Tag Archives: Whole grain

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 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 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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Whole Spelt And Rolled Oat Crackers

Mixed salad with shrimps-10

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.

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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.

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the risk of heart diseases and unhealthy lifestyles; it is also a way to remind us that we have to take care of our hearts and ourselves on a regular basis. One way to do that is to improve our diets by adding more fresh vegetables, whole grains and limiting unhealthy fats, in order to lower the cholesterol levels in our blood.

We all know that these healthy foods contain a lot of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which are extremely important for our system, more than this, they also contain fibre, another important element that helps maintain low cholesterol levels in our blood. As a consequence, we have to cut down on unhealthy fats like the ones contained in full-fat dairy products, heavily processed food and fatty meat… It doesn’t mean we have to completely avoid these foods, we just have to be a little bit more aware about what we eat.

Healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean tasteless food…
I am a firm believer that healthy dishes can be tastier than unhealthy processed food. In fact, the less you cook, manipulate and process the ingredients during the preparation method of a recipe, the tastier the food will be, as you preserve the nutrients contained in it…As a consequence, your body will benefit with a boost of energy and good health!

Of course, today’s recipes are dedicated to this topic..

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Fresh vegetable and shrimp salad.

Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

Serves 4

300 g of shrimps

1 large avocado

16 cherry tomatoes

150 g mixed salad (with fresh carrots and mixed salad leaves)

2 spring onions (optional)

the juice of a lime

a little extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. Fill a small pan with water, then cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and poach the shrimps for 5-7 minutes (until they turn pink), then drain and set a side.

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2. Wash, clean and dry all the vegetables. Cut the tomatoes into halves, the avocado into small chunks and mix with the salad. Slice the spring onion and add it to the vegetables.

3. Divide the salad into 4 equal portions, then add the shrimps and season with a little extra virgin olive oil, the juice of a lime, salt and pepper.

4. Serve the salad in bowls with a few whole spelt and oat crackers on the side.

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See also the whole spelt and oat crackers recipe

Insalata con gamberetti e avocado.

Difficoltà: facile

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

300 g di gamberetti

1 avocado grande

16 pomodorini ciliegia

150 g di insalata mista (con carote fresche)

2 cipollotti (facoltativo)

il succo di un lime

un po’ di olio extra vergine di oliva

sale e pepe q.b.

Preparazione.

1. Fate bollire dell’acqua in una pentola. Spegnere il fuoco e immergetevi i gamberetti per 5-7 minuti (fino a quando diventano rosa), quindi scolate e mettete da parte.

2. Mondate tutte le verdure. Tagliate i pomodorini a metà e l’avocado in piccoli pezzi, poi uniteli all’insalata. Tagliate il cipollotto a fettine molto sottili e mischiatelo alle verdure.

3. Dividete l’insalata in 4 parti uguali, quindi aggiungete i gamberetti e condite con un filo d’olio extra vergine d’oliva, il succo di un lime, sale e pepe.

4. Servite l’insalata con dei crackers di farro e avena.

Vedete anche la ricetta dei crackers di farro e avena

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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.

Vegan Menu (High In Fibre And Vegetable Protein)

This week I am inviting you to try this truly delicious vegan menu, for everyone who enjoys tasty and healthy food! Click on the pictures or links  to view all the recipes.

A lots of wonderful colours and flavours in this menu!

A menu for 2-3 servings

Home-made Hummus

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Insalapizza (Pizza-Salad) 

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Crunchy and Colourful Salad.

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Rich Chocolate Tart With Fresh Raspberries.

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Gluten-free Buckwheat Gnocchi (Step by Step)

I adore gnocchi! Gnocchi with pesto has been my favourite pasta dish since I was a kid. In Italy there are numerous variations of this wonderful pasta, some of which are really colourful and tasty. Today we are going to prepare a gluten-free version made with buckwheat flour. This flour might be a little expensive, but I decided to use it because of the benefits that introducing gluten-free meals in our every-day diet have. Even though I don’t have intolerances or allergies, but also because I think it’s delicious. Of course, it is also a good alternative to traditional gnocchi for celiac people.

