uova (1 uovo servirà per lucidare le brioches)

1 tuorlo

60 g di burro ammorbidito

un pizzico di sale

50 g di zucchero integrale di canna

1 cucchiaino di miele

2 gocce di estratto di vaniglia

un po’ di buccia grattugiata di un limone biologico

zucchero a velo q. b.

Preparazione.

1. Preparate il panetto di lievito la sera prima e lasciate lievitare tutta la notte a temperatura ambiente. Mescolate 100 g di farina manitoba e 50 g di lievito madre con un po’ d’acqua. Coprite con la pellicola e lasciate lievitare per 12 ore (a temperatura ambiente).

2. La mattina dopo mischiate le farine e aggiungete il panetto lievitato, un uovo intero, un tuorlo, 50 g di zucchero di canna, l’estratto di vaniglia, la buccia di limone e il miele. Amalgamate bene, poi aggiungete il burro e un pizzico di sale. Lavorate bene l’impasto, aggiungendo un po’ di farina se necessario.

3. Lasciate lievitare l’impasto fino a quando sarà raddoppiato di volume.

4. Dopo la lievitazione stendete l’impasto delicatamente con un matterello, poi dividetelo in due e tagliate dei triangoli.

5. Arrotolate le brioches e mettetele su due teglie imburrate e infarinate. Spennellate le brioches con dell’uovo sbattuto per lucidarle (potete anche usare del latte al posto dell’uovo).

6. Cuocete a 200 °C per circa 20 minuti con del vapore (cioè mettete nel forno anche un pentolino di metallo colmo d’acqua bollente; con questo metodo le brioches resteranno morbide dentro e non si asciugheranno). Lasciate raffreddare e spolverate con zucchero a velo.

Traditional Recipe: Focaccia Alla Genovese (Genoese Focaccia Bread)

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Shiny and crunchy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, only genoese focaccia has certain qualities which, all together, define one of the best focaccias you can ever taste. Focaccia alla genovese has a distinctive olive oil taste and it requires a long leavening time in order to be so soft and delicious. Apparently, you can only taste the real thing in Genoa and this might depend on several factors (the ingredients, the humidity in the air, the water and, last but not least, the old traditional recipe).

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Today I am going to give you two recipes that you can use to make an amazing focaccia, either with normal yeast or sourdough. In the second recipe, the recipe with normal yeast, I reduced the leavening time to make it more manageable, but, of course, if you let it rise for longer it will get softer and the result will be much better.

Focaccia Alla Genovese (with sourdough).

Ingredients

350 g (12.3 oz) plain flour

6-7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

100 g (3.52 oz) semiliquid sourdough (you can replace the sourdough with 20 g of yeast)

8 g  (0.28 oz) ground sea salt

a pinch of barley malt

water

Method.

1. In a bowl, make a starter by mixing 150 g (5.29 oz) flour with 100 g (3.52 oz) of semiliquid sourdough, a little bit of water, a pinch of barley malt. Mix everything, wrap the bowl with cling film and let rise overnight (at room temperature).

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2. Mix the starter with the rest of the flour, some water, some salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Knead vigorously until you get a smooth dough (make a moist dough).

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3. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for, at least, 3 hours. After 3 hours, knead again for a few minutes then let rise for another 3 hours (actually until the dough doubles in volume).

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4. Gently roll out the dough on a baking sheet, previously greased with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Make some wells by pressing with your fingers in the dough.

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5. Let rise for 2 hours, then brush with plenty extra virgin olive oil mixed with a little bit of water and bake at 190° C (374° F) for about 30 minutes.

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6. Remove from the oven, brush with more olive oil (add water if the dough is too dry), then season with salt and serve.

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Focaccia bread (quicker recipe with yeast).

ingredients

350 g (12.3 oz) plain flour

6-7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

20 g (0.70 oz) yeast

7 g (0.24 oz) ground sea salt

a pinch of barley malt

some water

Method.

1. In a bowl, combine the yeast with 3 tablespoons of warm water, a pinch of barley malt and 4 tablespoons of flour. Mix well, cover with cling film and let it rise for 1 hour.

2. Mix the yeast with the rest of the flour, a tablespoon of olive oil, some water and a little bit of salt. Knead well until dough is smooth.

3. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours, then roll out the dough with a rolling pin (without pressing too much).

