Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sourdough Baking Wednesday: Italian Bread with Hazelnuts

Since I baked this bread the first time I made it lots of times using sourdough instead of biga, halving the recipe, ad using my bread machine for mixing and after waiting for some time, baking it.
I find this recipe fantastic, the bread is soft as my children like it and it uses lots of my sourdough that I always try not to waste.
This time I had 100 gr of ricotta hanging around and some toasted hazelnuts so I added them to the recipe, adding a little more flour.


Source: Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker's Apprentice Page 107

Makes about 18 ounces

2 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1/2 teaspoon (.055 ounces) instant yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons to 1 cup (7-8 ounces) water, at room temperature

1. Stir together the flour and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment). Adjust the flour or water, according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (It is better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading. It is harder to add water once the dough firms up.)
2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77 to 80 degrees F.
3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, or until it nearly doubles in size.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.

Italian Bread
Source: Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker's Apprentice Page 172-173

Days to make: 2
Day 1: 3 to 4 hours biga
Day 2: 1 hour to dechill biga; 12-15 minutes mixing; 3 1/2 hours fermentation, shaping, and proofing; 20-30 minutes baking

Makes two 1 pound loaves or 9 torpedo (hoagie) rolls

3 1/2 cups (18 ounces) biga (recipe above)
2 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1 2/3 teaspoons (.41 ounces) salt
1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) sugar
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1 teaspoon (.17 ounce) diastatic barley malt powder (optional)
1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) olive oil, vegetable oil, or shortening
3/4 cup to 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 to 8 ounces) water (or milk if making torpedo rolls), lukewarm (90 to 100 F)
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

1. Remove the biga from the refrigerator 1 hour before making the dough. Cut it into about 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.
2. Stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and malt powder in a 4 quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the biga pieces, olive oil, and 3/4 cup water and stir together (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until a ball forms, adjusting the water or flour according to need. The dough should be slightly sticky and soft, but not batter like or very sticky. If the dough feels tough and stiff, add more water to soften (it is better to have the dough too soft than too stiff at this point).
3. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead (or mix) for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed, until the dough is tacky, but not sticky, and supple. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77-81 F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
4. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
5. Gently divide the dough into 2 equal pieces of about 18 ounces each, or into 9 pieces of about 4 ounces each (for torpedo rolls). Carefully form the pieces into batards, or rolls, degassing the dough as little possible. Lightly dust with a sprinkle of flour, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rest 5 minutes. Then complete the shaping, extending the loaves to about 12 inches in length or shaping the torpedo rolls. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and dust with semolina flour or cornmeal. Place the loaves on the pan and lightly mist with spray oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
6. Proof at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until the loaves or rolls have grown to about 1 1/2 times their original size.
7. Prepare the oven for hearth baking, making sure to have an empty steam pan in place. Preheat the oven to 500 F. Score the breads with 2 parallel, diagonal slashes or 1 long slash.
8. Rolls can be baked directly on the sheet pan. For loaves, generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal and very gently transfer the loaves to the peel or pan. Transfer the dough to the baking stone (or bake on the sheet pan). Pour 1 cup hot water into the steam pan and close the door. Repeat once more after another 30 seconds. After the final spray, lover the oven setting to 450F and bake until done, rotating 180 degrees in necessary, for even baking. It should take about 20 minutes for the loaves and 15 minutes for the rolls. The loaves and rolls should be golden brown and register at least 200F at the center.
9. Transfer the rolls or loaves to a cooling rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.

Mando questa ricetta a Zucchero & Canella per i suoi mercoledì.
Questo pane viene benissimo nella macchina del pane, faccio fare l'impasto poi aspetto un po' a seconda della temperatura e cuocio sempre nella macchina del pane.
Io sostituisco alla biga la pasta madre e dimezzo la ricetta, in questo caso ci ho anche aggiunto un etto di ricotta e un etto di nocciole tostate aggiungendo un po' di farina se serve.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Potluck ! Hazelnuts Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm really enjoying our new chef Giada De Laurentiis and this week decide to try a cookie recipe.
This recipe calls for oats which are good for you and for toffee bars which aren't , so they balance...
We managed to eat all the cookies before morning came and I could take a better picture !