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 A few words about Buckwheat. 

Buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb. The seeds are fruit seeds, not cereals, very similar to sunflower seeds, and with a distinctive triangular shape. They are rich in protein, important minerals ( iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and potassium.) and vitamins B. Buckwheat is normally used in flour or grains. The flour is very tasty and perfect for pasta recipes, in fact, in Italy it is widely used in many traditional dishes.

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Ingredients

Preparation: 25 minutes

Potatoes Cooking time: 15-20 minutes + time to cool

Gnocchi Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 4-5

1 kg (35.2 oz) large potatoes

200 g (7.05 oz) buckwheat flour (and a little bit more for dusting)

50 g  (1.76 oz) potato starch

salt to taste

 Tools 

wooden board or table

A large pan (with a steaming basket  or you can use a steamer if you prefer this cooking method)

a large sieve (to sift the flour)

potato ricer (or a potato masher)

a knife

a fork (or a gnocchi board)

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 Method

1.Wash, then steam or boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes (if you boil, put them in cold salted water and then, bring to the boil). Mash the potatoes and let cool. Once they have cooled down, add the flour and starch (previously sifted and mixed).

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2. Combine all the ingredients, add some salt and work until you get a soft and smooth dough (adding some flour, if necessary).

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3. Dust the board, then divide the dough into 4-5 equal pieces and roll each piece into long ropes (the ropes should be 1,5 cm [0.39 uk inches] high). Cut each rope into small pieces (3 cm [ 1.18 uk inches] long and 1,5 cm [ 0.39 uk inches] high).

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4. Use a fork to indent the gnocchi by pressing the centre and roll each piece on the fork (watch the video below) , in this way the gnocchi will absorb the condiment better.

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Watch the video:

5. Add more flour to prevent the gnocchi from sticking together and lay them a little apart from each other on a table, previously covered with clean kitchen cloths (I used a plate because I prepared only one portion). Cook as soon as possible.

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 Tips.

Boil in plenty of salted water for a few minutes. Once they rise, gently drain and season as you prefer (serve these wonderful gnocchi with pesto or with a nice tomato sauce. If you don’t follow a vegan or a low-cal diet I suggest you try them with a gorgonzola sauce).

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Gnocchi di patate e grano saraceno.

Preparazione: 25 minuti

Cottura delle patate: 15-20 minuti + il tempo di farle un po’ raffreddare

Cottura degli gnocchi: 5 minuti

Ingredienti

per 4-5 persone

1 kg di patate farinose

200 g di farina di grano saraceno ( e un po’ di più per infarinare)

50 g di fecola di patate

sale q.b.

Utensili

una spianatoia di legno abbastanza grande

Una pentola grande (con cestello per cottura a vapore oppure una  vaporiera, se preferite questo tipo di cottura)

un setaccio o un colino grande (per setacciare la farina)

uno schiaccia patate

un coltello

una forchetta

 Preparazione

1. Lavate bene le patate e fate cuocere a vapore per 15-20 minuti (o lessatele mettendole in acqua fredda salata e portando a bollore). Schiacciate le patate e lasciate raffreddare. Aggiungete la farina e la fecola (setacciate e mescolate in precedenza).

2. Amalgamate gli ingredienti con un po’ di sale, fino ad ottenere un impasto morbido ed uniforme. Nel caso fosse necessario, aggiungete un po’ di farina.

3. Infarinate la superficie della spianatoia, dividete l’impasto in 4-5 pezzi uguali e rotolate ogni pezzo fino a formare dei filoncini molto lunghi e alti 1,5 cm. Tagliate ogni cilindro di pasta in piccoli gnocchi (lunghi 3 cm e alti 1,5 cm circa).

