Category Archives: Bread & Buns

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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Caprese Flatbread Wraps (piadine alla caprese)

Today we are going to prepare a delicious Caprese salad in “pockets”, a fresh and light meal for a healthy lunch on the go, that can also be served as a tasty appetiser. These Caprese Piadinas are perfect for this season and they are so quick and easy to make!

Italian flatbread with Caprese salad on a wooden board. Piadina con mozzarella e pomodorini.

See also the Whole spelt Piadina (Italian flatbread) recipe

Caprese flatbread wraps

Ingredients

Serves 4

4 spelt Piadinas ( Whole grain Italian flatbreads)

2 fresh mozzarella cheeses

12 ripe Piccadilly or cherry tomatoes

a handful of fresh basil leaves

extra virgin olive oil to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves on wooden board.

Method.

1. Drain and squeeze the mozzarellas well.

2. Wash and dry the tomatoes and the basil leaves, then cut the tomatoes into halves.

basil leaves, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes on a wooden board.

3. Fold and then fill each Piadina with 6 pieces of tomatoes, some slices of the mozzarella and some basil leaves.

Italian flatbread with Caprese salad on a wooden board. Piadina con mozzarella e pomodorini.

4. Season with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and serve.

Italian flatbread with Caprese salad on a wooden board. Piadina con mozzarella e pomodorini.

Italian flatbread with Caprese salad on a wooden board. Piadina con mozzarella e pomodorini.

Tip. You can add some crushed garlic, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and/ or a pinch of dried oregano for more flavour.

Piadina alla caprese.

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

4 piadine sfogliate grandi (andate alla ricetta della piadine di farro)

2 mozzarelle freschissime

12 pomodori maturi (piccadilly o ciliegino)

una manciata di foglie di basilico fresco

olio extra vergine di oliva q.b.

sale e pepe q.b.

Preparazione.

1. Scolate e strizzate bene le mozzarelle.

2. Lavate e asciugate i pomodori, poi tagliarli a metà. Mondate e lavate anche le foglie di basilico.

3. Piegate e riempire ogni Piadina con 6 pezzi di pomodori, qualche fetta di mozzarella e qualche foglia di basilico.

4. Condire con abbondante olio extra vergine di oliva, sale, pepe e servite.

Nota.

Potete aggiungere agli ingredienti anche un po’ d’ aglio crudo (tritato molto finemente), qualche goccia di aceto balsamico e / o un pizzico di origano per dare sapore.

Whole Spelt Piadina (Italian flatbread)

The Piadina Romagnola is a flatbread traditionally made in Emilia-Romagna, an Italian region well known for its delicious food and wonderful recipes. Usually, this bread is made with simple ingredients like: white 00 flour (Italian plain flour), lard, water, milk and fine sea salt… However there are some variations in ingredients, thickness and consistency. This week we are going to prepare a whole grain piadina sfogliata made with yogurt and extra virgin olive oil, instead of using lard and plain flour, for a lighter high-in-fibre version of the Piadina.

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You can be very creative and fill this bread with lots of fresh seasonal ingredients.

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Tips.

1. For the cooking method I suggest you use a heavy-based large and flat pan; a cast iron or a stone-derived pan is possibly the best thing you can use for this preparation.

2. Dust the pastry with some flour before placing it on the hot pan to cook. Then, when the piadina is cooked, wipe the surface of the pan with some paper. Repeat this operation before cooking each bread, otherwise the flour left on the pan will burn and change the flavour of the piadina.

3. I added a little bit of yogurt to replace the milk and lard, however you can replace the yogurt with more oil and water, if you want a dairy-free recipe.

Whole spelt Piadina (Italian flatbread)

for 5 large flatbreads

Ingredients

400 g wholemeal spelled flour

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons of yogurt (I used full-fat, but you can use low-fat yogurt if you prefer)
200 ml of water

Method.

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, then cover with cling film and let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan (use a pan with 24 cm in diameter).

3. Cut the dough into five pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until you get a round thin sheet of pastry, with a diameter a little ‘smaller than the diameter of the pan.

4. Dust the Piadina and place it on the hot pan, over a medium-high heat. Cook the flatbread on each side for a few minutes until crispy and golden.

5. Cook all the Piadinas, then fill them with all the fresh ingredients that you like.

See also Caprese flatbread wraps (piadine alla caprese)

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The preparation of this recipe is so quick and easy that you won’t be buying flat bread anymore!!

Piadine sfogliate di farro (senza strutto)

Per 5 piadine 

Ingredienti

400 g di farina integrale di farro

50 ml di olio extra vergine d’oliva

1/2 cucchiaino di sale

1/2 cucchiaino di bicarbonato

3 cucchiai di yogurt intero

200 ml d’acqua

Preparazione.