4. Let rise again for 30 minutes, then make some wells in the surface of the dough, by pressing with your fingers. Brush with plenty of extra virgin olive oil mixed with some water and bake at 190° C (374° F) for about 30 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven, brush with more olive oil (add water if the dough is too dry), then season with the rest of the salt and serve.

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Focaccia Alla Genovese (con lievito madre).

Ingredienti

350 g di farina 00

6-7 cucchiai d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

100 g di lievito madre semiliquido

8 g di sale marino macinato

malto d’orzo

acqua q. b.

Preparazione.

1. In una ciotola, mischiate 150 g di farina con 100 g di lievito madre, un po’ d’acqua e pochissimo malto d’orzo. Mescolate energicamente, poi sigillate con la pellicola e lasciate lievitare per tutta la notte (a temperatura ambiente).

2. Unite al lievito il resto della farina, poi aggiungete un pizzico di sale, poca acqua e un cucchiaio d’olio. Lavorate energicamente fino ad ottenere un impasto omogeneo (l’impasto deve essere anche umido).

3. Coprite con un panno umido e fate lievitare per almeno 3 ore. Raggiunta la prima lievitazione, impastate ancora per qualche minuto e lasciate lievitare finché l’impasto sarà raddoppiato di volume.

4. Stendete delicatamente l’impasto su una teglia (unta abbondantemente).

5. Create dei piccoli crateri con le dita e spennellate l’impasto con acqua e olio. Fate lievitare per altre 2 ore, poi infornate a 190° C per circa 30 minuti.

6. Spennellate ancora con olio abbondante (aggiungete un po’ d’acqua se la focaccia è troppo secca), salate e servite.

Focaccia (preparazione veloce).

Ingredienti

350 g di farina 00

6-7 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva

20 g di lievito di birra

7 g di sale marino macinato

malto d’orzo

acqua q. b.

Preparazione.

1. In una ciotola, mischiate il lievito con 3 cucchiai di acqua tiepida, pochissimo malto d’orzo e 4 cucchiai di farina. Mescolate bene, ricoprite con la pellicola e lasciate lievitare per 1 ora.

2. Unite l’impasto con il lievito al resto della farina, poi aggiungete un cucchiaio d’olio, un po’ d’acqua e un po’ di sale. Mescolate bene, fino ad ottenere un impasto liscio.

3. Lasciate lievitare per 1-2 ore, poi stendete l’impasto con il matterello (senza schiacciarlo troppo) e formate dei piccoli crateri con la punta delle dita.

4. Fate lievitare ancora per 30 minuti, poi spennellate con abbondante olio d’oliva mischiato ad acqua. Infornate a 190° per circa 30 minuti.

5. Sfornate la focaccia e spennellate con olio abbondante (aggiungete un po’ d’ acqua se è secca). Salate con il sale rimasto e servite.

Mixed Seed Wholemeal Bread Recipe (High-Fibre Food)

A delicious loaf of bread with a lot of tasty seeds inside! This is a great breakfast or sandwich bread,very tasty, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. I actually served it with a nice salad and I really enjoyed it!

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You can prepare the dough in the evening and keep it in the fridge with a few tablespoons of water, it will rise slowly through the night. The day after you have to take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you bake it.

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Mixed Seed Wholemeal Bread.

150 g (5.2 oz) plain flour / unbleached all-purpose flour

100 g (3.5 oz) of durum wheat semolina flour

100 g (3.5 oz) whole spelt flour

100 g (3.5 oz) of wholemeal flour

135 g (4.76 oz) of sourdough (semi-liquid, made with plain or Manitoba flour) or 15 g of yeast

1/2 tsp of barley malt

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and some more to grease the tin

8 g (0.28 oz) of ground sea salt

1 tablespoon of flax seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 tablespoon of fennel seeds

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Method.

1. Toast the seeds in a very hot oven for about 5 minutes (at 200°C/392 °F).

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2. Sift and mix the flours. Add the seeds, the sourdough (or yeast), 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, the barley malt and the salt. Mix everything well until you have a smooth dough.

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3. Let the dough rise until it doubles in volume (1-2 hours for the yeast, 3-6 hours for the sourdough).

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4. Bake in a loaf tin ( 3.9 inches x 10.2 inches), lightly greased with extra virgin olive oil, at 200 ° C (392°F) for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and then serve with a nice salad.

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Pane integrale ai semi.