4. Usate una forchetta per rigare gli gnocchi (guarda il video).

5. Appoggiate gli gnocchi distanti tra loro su un tavolo coperto da strofinacci puliti, leggermente infarinati (nelle foto uso un piatto perché ho preparato una porzione sola).

 Note.

Per la cottura consiglio di far bollire in acqua abbondante e salata per qualche minuto. Poi scolate e condite come preferite. Un ottimo condimento per gli gnocchi di grano saraceno potrebbe essere una salsa al gorgonzola, oppure condite semplicemente con del buon pesto o una salsa al pomodoro, se seguite una dieta vegana o a basso contenuto calorico.

Spelt Chocolate Cookies With Seeds

This week I am going to prepare an healthy treat, yummy chocolate cookies made ​​with wholemeal spelt flour, almonds and flax seeds. These cookies have a rich chocolaty flavour, lots of fibre and all the health benefits of the almonds and flax seeds. In fact, this recipe is enriched with omega 3 essential fatty acids and calcium, contained in the seeds. They also give extra flavour, strength and crunchiness to the recipe.

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Wholemeal Spelt Chocolate Cookies with Almonds and Flax Seeds.
Ingredients
for about 30 cookies

180 g (6.34 oz)  wholemeal spelt flour

100 g (3.52 oz) of chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

50 g (1.76 oz) almonds

20 g (0.70 oz)  flaxseeds (linseed)

1 egg

90 g (3.17 oz) butter

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

a pinch of salt

Method.

1. Toast the flax seeds in the oven for 5 minutes at 120 °C(248° F).

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2. Grind the seeds and the almonds very finely.

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3. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (double boiler).

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4. Soften the butter, then add the egg, the melted chocolate, honey,sugar and cocoa powder.

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5. Mix well then add the sifted flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt and the seeds.

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6. Work the dough until smooth and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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7. Shape small balls (3 cm in diameter), put them on a large baking tray covered with baking paper and cook for 15 minutes at 160° C (320 °F).

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Biscotti al cioccolato con semi di lino e mandorle.

Ingredienti

per circa 25-30 biscotti

20 g di semi di lino

50 g di mandorle (uso quelle con la buccia per le fibre)

1 uovo

90 g di burro

2 cucchiai di miele

3 cucchiai di zucchero di canna

100 g di cioccolato al 70 %

180 g di farina integrale di farro

1 cucchiaio di cacao amaro

1 cucchiaino di lievito per dolci

un pizzico di sale

Preparazione.

1. Fate tostare in forno i semi di lino per 5 minuti a 120°.

2. Tritare le mandorle e i semi molto finemente.

3. Mettete a sciogliere il cioccolato a bagnomaria.

4. Fate ammorbidire il burro, poi unite l’uovo, il cioccolato sciolto, il miele, lo zucchero e il cacao.

5. Amalgamate bene tutto e aggiungete la farina setacciata, le mandorle, i semi di lino,un pizzico di sale e un cucchiaino di lievito.

6. Impastate bene e lasciate riposare in frigorifero per 30 minuti.

7. Fate delle palline di 3 cm di diametro e mettete a cuocere in una teglia imburrata (o con carta da forno) per 15 minuti a 160°.

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.

Black Pepper and Fennel Seed Shortbread Cookies.

A few weeks ago, I decided to try out some unusual flavour combinations…By chance, after spending some time experimenting in my kitchen, I discovered that pepper, fennel seeds and lemon work really well with the shortbread dough. This unusual flavour combination will shake up your taste buds so much so that they’ll be asking for more… 🙂

I am not going to say anything more about these delicious and surprising cookies…Just try them and let me know! 