1. Impastate tutti gli ingredienti in una terrina, poi ricoprite con la pellicola e lasciate riposare per 30 minuti.

2. Scaldate una padella antiaderente abbastanza grande (uso una padella con 24 cm di diametro).

3. Tagliate la pasta in cinque pezzi. Stendete la pasta con un matterello fino ad ottenere una sfoglia rotonda e sottile (del diametro un po’ più piccolo della padella).

4. Infarinate la sfoglia e mettetela sulla padella. Fate cuocere per qualche minuto e poi girate la piadina per cuocerla uniformemente. Quando la piadina è dorata su entrambi i lati è pronta.

5. Preparate tutte le piadine, poi farcitele con con il ripieno che desiderate.

Guardate anche la ricetta per la piadina alla caprese

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Buckwheat Crepes (Gluten-free, High in fibre)

Rich in flavour and fibre, buckwheat crepes are incredibly delicious, healthy and can make a simple meal look quite impressive! You can be a little intimidated when you first make crepes….Well, I was when I made crepes for the first time! It is not so difficult to make nice crepes, as long as you remember to occasionally grease the frying pan during the preparation method, you move quickly when you shape the crepes and you cook the crepes over a low heat.

Crepe on round wooden cutting board on a table mat

Tips.
It might take a little bit of practice at first, however the best way to shape the crepes is to quickly move the pan around, in order to spread and flatten the batter evenly. During this process the frying pan shouldn’t be too hot, otherwise the batter will cook too quickly, leaving you with thick and uneven crepes.
During the cooking time, the crepes will start curling around the edges and lifting up from the pan; at this point the crepes are ready to be flipped around, to cook both sides.

You can be very creative with this dish and serve your crepes with lots of savoury or sweet fillings, experimenting with a great variety of ingredients, textures and flavour combinations.
Enjoy the recipe and have fun with it!

crepes on rectangular cutting board on a beige cutting mat, with white background

Buckwheat crepes

Ingredients

For 10 crepes

2 eggs

300 g of buckwheat flour

400 ml of milk

100 ml of water

extra virgin olive oil

salt or sugar (depending if you are making a sweet or savoury recipe)

extra virgin olive oil

Method.

1. In a bowl, gradually mix the flour with milk, water and salt (or sugar). Separately, beat the eggs and then make the batter incorporating the eggs and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into the flour mixture. Place the batter to cool for two hours in the refrigerator.

crepes batter with whisk in white plastic bowl

2. Heat a large frying pan over a low heat, then grease the base with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

3. Using a ladle, pour the batter in centre of the pan, then spread evenly and let cook for a few minutes.

raw crepe in a stone pan with olive oil on blue painted table

4. When the crepe starts curling around the edges, turn it around and cook the other side.

Repeat the process until you have made all the crepes, occasionally greasing the pan with a little extra virgin olive oil.

pile of crepes on round wooden cutting table on beige table mat

Also see the Gluten-free Béchamel sauce recipe and the Crepes with swiss chard and borage filling recipe.

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Crepes di grano saraceno

Ingredienti

Per 10 crepes

2 uova

300 g di farina di grano saraceno

400 ml di latte

100 ml di acqua

olio extra vergine d’oliva

zucchero o sale (dipende se la ricetta è dolce o salata)

Preparazione.

1. Amalgamate la farina e il sale (o zucchero) con il latte mischiato all’acqua. A parte, sbattete le uova e incorporatele al composto con un cucchiaio d’olio extra vergine d’oliva. Lasciate riposare la pastella nel frigorifero per almeno due ore.

2. Fate scaldare, a fuoco moderato, una padella con un cucchiaio d’olio extra vergine d’oliva.

3. Usando un mestolo, versate il composto al centro della padella, poi muovete energicamente la pentola per stendere uniformemente la pastella.

4. Lasciate cuocere per qualche minuto. Quando la crepe incomincia ad arricciarsi sui bordi potete girarla per cuocerla su entrambi i lati.

Preparate tutte le crepes, ricordandovi di ungere ogni tanto la padella con un filo d’olio.

Guardate anche la ricetta della Besciamella con amido di mais e la ricetta delle Crepes con ripieno di bietole e borragine.

Whole Spelt And Rolled Oat Crackers

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Whole spelt and rolled oat crackers.

makes 2 baking sheets (24 cm x 33 cm) of crackers

Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

100 g whole spelt flour

50 g rolled oats

40 g flax seeds

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

130 ml water

salt to taste

Method.