150 g di farina 00

100 g di semola di grano duro

100 g di farina integrale di farro

100 g di farina integrale

135 g di lievito madre (semi liquido, con base di farina 00 o manitoba)
oppure 15 g di lievito di birra

1/2 cucchiaio di malto d’orzo

1 cucchiaio d’olio extra vergine d’oliva per l’impasto e un po’ di più per ungere la teglia

1 cucchiaio di semi di lino

1 cucchiaio di semi di sesamo

1 cucchiaio di semi di papavero

1/2 cucchiaio di semi di finocchio

Preparazione.

1. Fate tostare i semi per qualche minuto nel forno a 200°C, oppure in una padella.

2. Setacciate e unite le farine. Aggiungete i semi, il lievito, 1 cucchiaio d’olio extra vergine d’oliva, il malto d’orzo e il sale.

3. Fate lievitare fino a far raddoppiare l’impasto di volume (1-2 ore per il lievito di birra, 3-6 ore per il lievito madre).

4. Infornate a 200 °C per 25-30 minuti (ho usato una teglia profonda 10 cm x 26 cm). Fate raffreddare e servite con una buona insalata.

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How To Make Sourdough (re-edited).

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What is sourdough?

Sourdough is a natural yeast, obtained by fermenting flour and water. It can have a solid or a liquid consistency, depending on the amount of water used to feed it. Liquid sourdough usually rises better.

I personally recommend the preparation and use of this great ingredient because it’s completely natural, therefore much healthier and more digestible than other yeasts. Sourdough can be used to make a variety of breads, pizzas, pies and cakes with surprising results. Moreover, it makes everything taste better!

Preparing the sourdough starter.

1. First you have to make a starter. Mix 1 cup of organic wholemeal flour (the wholemeal flour is necessary for the first feed) with 1/2 cup of cool water (use non-chlorinated water, you can mix tap water with still drinking water from a bottle).
Put the ingredients in a glass, stainless steel or a plastic container for food.

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2. Stir all the ingredients together, until creamy and smooth, then cover the container with a damp cloth and let it sit for 24 hours.

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3. After 24 hours remove the top half of the mixture, then feed the starter again with 1 cup of plain flour (you can use manitoba, whole spelt or wholemeal flour, if you prefer) and half a cup of water. Stir well, cover with a damp cloth and let it sit for another 24 hours.

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4. Now you can start feeding the starter every two days. Repeat this process for about 10 days.

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5. After 10 days, you can start feeding your sourdough every 4-5 days and you can use it for your recipes.

Store the sourdough.

1. Store the sourdough in a glass jar and keep it in the fridge (with the lid on).

2. Each time you feed the sourdough let it sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature in a glass jar covered with a damp cloth (with no lid on). Then remove the cloth, close the container and put it back in the refrigerator.

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Doses.

1. Feed the sourdough the day before you use it (12 hours before). To feed the sourdough, weight the natural yeast, then add the same amount of  flour and half the amount of water.

2. In the quickest recipes, the ratio of flour and sourdough used must be 3 to 1. (e.g. for 900 g of flour use 300 g of sourdough).

3. The rising time of the dough will depend on the age and strength of the yeast, at first it may take 3 to 6 hours (however, when it doubles in size it is ready for use).

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La pasta madre.
La pasta madre è un lievito naturale che si ottiene facendo fermentare farina e acqua. Questo lievito può avere una consistenza più solida o liquida, a seconda della quantità d’acqua utilizzata, normalmente la versione più liquida ha una lievitazione migliore.

Consiglio vivamente la preparazione e l’utilizzo di questo ingrediente, essendo un lievito completamente naturale e quindi molto più digeribile e salutare rispetto ad altri lieviti comunemente utilizzati. Inoltre può essere usato facilmente nella preparazione di svariati tipi di pane, pizze torte salate e dolci con risultati sorprendenti.

Preparazione della pasta madre.

1. Per prima cosa, preparate un piccolo impasto unendo 1 tazza di farina integrale biologica (la farina integrale è necessaria per il primo impasto) a 1/2 tazza d’acqua fredda (utilizzate acqua con poco cloro, potete miscelare l’acqua del rubinetto con acqua minerale naturale).

2. Mettere gli ingredienti in un contenitore (è consigliabile utilizzare un contenitore di vetro oppure acciaio inossidabile, ma anche la plastica per alimenti va bene) e mescolare fino ad ottenere un composto cremoso. Coprire il contenitore con un panno umido e lasciate riposare per 24 ore.