  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces English toffee candy (recommended: Heath or Skor bar), finely chopped
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, and chopped
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper. Finelychop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough onto sheet, spacing 1-inch apart (do not flatten dough). Bake until the cookies are golden (cookies will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Dorie : Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good


On the occasion of our favourite cookbook author Holly of PheMOMenon had the great idea of inviting Dorie to a birthday dinner (unfortunately only virtual) cooked following some of the recipes from 'Around My French Table'.
I joined Tuesdays with Dorie, the group genially created by Laurie of slush, more than two years ago and it has been such a wonderful sequence of wonderful recipes I simply had to join French Fridays with Dorie too and it is a very promising experience having read the wonderful book we will be cooking from.

We were free to choose and this pumpkin which looks like a surprise present.
I got a Pumpkin called Mantovana (from Mantua where they make wonderful ravioli with it) and following Dorie's recipe I cut a lid, took the seeds out and filled the pumpkin with cheese, bread, thyme, bacon, and cream.

After the pumpkin has cooked in the oven VOILA' a wonderful dinner treat !

This little bobbin lace is a Binche Lace one of my favourite bobbin ones. I worked on it yesterday and wish to add it to my surprise present for Dorie.


Please visit the roundup on Holly's blog !

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mellow Bakers : Challah

Lately I'm always late for everything so when I read this recipe I thought it could be a good idea to prepare it for breakfast even if it was already 6 pm.
It was so good I had to hurry up taking a poor picture of it before it was gone !!
I divided the recipe in thirds (using a single whole egg) and made just one single (I was sleepy..) braid.
(Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread)

1 lb, 5.4 oz bread flour (67%)

10.6 oz high-gluten flour (33%)
1.8 oz sugar (5.5%)
2.4 oz egg yolks (7.5%)4
4.5 oz whole eggs (14%) 2
2.4 oz vegetable oil (7.5%)
10.2 oz water (32%)
0.6 oz salt (1.9%)
0.26 oz instant yeast (0.8%)

Mix all the ingredients in your stand mixer with a dough hook on low for 3 minutes. Then on medium for 3 minutes. Then knead by hand until you have a soft, smooth, stiff dough.

Let rest one hour, covered.

De-gas and put in a covered bowl in the fridge for the night.

The next day - divide the dough into 3, form into balls and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
Each ball will be a loaf, divide and shape into as many strands as you like for braiding. I did two different types of 6-strand braids.

Enjoy this recipe and visit Roz at la bella vita for many interesting and various ideas !

French Fridays with Dorie : Hacis Parmentier

I'm so happy about our new cooking group and my happiness increases every week after every new recipe from Around the French Table by Dorie Greenspan.We have to thank Antoin Augustin Parmentier who, between the many things he made, created this and many other dishes to convince Europeans to eat potatoes.
This dish was fantastic and I made the fast version using ground meat and sausages but even so it was to dye for, my husband told me to hide it or :'I'm going to hurt myself with it !' that is a typical roman phrase. Anita loved it all and Carlo the top... thanks to Dorie we were all happy that evening !If you wish to join us visit the site.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Cake Slice : Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake


This month The CXake Slice Group is starting a new book from which we chose this cake as our first cake.
As a pose to a few others I baked with the group this is a very simple and fast cake to make, and it's very good too ! Please visit the other bakers as well.

October’s Cake: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
1¾ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
Pinch nutmeg
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat the oven to 350F. Coat the inside of a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and
dust with flour.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a
medium mixing bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on
medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or
twice as necessary.
With the mixer on medium low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of
the bowl after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Stir in the milk.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the sides
of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the
cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 55
minutes to 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack and then
turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator,
wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TWD : Caramel Pumpkin Pie

I'm really glad I made a double batch of All purpose crust last week so even if I was really without time and energies I just pulled out of the oven this wonderful pie !
Please visit Janell of Mortensen Family Memoirs for the recipe which was great for what I can say about pumpkin pie !
Go here for more authoritative notes !

