laugenbrot

A volte ritornano

Che ci crediate o no, ho adempito a tutti i miei obblighi scolastici e sono finalmente tornata a scrivere sul blog, per la gioia dei miei follower (ciao, mamma!) e di me stessa, nuovamente libera di raccontarvi ciò che cucino.

Ma passiamo alle cose serie: mi è stata passata una ricetta molto soddisfacente e incredibilmente semplice per dei panini particolari, di origine austriaco-sudtirolese. L’unico piccolo difetto che hanno è che vanno consumati il giorno stesso della preparazione, poiché il giorno seguente risultano piuttosto secchi; per ovviare il problema si può congelare ogni singola pagnottella (già lievitata e bollita) e cuocerla all’occorrenza. Ad ogni modo, non mi è ancora capitato di doverlo fare: i piccoli laugenbrot non sono mai resistiti fino al giorno seguente.

La ricetta l’ho presa passo passo da Zonzolando, senza apportare alcuna modifica…cavallo vincente non si cambia!

 

**english text**

Believe it or not, I’ve fulfilled all my scholastic duties and finally I can write here again, to the delight of my followers (hello, mom!) and of myself, always happy to tell you what I’m cooking.

But let’s get down to business: I’ve received a very satisfying and incredibly simple recipe for some peculiar buns, typical of Austria and South Tyrol. The only flaw they have is that they have to be eaten the same day they’re cooked, because the next day they become quite stiff; to fix the problem you can freeze them (raised and boiled) and bake them when you prefer. Anyway, I never resorted to this, as poor laugenbrot never made it to the next day.

I took the entire recipe from Zonzolando, without changing anything: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Laugenbrot

For the dough:
270 ml warm water
40 g butter
25 g fresh yeast
10 g salt
300 g “00″ flour
200 g “0″ flour
50 g sesame and/or poppy seeds

For the solution:
2 l water
16 tsp baking soda
3 tsp salt

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast into half of the water, add sugar and three tbsp of flour. Whisk and set aside for 15 minutes. Sift the two flours, add butter and the content of the bowl. Knead a while, then add salt and the rest of the water and knead for 10-15 minutes to obtain a smooth dough. Cover and set aside to rise for an hour at least.
Divide the dough into 18 pieces, let them rise 20 minutes more; meanwhile, boil the solution of water, baking soda and salt. Immerse the buns (three or four at a time) for 30 seconds, then dispose them on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle them with sesame/poppy seeds and coarse salt, make a cut on every single bun and bake them at 200-210° C for15-20 minutes, until brown.

 

foto_buona

torta_romanesco_picc

cavoli a merenda

Da questa settimana ho iniziato una collaborazione interessante con la conca d’oro, una fattoria sociale sita sulle colline di Bassano del Grappa, dove abito io. I ragazzi di questa cooperativa coltivano nel rispetto dell’agricoltura biologica, e mi hanno chiesto di disegnare alcune ricette utilizzando la frutta e la verdura di stagione che loro producono in questo periodo. Tra le varie prelibatezze autunnali (rape rosse, zucca, broccolo verde, kiwi, limoni, arance…) ho scelto il broccolo romanesco, sia per il gusto delicato che per le forme curiose.
Di solito lo cucino con la pasta (acciughe, pinoli, uvetta, romanesco…et voilà!) ma questa volta ho voluto impegnarmi un po’ di più e farne una torta salata per cena. È stata molto apprezzata,  è una preparazione veloce e semplice ma di grande effetto!

**english text**

This week I’ve started an interesting collaboration with conca d’oro, a social farm located on the hills of Bassano del Grappa, where I live. The guys of this cooperative cultivate the soil following the principles of organic agriculture, and asked me to illustrate some recipes using seasonal fruit and vegetables they are producing. Among all their different fall delicacies (such as beets, pumpkin, broccoli, kiwi, lemons, oranges) I choose romanesco, for its delicate taste and curious shapes. I usually cook it with pasta (anchovies, pine nuts, raisins, romanesco…et voilà!) but this time I wanted to apply myself a little more, baking a savory pie for dinner. It was a success, it is a very easy and quick recipe but has very impressive results!