3. Passate 24 ore, levate la parte dura in superficie e rinfrescare quello che resta del lievito, cioè aggiungete al composto 1 tazza di farina (potete utilizzare la 00, manitoba oppure farina integrale, come preferite) e mezzo bicchiere d’ acqua. Mescolare bene, coprire con un panno umido e lasciate riposare per altre 24 ore.

4. Ora potete rinfrescare il lievito ogni 2 giorni, utilizzando sempre una tazza di farina e 1/2 tazza d’acqua. Continuate con questa procedura per circa 10 giorni.

5. Dopo 10 giorni, potete incominciare a rinfrescare la pasta madre ogni 4-5 giorni. Arrivati a questo punto, la vostra pasta madre è pronta per essere utilizzata nelle vostre ricette.

La conservazione.

1. Conservate la pasta madre in un vasetto di vetro, chiuso con il coperchio e tenuto in frigorifero.

2. Dopo ogni rinfresco, lasciate riposare il lievito madre per una o due ore in un vasetto coperto da un panno umido a temperatura ambiente, poi chiudete il contenitore e rimettetelo nel frigorifero.

Le dosi consigliate.

1. Nutrite la pasta madre il giorno prima di utilizzarla (almeno 12 ore prima). Per nutrire la pasta madre, prima pesate il lievito naturale, poi aggiungere la stesso peso di farina e metà del peso di acqua.

2. Nelle ricette più rapide, il rapporto tra farina e pasta madre deve essere di 3 a 1, cioè su 900 g di farina utilizzeremo 300 g di lievito naturale.

3. Il tempo di lievitazione dipenderà dall’età e dalla forza della pasta madre. I tempi possono variare dalle 3 alle 6 ore, consiglio però di non guardare l’orologio ma di osservare il volume dell’impasto, quando raddoppia è pronto per l’uso.

Wholemeal chestnut bread with rosemary and pine nuts

This bread is absolutely amazing!!
This week we are going to prepare a very special wholemeal bread, made with chestnut flour, rosemary and pine nuts.
In Italy, the weather is getting colder; a few days ago I took out my clay cooking pot from the cupboard and I made a nice cereal soup to warm myself up. This rustic but tasty bread goes particularly well with slow cooking dishes. A nice vegetable stew served with chestnut bread could be the perfect Sunday meal for a rainy or a cold day. Great comfort food for those like me who enjoy practising this cooking method.
Tip. Prepare the dough in the evening and let it rise throughout the night, it will save you some time and the recipe will be more manageable.
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 Wholemeal chestnut bread with rosemary and pine nuts.
Ingredients
100 g (3.5 oz) chestnut flour
120 g (4.2 oz) whole spelt flour
120 g (4.2 oz) wholemeal flour (whole wheat flour)
120 g (4.2 oz) durum wheat flour
140 g (4.9 oz) sourdough (mine is made with plain and manitoba flour) or 15 g yeast
a little bit of barley malt (optional)
water and salt as needed
1 egg yolk
a handfull of pine nuts
a bunch of fresh rosemary
Dough preparation.
1. Combine the flours with salt , malt (optional) and sourdough.
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2. Knead until you have a compact dough. Let it rise until the dough doubles in volume (3-6 hours for the sourdough and 1-2 for the yeast).
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 Making the bread.
1. Roll the dough out on an oven tray covered with baking paper and shape a rectangle.
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2. Finally chop the rosemary, then sprinkle with a few pine nuts.
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3. Fold the edges, turn it upside down (see the pictures) and let it rise for another hour or two.
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4. Slash the surface of the dough with a knife in a criss-cross pattern and garnish with a few pine nuts.
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5. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water and brush the top of the bread with the glaze.
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6. Bake at 200 ° C ( 392° F) for about 20-25 minutes.
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Serve it warm with some butter…It’s absolutely delicious!
Pane integrale con farina di castagne, rosmarino e pinoli.
Ingredienti
100 g di farina di castagne

120 g di semola rimacinata

120 g di farina di farro integrale

120 g di farina integrale di buona qualità

140 g di lievito madre (il mio è fatto con farina bianca e manitoba) o 15 g di lievito di birra

una punta di cucchiaio di malto d’orzo (facoltativo)

1 tuorlo d’uovo

una manciata di pinoli

qualche rametto di rosmarino fresco

Preparazione della pasta.