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs :Family Style - Crispy Zucchini and Potato Pancakes


This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are cooking Family Style ad from the Food network site I chose this recipe which had many positive aspects: I had zucchini and potatoes, my kids love all the ingredients and it was a simple and fast recipe to prepare for a week's supper.
I made some changes to the original recipe which you will find at the end of this post . I added a carrot and a leek when grating the vegetables, instead of two egg whites I used an egg (I hate to throw away a part of an egg) and I used cream cheese instead of mascarpone.
I must say I'm starting to appreciate Giada's cooking !
Right now Anita saw me writing this post and asked for these pacakes again !

(from Foodnetwork by Giada De Laurentiis)


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus leaves, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese, at room temperature


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside

Lay the potatoes and zucchini on 2 kitchen towels. Bring the corners of the towels together and squeeze out the moisture from the vegetables. Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the garlic, chopped rosemary, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg whites, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan. Using a spatula, press the mixture evenly into the pan. Drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Cook for 8 minutes or until the edges of the mixture begin to brown. Slide the pancake, cooked side down, onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top of the pancake starts to brown and the edges are crispy.

In a small bowl, beat the mascarpone until smooth and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cut the pancake into 1 1/2-inch squares and arrange on a serving platter. Pipe or spoon the seasoned mascarpone on top andgarnish with a few fresh rosemary leaves.

I'm sending this post to Roz at La Bella Vita for her Seasonal Saturdays !

Saturday, October 16, 2010

World Bread Day 2010 : Ciambelle al Mosto di Marino

Few days ago while I was thinking about the World Bread Day I spoke with my friend Cinzia and she told me she was trying to reproduce the typical Ciambelle al mosto di Marino, a little town near Rome famous for its wine, that are made during the grape harvest using must.

I searched my books and the net and found a nice recipe on Gennarino an Italian recipes website, if you desire here is the original recipe. Cinzia is always changing the given recipes as a pose to me so here is my Stick to the recipe version.

The ciambelle are really simple as old fashion cooking is : no butter, milk or much else not even olive oil. A very simple bread dough made with must and sweetened with sugar, raisins and anise seeds.

(from Gennarino by tuCoque)

Bread Flour 250 gr
All Purpose Flour 250 gr
Must 250 ml
Yeast 4 gr
Sourdough 120 gr
Sugar 150 gr
Raisins 70 gr
Eggs 2 n°
Anise seeds 4 TBS
Confectioners Sugar 2 TBS
Salt 1 pinch

If you do not have must but have two bunch of grapes smash (!) them with your hands and let them ferment for a couple of days covered with a clean cloth. When you see it bubbling strain it and cook it for 15 minutes on a low flame.

Use a sourdough refreshed two hours before.
Activate dry yeast dissolving it in 40 grams of warm water (26 °). After some minutes, add two teaspoons of sugar and 50 grams of bread flour and let rise for a quarter of an hour.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, pour the must, the yeast, the sourdough, and the remaining bread flour (200 grams). Mix on low speed until it comes together then for about 4 minutes at medium speed, cover and let rise for fifteen minutes, then turn on the mixer for a few seconds and cover again do this three more times.

Meanwhile, soak the raisins in a little liquor and water.
Beat eggs with sugar, add a pinch of salt and aniseed.

At the end of the first rising, add all other ingredients, including remaining flour. Knead until the dough is smooth. Finally add the drained raisins .

If you have time and desire, refrigerate for 12 hours. Otherwise you may let rise at room temperature.

When the dough has doubled, cut from it pieces weighing 100 grams each. With floured hands, form each piece quickly in a tight ball, then drill it with a finger, and gently enlarge the hole without tearing. Place the buns on baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in volume.

Meanwhile turn the oven to 180 degrees. Bake the buns for about 12 minutes (even less, depending on the oven). When still warm brush with a thick syrup made with icing sugar and very little must.

Few days ago I went to Amalfi and even if the wheather wasn't the best Costiera Amalfitana is always a great place to visit !

I went there for an estimate on a very precious piece which is kept in Amalfi's Museo del Duomo( in this link there is another picture of the mitre) .
Even from my photo you can see how beautiful this Mitre is !