Ingredients

For 24-30 cookies

100 g (3.52 oz) whole spelt flour (farro flour)

100 g (3..52 oz) plain flour

1 tablespoon honey

the grated zest of half a lemon (or 2 drops of lemon essential oil)

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (these actually come from my parents’ garden)

1 teaspoon peppercorns

the juice of half a lemon (small) 

100 g (3.52 oz) brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon to add for decoration

130 g (4.58 oz) softened butter

a pinch of salt

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Method.

1. Grind the peppercorns and the fennel seeds using a mortar or an electric grinder and set aside.

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2. Separately, mix the flour with butter and then add 100 g (3.52 oz) of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, the grated zest and the juice of half a lemon with a pinch of salt. 

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3. Mix until smooth, then put the dough to cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

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4. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar with the ground peppercorns and fennel seeds.

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5. Roll out the dough and give it the desired shape. Decorate your cookies with the mixture of brown sugar, black pepper and ground fennel seeds.

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6. Bake for 20 minutes at 120°C (248°F) on a greased oven tray.

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Biscotti di pasta frolla con pepe e semi di finocchio.

Ingredienti

Per 24-30 biscotti

100 g di farina di farro integrale

100 g di farina 00

1 cucchiaio di miele

la scorza grattugiata di mezzo limone, non trattato (oppure 2 gocce di olio essenziale di limone)

1/2 cucchiaino di semi di finocchio

1 cucchiaino di pepe

il succo di mezzo limone (piccolo)

100 g di zucchero di canna, più un cucchiaio da aggiungere per la decorazione

130 g di burro morbido

un pizzico di sale

Preparazione.

1. Tritate, con un pestello o un macinino elettrico, i semi di finocchio e il pepe. A parte, unite le farine al burro, poi aggiungete all’impasto 100 g di zucchero, il miele, la scorza e il succo di mezzo limone con un pizzico di sale.

2. Amalgamate bene tutti gli ingredienti fino a creare un impasto omogeneo. Lasciate raffreddare in frigorifero per 30 minuti.

3. In una piccola scodella unite un cucchiaio di zucchero di canna con il pepe e i semi di finocchio macinati. Mescolate bene.

4. Stendete l’impasto e date la forma desiderata ai biscotti. Decorate i biscotti con la miscela di zucchero di canna, pepe e semi di finocchio macinati.

5. Infornate a 120° C per 20 minuti.

Chickpea hummus with multigrain pita bread (sourdough bread recipe).

Hummus is a delicious chickpea spread, easy to make and suitable for every occasion. Served with this special multigrain bread it becomes a real treat! This dish is rich in vegetable protein, fiber and omega 3, found in flaxseed. It is a great balanced meal when served with salad or fresh vegetables, while served with bread it is a wonderful starter.

Mutigrain pita bread.

For 4 flat breads.

ingredients

70 g (2.46 oz) wholemeal flour (whole wheat flour)

70 g (2.46 oz) wholemeal spelt flour

40 g (1.41) Manitoba flour

90 g (3.17 oz) sourdough

3 tablespoons 6 mixed grains (hulled oats, hulled barley, hulled spelt, wheat, rye, brown rice)

1 tablespoon flax seeds (linseeds)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tea spoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon honey or barley malt (unsweetened) syrup (it helps the dough to rise and gives a nice crust to the bread, optional)

water as needed

For the hummus.

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas (240 g, 8.46 oz, drained chickpeas)

1 clove garlic

the juice 1/2 a lemon

1 teaspoon sesame seeds finely chopped

a few crystal of sea salt

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup water

paprika to taste

Method (Multi Grain Pita Bread).

1. Wash the seeds in a bowl, changing the water several times, until it’s completely clear.

Step 1. Wash the seeds until the water is clear.

2. Leave the seeds to soak for 6-8 hours.

Step 2. Leave to soak for 6-8 hours.

3. Mix the flour with the sourdough, adding some water and a little bit of malt (or honey). Sprinkle the seeds on top of the mixture, add a teaspoon of salt and knead everything well (adding flour or water if necessary, as the dough should be neither too sticky nor too hard and dry).