1. Mescolate le farine con il sale, il malto (facoltativo) e il lievito naturale (o il lievito di birra).

2. Impastate fino ad ottenere un panetto compatto. Lasciate lievitare fino a quando l’impasto raddoppia di volume (3-6 ore per il lievito madre e 1-2 ore per il lievito di birra).

Preparazione del pane.

1. Stendere la pasta su una teglia ricoperta con carta da forno e formate una sfoglia rettangolare.

2. Tritate finemente il rosmarino e cospargetelo con alcuni pinoli sulla sfoglia di pasta.

3. Piegare i bordi come per chiudere un pacchetto (vedi foto). Capovolgete il pane e lasciate lievitare per 2 ore.

4. Fate dei tagli in diagonale (poco profondi) sulla superficie della pasta e guarnite con alcuni pinoli.

5. Mescolare il tuorlo d’uovo con 2 cucchiai d’acqua e spennellare il bordo del pane.

6. Mettete a cuocere in forno a 200 ° C per circa 20-25 minuti. Servite il pane caldo con un po’ di burro sopra.

Spring onion stuffed focaccia bread.

My grandmother used to prepare this recipe for family dinners and celebrations. I remember eating a lot of this focaccia bread at every dinner we had. Of course, as usual, I made my own version using wholemeal flour and less anchovies and olives than in the original recipe. Anyway, it’s delicious and quite a versatile dish that you can have as a main vegan or vegetarian dish, or as a side dish with other courses. 
I am very happy to share this recipe here, its flavour takes me back to some good memories.
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Ingredients

500 g (17.6 oz) of well risen pizza dough (I made mine with 1/3 wholemeal flour, 1/3 wholemeal spelt flour, 1/3 sourdough, water and salt) . Also see the post on how to make pizza dough with yeast for the recipe.

500 g ( 17.6 oz) spring onions

4-5 anchovies in oil

50 g (1.76 oz) pitted green olives 

extra virgin olive oil 

salt to taste

1. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Take one part and shape a disk slightly larger than 30 cm in diameter.

2. Take an oven pan (28 cm in diameter), grease with plenty of olive oil and roll out the dough.

3. Peel and slice the spring onions, including the tender green part. Fry the onions with plenty of olive oil over low heat, until they are tender.

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4. Cut the olives, chop the anchovies and place all the ingredients evenly on the dough.

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5. Make another disk with the remaining dough, in order to cover and seal the focaccia, then let it rise for an hour.

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6. Season with some salt and a little bit of oil, then bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for 20 minutes.

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Focaccia integrale ripiena con cipollotti e olive.
Ingredienti

500 g di pasta da pane ben lievitata (ho fatto la mia usando 1/3 di farina integrale, 1/3 di farina di farro, 1/3 di pasta madre, acqua e sale)

500 g di cipollotti

4-5 acciughe sott’olio

50 g di olive verdi snocciolate

olio extra vergine d’oliva e sale qb

1. Dividete la pasta in due parti uguali. Prendete una parte dell’impasto e formate un disco leggermente più grande di 30 cm di diametro.

2. Prendete una teglia da forno (di 28 cm di diametro), ungete con abbondante olio d’oliva e stendere la pasta.

3. Sbucciare e affettare i cipollotti, compresa la parte verde più tenera. Fate soffriggere con abbondante olio d’oliva a fuoco basso.

4. Tagliare le olive e tritate le acciughe. Stendete tutti gli ingredienti in modo uniforme sulla pasta.

5. Formate un disco con la pasta rimasta per coprire e sigillare la focaccia. Lasciate lievitare per circa un’ora.

6. Condite con un po’ di sale e olio, quindi infornare a 200 ° C per 20 minuti.

Neither a salad or a pizza: Insalapizza! (no cheese)

As refreshing as a summer salad and as tasty as a pizza! This is why I decided to call this dish insalapizza (salad-pizza). I often end up with no mozzarella cheese in my fridge, and this usually happens when I feel like having a pizza!…So one evening I came up with this nice and simple recipe. Since then I have had several occasions to try out and improve this dish. I hope you like it!

Pizza-salad recipe.