Romanesco savory pie
For the crust (pâte brisée):
200g flour
80 g butter
1/ glass water
1 pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 romanesco
200 g stracchino or soft cheese
1 egg
2-3 anchovies
1 garlic clove
salt, pepper, olive oil

First of all, let’s make the dough. sift the flour and chop the butter into small chunks, then knead with your finger adding water (it doesn’t always take all the water, just use it until the dough is soft and smooth). Knead on a wooden surface for 10-15 minutes and then set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Chop the romanesco, discarding leaves and the white stiff parts, then cook it in boiling water for 20 minutes (in microwave or pressure cooker it takes just 10 minutes). In a pan, heat some olive oil and put the garlic clove. Cook for a minute, then pour in the anchovies, cook for another two minutes and add the romanesco. Add salt and pepper, then cook for 5-10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk cheese and the egg, then add the cooked romanesco (let it cool before adding it to the cheese mixture). Line a cake pan with 3/4 of the dough, then pour in the filling and cover with dough stripes such as in the picture. Cook the pie for 45-65 minutes at 180°C, until golden (check the bottom: it has to be well cooked!). Let it cool before serving.

foto_t_r_1_picc

 

torta_pere

cacao & pere is the new black

Sabato mattina mi sono svegliata tardi e ho deciso di riempire il (poco) rimanente della mattinata a cucinare. Era ora di pranzo, certo, ma la scorsa settimana ho comprato quattro splendide pere biologiche ormai perfettamente mature.

Ho scartabellato il web fino a trovare una ricetta lituana e, grazie a Google Translate e un po’ di fortuna, sono arrivata a questo plum-cake bello e buono. Buono davvero!

 

**english text**

Saturday morning I woke up late and I decided to spend the (few) remaining morning hours cooking. It was lunch time, I know, but past week I had bought four gorgeous organic pears, and they were just perfectly ripe.

I have skimmed through the web until I found a Lithuanian recipe. Then, thanks to Google Translate and some luck, I managed to bake this good looking, good tasting cake. So good!

Cocoa and pear plum-cake
180 g softened butter
150 g cane sugar
200 g flour (pastry flour or “00” type)
50 g bitter powdered cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
200 ml heavy cream
3 eggs
1 pinch of salt
3 small pears
1/2 glass of milk

Beat the egg whites until stiff (if added, a pinch of salt can ease your job), then set them apart in the fridge, you will add them later. Beat half of the sugar with butter until pale and creamy. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and add to the butter cream.
Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder, then add to the dough. Stir in cream and milk, then gently add the beaten egg whites: the resulting dough will be thick and smooth.
Butter a plum-cake pan, then rinse the pears and pull out the cores and seeds; don’t cut the pears, just help yourself with a knife, cutting a hole on the bottom of the fruit and digging out the core.
Pour the dough in the pan, then set the three entire pears as shown in the recipe picture.
Bake at 170°C for an hour, checking with a toothpick (if it comes out clean and non-sticky, then the cake is baked).
Serve sprinkled with confectioners sugar, but beware! Do not extract the cake from the pan until completely cooled, or it will crack apart.

 

torta_pere_pic_2

torta_carote_pic

Verdure a colazione

Ho passato la scorsa settimana in un clima di semi-vacanza, in una casetta sull’Altipiano di Asiago. Ci si alzava la mattina per niente presto, per poi fare lunghe (pioggia permettendo) passeggiate alternate a sessioni di lavoro-lettura-cucina.

Il primo giorno, temendo che le nostre colazioni potessero mancare di qualcosa, abbiamo cucinato una torta alle carote. Anzi, una semplice, morbida, fragrante torta alle carote, da fare in venti minuti e cuocere in poco di più.
Le carote danno alla torta la consistenza soffice e permettono che questa rimanga morbida per molti, molti giorni. Inutile dire che non sono riuscita a testare di persona la durata della torta, dal momento che non è sopravvissuta più di 24 ore.