Friday, October 15, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie : Vietnamese Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the third recipe I make from 'Around the French Table' by Dorie Greenspan and it is another success for my family.
I urge you all to join our group (which hasn't strict rules) or simply to get the book and enjoy cooking from it !
As you can see I had almost all the ingredients but substituted rice noodles and cilantro which is very difficult if not impossible to find fresh here.
Plese visit the other cooks here

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge : Stuffed Grape Leaves

Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

I had seen stuffed grape leaves many times but never made them so I was really happy about Lori's choice. As soon as I found the leaves I started rolling and I made both recipes suggested by Lori. We liked better the meat one because I seasoned the rice version too little probably but both were gone very fast !

I intend to try more variations of this recipe because my family loved it, Anita loved rolling the leaves and it is a fun dish to propose to friends.

(you can find a .pdf here)

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Ground Meat and Rice with Apricot Tamarind Sauce/ Yebra
Adapted from Aromas of Aleppo by Poopa Dweck and Michael J. Cohen. Published by Harper Collins, 2007

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients for hashu/filling:

1 pound (455 gm) ground (minced) beef
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 1/3 oz) (65 gm) short grain rice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) all spice
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) kosher (coarse) salt **if using regular table salt only use ½ tsp.**
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) white pepper
1 onion, chopped **optional**
1 cup (5½ oz) (150 gm) pine nuts **optional**


1.Soak rice in water, enough to cover, for 30 minutes. Combine meat, rice, allspice, vegetable oil, cinnamon, salt, white pepper, and if desired, onion and pine nuts, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Ingredients for assembly:

1 pound (455 gm) hashu/filling (see recipe above)
36 preserved grape leaves, stems trimmed, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
6 dried apricots – or more if you desire
3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamarind concentrate **if you can’t find it, you can omit it**
¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (9 gm) kosher (coarse) salt **if using regular table salt only use 1.5 tsp.**


If using grape leaves preserved in brine, to remove salt put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Make sure that the water penetrates well between the layers, and leave them soaking for about twenty minutes, then change the water a time or two using fresh cold water.

If using fresh leaves, plunge a few at a time in boiling water for a few seconds only, until they become limp, and lift them out.

Tamarind is actually fairly easy to find. There is a paste that is in package already made up. You can find it at Asian, Mexican or Indian grocers. You can also find the pods (a little more difficult) and make it yourself. It is akin to a sweet/tangy tea flavor. If you can’t find it, you can skip the sauce all togheter. The grape leaves will be just as delicious without the sauce. But we hope that those that can find it will use it.


1.Place a grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up. You can trim the little stem if you would like.

2.Place about two teaspoons (10 ml) of the filling in the center of the leaf, near the stem edge.

3.Roll the leaf end to end, starting from the stem edge. As you roll, fold the sides of the leaf in toward the center. The leaf should resemble a small cigar, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches (50 mm to 65mm) long.

4.Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

a.(You can freeze the stuffed grape leaves at this point. Just line a baking sheet with wax paper. When firmly frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic bag place back in the freezer.)

5.In a medium saucepan put in the vegetable oil and then place the filled grape leaves in the pot.

6.Place apricots in between the stuffed grape leaves. Cover and cook over low heat for 5- 8 minutes or until the grape leaves begin to sweat.

7.Using all three tablespoons, place a little of the tamarind concentrate, if using, over the rolls.

8.Combine lemon juice, salt, and water then add to pan, filling it ¾ full.

9.Weigh down the grape leaves with a heat proof plate or board to prevent them from unraveling. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes.

a.Alternatively, place the saucepan in an oven preheated to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 and cook for an hour.

10.Spoon cooking liquid over the grape leaves occasionally. You will know they are done, when the grape leaves are neither soupy nor dry.

11.Tilt pan sideways over serving platter, allowing the grape leaves to tumble out. Try not to handle them individually to reduce unraveling.

a.Alternately you can try spooning them out very gently.