Ingredients

for 1 pizza

For the pizza dough

35 g (1.23 oz) wholemeal flour (whole wheat flour)

35 g (1.23 oz) whole spelt flour

20 g  (0.70 oz) Manitoba flour

45 g (1.58 oz) plain flour sourdough (or you can use 5 g of yeast. In this case, you have to add 45 g of plain flour and more water to make the dough. the rising time will also vary)

1 or 2 tablespoons mixed grains (hulled oats, hulled barley, hulled spelt, wheat, rye, brown rice)

1/2  tablespoon flax seeds (linseeds), optional

1/2  teaspoon salt

a little bit of barley malt syrup (to increase leavening strenght, optional)

Pizza toppings and seasoning

1 big onion

3 plum tomatos

water as needed

some rocket (arugula) leaves, washed and dried

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons to grease the oven tray and 2 more to pour on the pizza toppings)

Method
1. Wash the seeds and soak them in water for 6-8 hours.
2. Mix the sourdough with the flours, some water and malt (or honey). Add the seeds and half a teaspoon of salt to the dough. Mix well and increase the amount of flour if necessary (the dough shouldn’t stick to your hands).
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3. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume (3-6 hours, if you use sourdough).
If you use normal yeast (not sourdough) you have to increase the amount of flour and water ( in this case, add 45 g of plain flour) to the dough. Dissolve the yeast in a little bit of water with 1 tablespoon of flour. Then add the yeast to the mixture and let it rise for about an hour.
4. When the dough is ready, roll out the pizza base in a round baking tray (20-30 cm in diameter), greased with plenty of olive oil. Let the pizza base rise for another hour. Meanwhile, clean and cut the onion very finely and leave it to soak for an hour in water.
5. Wash, dry and cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Top your pizza base with the onion and the tomatoes. Season your pizza with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for 30 minutes (until crispy).
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Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a few rocket leaves.
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A few tips.
To shorten the preparation time, I usually make a lot of dough, I divide it into small quantities and store it in the freezer. In this way the dough is ready when I need it. Leave the seeds to soak at night, this also save some time.
Insalapizza.
Ingredienti per la base della pizza ai cereali.
Per 1 pizza

35 g di farina integrale

35 g di farina integrale di farro

20 g di manitoba

45 g di lievito madre (potete sostituire il lievito madre aggiungendo 45 g di farina 00 all’impasto con un po’ d’acqua e 5 g di lievito di birra da diluire con poca acqua e farina)

1 o 2 cucchiai di cereali misti (avena decorticata, orzo decorticato, farro decorticato, frumento, segale, riso integrale)

1/2 cucchiaio di semi di lino (facoltativo)

1/2 cucchiaino di sale

pochissimo malto d’orzo (per fare lievitare meglio l’impasto,  ma è facoltativo)

un po’ di farina in più da aggiungere a fine impasto

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Ingredienti per il condimento

3 pomodori perini maturi

1 cipolla dolce grande

un mazzetto di rucola, lavata e pulita

sale e pepe q b

Olio d’oliva abbondante (2 cucchiai per ungere la teglia e 2 in più per condire la pizza in superficie )

Preparazione.

1. Lavate e lasciate i semi a bagno in acqua per 6-8 ore. Nel frattempo, unite le farine e il malto al lievito madre, aggiungendo un po’ d’acqua, se necessario. Lavorate bene l’impasto.  Aggiungete i semi, con mezzo cucchiaino di sale e aumentate la quantità di farina nel caso il composto risultasse troppo umido.

2. Fate lievitare fino a quando l’impasto sarà raddoppiato di volume (3-6 ore). Se usate il lievito di birra dovete aggiungere 45 g di farina 00 all’impasto, poi diluire il lievito di birra in un po’ d’acqua e impastare tutto. In questo caso, dovete lasciare lievitare per un’ ora circa.

3. Quando l’impasto sarà lievitato, stendetelo su una teglia rotonda (25-30 cm di diametro), ungendo la base con abbondante alio d’oliva. Lasciate lievitare per 1 oretta. Nel frattempo, tagliate la cipolla e lasciatela immersa in acqua per almeno 1 ora (per renderla più dolce). Lavate, asciugate e tagliate i pomodori a cubetti.

4. Disponete la cipolla e i pomodori sulla pizza e condite con abbondante olio d’oliva .Cuocete a 200 ° C per 30 minuti. Sfornate, condite con sale e pepe, aggiungendo qualche foglia di rucola per guarnire.

Consigli per la preparazione.
Per accorciare i tempi, generalmente preparo in anticipo una grossa quantità di pasta, la divido nelle giuste dosi e la scongelo in caso di bisogno. Questo procedimento facilità notevolmente le cose e funziona alla grande! Consiglio anche di lasciare i semi immersi nell’acqua tutta la notte, saranno più morbidi e i tempi di preparazione saranno più facili da gestire.