**english text**

I spent my past week in a semi-holiday mood, in a small house in the Altipiano di Asiago. We used to wake up late in the morning to make long (weather permitting) walks, sometimes interchanged with some work-reading-cooking sessions.

The first day, fearing that our breakfasts could have been lacking of something, we baked a carrot cake. Actually, we baked a simple, soft, fragrant carrot cake, which can be prepared in twenty minutes and baked for a little longer.
Carrots give the cake a soft texture and they let it stay mellow for days. Needless to say, I couldn’t test the cake lifetime because it didn’t last more than 24 hours.

Carrot cake
180 g sugar
2 eggs

1/3 glass seed oil (sunflower or corn)
400 g carrots, peeled
300 g flour “00″
1 pack baking powder

Grate the carrots and set them aside. Beat the eggs with sugar until fluffy, then add carrots, sifted flour and baking powder. Pour in a cake pan and bake for half an hour at 180°C. Serve sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.

 

torta_carote

baci_dama

XOXO

Ho sempre visto questi biscotti tradizionali dietro le vetrine delle pasticcerie, e mai mi sarei sognata di farli in casa. Mi aspettavo difficoltà impreviste, procedimenti lunghissimi e complessi, e invece eccoli qui!
Ho avuto la fortuna di poter approfittare di un aiuto-cuoco d’eccezione, e devo dire che a cucinare in due ci si diverte il doppio. Che dire di più, la ricetta è semplice ma intervallata da diversi riposi in frigorifero: occhio ai tempi prima di iniziare!

** english text **

I have always seen these traditional biscuits behind bakeries’ windows, and I have never thought I could have baked them myself. I was expecting unsuspected difficulties, long and complex processes, but none of this all happened.
I had the luck of having an exceptional sous-chef, and I have to admit that baking in two is twice the fun! What else, the recipe is simple but needs resting times in the fridge: pay attention to cooking times before you start.

Baci di dama
200 g flour (00)
240 g hazelnuts, shelled
190 g butter
120 g sugar
1 pinch of salt
hazelnut cream

In a mixer, crush the hazelnuts until smooth and floury. Whisk in flour, butter, sugar and salt. Cover the dough and let it rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Create small dough balls using your fingers, place on an oven pan and put in the fridge again, for half an hour. Preheat the oven at 160° C and, when the resting time is finished, bake the dough balls for 25 minutes. They should be soft, flattened and not darkened. Let them cool, then join every two halves with the hazelnut cream. You can also use dark chocolate ganache instead, I will try and tell you the results!

baci_dama_foto

cheesecake_recipe

Cheese lover

Partiamo da un presupposto: ognuno ha dei vizi.

Ad ognuno il suo, non sono qui per giudicare, ma solo per fare mea culpa: io pure ho un vizietto duro a morire. Il formaggio.
Per quanto mi impegni non ne posso fare a meno, e il mio frigorifero non ne è mai sfornito, sia esso una forma misera di ricotta, o un ottimo asiago fresco. Come resistere, quindi, ad un morbido dessert fatto di formaggio?
La New York cheesecake originale è fatta con formaggio spalmabile (“cream cheese”) e uova. Molte uova. Io, spulciando qua e là e facendo qualche prova, sono arrivata a questa cheesecake all’italiana con ricotta, formaggio spalmabile (sic!) e un paio di ovetti, a rendere giustizia all’originale.

P.s. Io uso i biscotti di tipo Digestives, ma ho tentato con successo anche una versione senza glutine con dei biscotti secchi per celiaci. Ottimo, ottimo risultato!

** english text **

Let’s start with a premise: everybody has its own vice.