Step 3. Mix the flour, the sourdough,the seeds,some malt and water.

4. Let it rise for 3 to 6 hours. When the dough has doubled in volume, divide it into 4 pieces and shape them into flat breads, using a rolling pin, if necessary.

5. Lay your breads on a baking sheet lightly oiled and bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for 15 minutes.

Step 4 and 5. Let rise, then shape the breads and bake them.

Chickpea hummus with multigrain pita bread (front shot pita bread)

Method (Chickpea Hummus).

1. Wash and drain the chickpeas (you can boil them for a few minutes to be safe).

Chickpea Hummus. Step 1. Wash and dry the chickpeas

2. Using a food processor, process the chickpeas until very finely chopped with the garlic, sesame seeds and salt (for better a result, I use mortar and pestle to break the sesame seeds with just a few sea salt crystals, before putting them in the food processor)

Chickpea Hummus. Step 2. Process the chickpeas with the garlic, the sesame seeds and salt.

3. Continue to process adding the lemon juice, water, and gradually the olive oil, until you have a nice creamy sauce.

Chickpea Hummus. Step 3. Add lemon juice, water and olive oil and process until creamy.

4. Put the hummus in a small bowl, top with some paprika and serve with the multigrain bread.

Step 4. Serve the hummus in a small bowl with the multigrain pita bread.

Hummus di ceci con pane arabo ai cereali e semi di lino.

Per 4 panini piatti (tipo pita) ai cereali.

Ingredienti

70 g di farina integrale

70 g di farina integrale di farro

40 g di manitoba

90 g di lievito madre

3 cucchiaio di 6 cereali misti ( avena decorticata, orzo decorticato, farro decorticato, frumento, segale,riso integrale)

1 cucchiaio di semi di lino

1 cucchiaio di olio extravergine di oliva

1 cucchiaino di sale

1/2 cucchiaino di miele o di malto (fa lievitare meglio l’impasto e aiuta il formarsi di una bella crosta, ma é facoltativo)

acqua q b

Per l’hummus di ceci

1 scatola di ceci (240 g di ceci scolati)

1 spicchio d’aglio

Il succo di 1/2 limone

! cucchiaino di semi di sesamo tritati

qualche cristallo di sale grosso

4 cucchiai di olio extravergine d’oliva

1/ 2 bicchiere d’acqua

una spolverata di paprika

Preparazione (pane pita ai cereali).

1. Mettete a bagno in una ciotola tutti i semi, cambiando l’acqua più volte, finché non sarà completamente limpida. Lasciate i semi immersi in acqua per 6 ore.

2. Unite le farine al lievito madre, aggiungendo un po’ d’acqua e un po’ di malto (o di miele). Unite i semi all’impasto, aggiungete un cucchiaino di sale e impastate bene.

3. Aggiungete farina o acqua se necessario,  l’impasto ottenuto non dovrebbe essere né troppo appiccicoso, né troppo duro e asciutto.

4. Fate lievitare dalle 3 alle 6 ore, fino a quando l’impasto sarà raddoppiato di volume.

5. Formate 4 pagnotte e stendetele su una teglia leggermente unta con olio d’oliva. Infornate a 200° C per 15 minuti.

Preparazione ( hummus di ceci).

1. Lavate e scolate i ceci (potete anche bollirli per qualche minuto, per sicurezza). Frullate i legumi molto finemente con l’aglio, i semi di sesamo e il sale (per un risultato migliore, uso prima un mortaio per sbriciolare i semi di sesamo con qualche cristallo di sale grosso e poi li metto con il resto degli ingredienti nel tritatutto).

2. Continuate a frullare e aggiungete il succo di mezzo limone,  l’acqua e in fine l’olio molto gradualmente, fino ad ottenere una crema.

3. Mettete l’hummus in una ciotola, aggiungete una spolverata di paprika e servite con il pane ancora cado.