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients and knead well, until you get a nice and compact dough.

Whole spelt and oat crackers

2. Cut the dough into three pieces. Dust with some flour, then roll out each piece of dough between two sheets of baking paper (make the dough as thin as possible).

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3. Remove the sheet of paper on top and then, using a cutting wheel, roughly cut out and shape the dough into small squares.

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4. Line two baking sheets with baking paper and bake the crackers at 180°C /356° F (with the fan on) for 15 minutes.

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5. Serve with the fresh vegetable and shrimp salad (see the recipe).

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Crackers integrali di farro e fiocchi d’avena.

Per 2 teglie da forno (24 cm x 33 cm) di crackers

Difficoltà: facile

Ingredienti

100 g farina di farro integrale

50 g di fiocchi integrali d’avena

40 g di semi di lino

3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’ oliva

130 ml d’acqua

sale q. b.

Preparazione.

1. In una terrina grande, mescolate tutti gli ingredienti e impastate fino ad ottenere un impasto omogeneo.

2. Tagliate l’impasto in tre pezzi. Spolverate con un po’ di farina, poi stendete con un matterello un pezzo di pasta tra due fogli di carta da forno (cercate di renderlo il più sottile possibile).

3. Togliete il foglio di carta da forno sulla parte superiore dell’impasto e poi, con una ruota tagliapasta, tagliate dei piccoli quadrati. Ripetete l’operazione con il resto dell’impasto.

4. Ricoprite due teglie con carta da forno e infornate i crackers a 180 ° C (con la ventola) per 15 minuti.

5. Servite con lInsalata con gamberi e avocado.

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

Traditional Recipe: La Farinata Genovese (Genoese Socca)

Basically made from 3 ingredients (chickpea flour, olive oil and water), la farinata, or socca (as it is called in Nice), is a kind of chickpea focaccia, which doesn’t contain gluten and is dairy free.  It is quite easy to prepare and it’s perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets, because it is a good source of proteins.

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Before getting the method and recipe right it might take a few tries, especially when it comes to finding the right balance between the ingredients. It might requires a lot of olive oil in order to become crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, as it should be.
The farinata is traditionally only a few millimetres thin (see the pictures).

A few tips.
The ideal cooking method would also require a high temperature oven, like a wood stove, however, a good oven will do. Remember to use non-stick baking trays or baking paper.
The farinata has to be served quite hot, freshly made, otherwise it will become elastic and not very nice to eat. If you have leftovers, you can reheat the farinata in the oven the day after.

The farinata can also be enriched adding different ingredients; amongst the local most popular variations, you’ll find the onion and the artichoke farinata, also quite easy to make.

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Farinata could be a delicious starter or aperitif, but it is also a wonderful meal when served with a nice big salad on the side.

La farinata di ceci (Genoese socca)

Ingredients

for 3 rounded backing trays (28 cm in diameter)

1,5 litre of water

500 g chickpea flour

200 ml extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk 1,5 litre of water with 500 g. of chickpea flour, 100 ml olive oil and some salt. Once all the ingredients are mixed well, let sit for at least 5 hours (but 10 hours would be better, so the flour can absorb the water well).

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2. After the resting time, remove the froth formed on the surface of the mixture with a spoon.

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3. Pour some extra virgin oil on a non-stick baking tray, then with a ladle add 1/3 of the mixture and season with salt and pepper.

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4. Bake the farinata at 220°C / 428°F (or higher) until golden, then turn on the grill and cook for a little longer, in order to get a nice crispy crust on top. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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Also see Chickpea flour bread recipe

La farinata di ceci.

Ingredients

Per 3 teglie rotonde di 28 cm di diametro

1,5 l d’ acqua

500 g di farina di ceci

sale e pepe q.b.

200 ml di olio extra vergine d’oliva

Preparazione.

1. In una ciotola grande, mescolate energicamente con una frusta 1, 5 l di acqua, 500 g. di farina di ceci, 100 ml di olio e un po’ di sale. Una volta amalgamati bene gli ingredienti, lasciate riposare per almeno 5 ore (sarebbe meglio 10 ore, per far assorbire bene l’acqua).

2. Passato il tempo necessario, togliete con un cucchiaio la schiuma formata in superficie.

3. Versate un po’ d’olio su una teglia antiaderente, poi con un mestolo aggiungete il composto liquido (non troppo perché deve restare sottile) e condite con sale e pepe.

4. Infornate a 220° C per una decina di minuti, poi accendete il grill e lasciate che si formi una crosta croccante. Sfornate e servite!

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Vedi anche la ricetta del Pane con farina di ceci e semi di zucca

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.