I’m not here to judge anyone, but I want to admit my fault: my die-hard bad habit is cheese.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t live without it: my fridge cannot be out of cheese, whether it’s a piece of Ricotta or a good fresh Asiago. Then, how could I resist to a soft dessert made of cheese?
The original New York Cheesecake is made with cream cheese and eggs. A lot of eggs. Having a look here and there and trying on my own, I have reached this “italian style” recipe with ricotta cheese, cream cheese (yes!) and a couple of eggs, just to do justice to the original.

P.s. I use Digestives for the base of the cake, but I have managed to do a gluten-free version with celiac-friendly breakfast biscuits. It works good!

Cheesecake italiana
180 g Digestives biscuits (or any other breakfast biscuit)
70 g softened butter
200 g cream cheese
400 g ricotta cheese
200 g full-fat cream
180 g sugar
zest of half a lemon
2 eggs

Mince the biscuits and stir in the butter. Then create a base for the cake in a paper-lined baking pan (I used a 20 cm diameter pan), using a spoon to make it compact. Store in the fridge while making the cream.
Preheat the oven at 150°C. Whisk together cream cheese, ricotta cheese, cream, sugar, lemon zest and finally the eggs. Pour the cream onto the base, then put the pan in a bigger pan, which must be filled up with boiling water. Put them both in the oven and bake for an hour at 150°C (if your cake pan is not waterproof, then put the first pan in a second pan, and then finally in the boiling water pan. It sounds tricky, but is easier than it seems and it will save your work).
Let the cheesecake cool (it has to be baked but not golden!) and then store in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Serve with fruit compote of fresh fruit, as you prefer.

tortino_funghi_fin

Ricominciamo?

Prefazione:
A volte ritornano, e io pure ci provo.
Vorrei ricominciare dopo un’estate burrascosa e vacanziera, e iniziare con un appuntamento ricorrente (diciamo settimanale?) con le mie ricette. Inizio questo lunedì sperando di mantenere il ritmo, vedremo che si può fare!

Oggi parto con una ricetta che ho sperimentato lontano da qui, cucinata da altri. Per l’esattezza, è un piatto tipico ligure che ho mangiato in un posto speciale nella cittadina di Dolceacqua (che dovreste, dovreste visitare!).
Non sono riuscita ad ottenere lo stesso piatto che ho assaporato in quel piccolo angolo di mondo, ma di sicuro ogni volta che lo preparerò mi tornerà addosso la sensazione di calore familiare, di vacanza rilassata.

E qui sopra la ricetta!

** english text **

Preface:
Sometimes they come back, and I am trying, too.
I would like to restart after a long holiday summer, and to begin with a new appointment
(a weekly date?) with you and my recipes. I start this monday, hoping that I will hold on with
the rhythm! I hope so.

I am starting today with a recipe that I tasted far away from home, a recipe that someone
else cooked for me. To be exact, it is a typical Ligurian dish that I have eaten at a special
place, in a small town called Dolceacqua (that you should visit, yes you should!).
I haven’t been able to cook it exactly as they served it there, and my version tasted a little
different, but I am sure that every time I will cook this recipe I will go back to a lovely
sensation of familiar warmth, and holiday relax.

Here it is – the recipe!

Tortino ai funghi
600 g potatoes
400 g champignon mushrooms

25 g dried mushrooms (porcini will work fine)
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp parsley, chopped
butter
olive oil, salt and pepper

Let the dried porcini soak for 30  minutes, then rinse and drip-dry. Keep the water in which you soaked them and filter it in a saucepan. Add the (rinsed) dried porcini, a teaspoon of butter and cook over low heat for half an hour. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes (after you have rinsed them all) and the champignons.
In a buttered oven pan, arrange the sliced potatoes and the champignons layering them with the mushroom cream, and adding some minced garlic and parsley.
Sprinkle with olive oil and put in the oven; it should cook for 30 minutes at 200°C.
Serve hot, sprinkled with pepper and parmesan.

P.s. I’ve been very lucky, and I have tasted it after ligurian pesto tagliolini and frisceu di baccalà (ligurian codfish fritters). I highly recommend the combination!