Wara Einab or Dolma/Cold Stuffed Grape Leaves
Adapted from Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food a Borzoi Book, published by Alfred A. Knopf

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


24 – 30 preserved or fresh grape leaves.
1¼ cups (300 ml) (9 oz) (250 gm) long grain rice
1- 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped or 4 tablespoons (60 ml) (35 gm) finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (25 gm) finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) crushed dried mint
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) ground allspice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6½ gm) dill
Salt and pepper
2 tomatoes, sliced **optional**
3 or 4 cloves garlic
2/3 cup (160 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
Juice of 1 lemon or more


If using grape leaves preserved in brine, to remove salt put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Make sure that the water penetrates well between the layers, and leave them soaking for about twenty minutes, then change the water a time or two using fresh cold water.

If using fresh leaves, plunge a few at a time in boiling water for a few seconds only, until they become limp, and lift them out.


1.Pour boiling water over the rice and stir well, then rinse with cold water and let drain.

2.Mix the rice with the chopped tomatoes, onion or scallion, parsley, mint, cinnamon, allspice, dill, salt and pepper to taste.

3.Place a grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up.

4.Place about two teaspoons (10 ml) of the filling in the center of the leaf, near the stem edge.

5.Roll the leaf end to end, starting from the stem edge. As you roll, fold the sides of the leaf in toward the center. The leaf should resemble a small cigar, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches (50 mm to 65mm) long.

6.Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

a.(You can freeze the stuffed grape leaves at this point. Just line a baking sheet with wax paper. When firmly frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic bag place back in the freezer.)

7.Pack the stuffed leaves tightly in a large pan lined with tomato slices or imperfect grape leaves Place a whole garlic clove in between them for extra flavor. The tightness will help prevent the rolls from unraveling.

8.Mix together olive oil, 2/3 cup (160 ml) water, sugar and lemon juice and pour over the stuffed leaves. Put a small heat proof plate on top of the leaves to prevent them from unwinding, cover the pan and simmer very gently for about 1 hour, until the rolls are thoroughly cooked, adding water occasionally, a cup at a time, as the liquid in the pan becomes absorbed. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve cold.

There are many variations you can use but here are just a few suggestions:

Add ¼ cup (60 ml) (1½ oz) (45 gm) raisins or currants and ¼ cup (60 ml) (1⅓ oz) (40 gm) pine nuts to the filling.

Mix a pinch or two of powdered saffron with the olive oil and water before pouring over the stuffed grape leaves.

Soak about ¼ cup (60 ml) (1½ oz) (45 gm) dried chickpeas in water overnight. Crush them using a processor or blender and add them to the filling. In this case use ¼ cup (60 ml) (1¾ oz) (50 gm) less rice. You could also use drained canned chickpeas.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mellow Bakers : Roasted Potatoes Bread

This is my try with this recipe made subsituting sourdough for the preferment, my dough overriped so it is not the best looking bread but I loved it anyway !

Roasted Potato Bread
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread

Pre-ferment - the night before
9.6 oz bread flour
6.2 oz water (left out overnight)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp instant yeast

Final dough
1 lb, 1.6 oz bread flour
4.8 oz whole wheat flour
13.3 oz water (left out overnight)
1 Tbsp fine sea salt
1¼ tsp instant dry yeast
Potatoes, roasted, cooled, and diced small (Yukon gold are best)
Pre-ferment (all)

Combine the preferment ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 14-16 hours.

The next day, mix all of the ingredients, except for the pre-ferment, in a stand mixer on low. After 3 minutes, start adding the pre-ferment in small chunks. Correct the hydration by adding small amounts of water or flour if necessary.
I needed extra flour. The dough should be slightly stiff.
Mix on second speed for 3-4 minutes.

Let rise 1.5 hours. Fold dough after 45 minutes.

Divide into two and make rounds out of each half. Let sit 10-20 minutes.

Create loaf shapes or fendu (pressing deeply into the rolling pin to bisect it) and let rise in floured bannetons (good side down) or on the counter, covered, for 1.5 hours.

Bake in a preheated oven at 450°F for about 40 minutes. Until the bread has darkened and cooked through. Let cool on racks.

Per i Sourdough Baking Wednesday di Zucchero & Cannella ho un ottimo pane con patate al forno, nella ricetta originale c'era un abiga che io ho sostituito con la pasta madre.