28 September, 2015

Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini


Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini

A few weeks ago I participated in a baking contest with this recipe. And I'm really proud to share the recipe here with my readers. I didn't win any of the four prizes but I'm happy just the same for being included among the sixteen best recipes. And not only. If the focaccia hadn't been good to eat, I'm sure that would have been much worse. Instead it vanished in a hurry, alongside with the small focaccias I made to accompany some vegetable and lentil soup. My little one loved it so much he kept asking  for more.
The idea I started from was some kind of a pie, but using a leavened dough instead of the classical butter crust. But then I changed my mind and opted for a focaccia but wanted to include some vegetables just the same.
The final result, once I assembled the twisted focaccia was so beautiful, and I thought it looked a lot like a snail fossile. I was almost sorry to bake it.
But I had to...  

Snail focaccia with zucchini



Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini

Focaccia dough:

* 25 g flax seeds
* 100 g water

Put the seeds and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let cool completely.
Cooling down, the water will turn into mucilage.

* 100 g whole wheat flour
* 320 g bread flour 
* 100 g liquid sourdough starter (100% hydration)
* 125 g buttermilk
* 125 g water
* 8 g salt
* 12 g extra virgin olive oil

First thing, feed your sourdough starter and let it sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours, until well fermented and doubled in volume.
Sift both flours into a mixing bowl.
Mix the buttermilk with water and add the sourdough starter, stir to dissolve it.
Add the liquid mixture and the flax seeds (with all its mucilage) to the bowl with flour and start mixing (by hand or with a hook attachment if using a stand mixer).
When the dough has come toghether, add the oil, pouring it in slowly and continue mixing until completely absorbed.
Last thing, add the salt. Work the dough well.
Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Transfer the dough onto a just slightly floured kneading board and give it one series of folds - first flatten the dough with your hands to form a square; fold the dough in thirds - upper and lower third towards the middle, overlapping them, then the left and the right third towards the middle, too. Turn the dough with the seal underneath. Place it in a slightly oiled bowl. Cover or seal with plastic wrap and let it rest until doubled in size. Depending on temperature mainly, it may take you 4-6 hours.
Take the dough and divide into desired size pieces, depending on what you'd like to make.
I took 300 g (1/3 of the dough) for the twisted focaccia, and divided the rest into 100 g pieces to make small focaccias.
Shape each piece of the dough into a small ball. Place them into a slightly oiled plastic container with a lid, leaving a little space between them.
Place the container into the fridge for 12 hours (overnight).
The following day, take the container with the dough out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperarature for about 1 hour, for the dough to warm up. Proceed with shaping and baking focaccia the way you prefer.
Here's what I did:

Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini

The twisted focaccia: take the bigger piece of the dough, flatten it slightly, fold and roll against the surface to form a long sausage, about 2 cm thick. Twist it and then coil to form a snail leaving space in between to place zucchini rolls. My advice is not to flour the surface while rolling the dough into a sausage, but just slightly oil your hands so the dough doesn't stick to your hands or to the surface.
When shaping the twisted focaccia, place it directly onto a piece of baking paper.
Wash and dry 2 medium sized zucchini. Slice them thinly using a mandoline. Brush each zucchini slice with a little oil and cook them in a non stick skillet for a couple minutes on each side (you want them to soften a bit so you can roll them up.
Put a slice of toast bread, two TBspoons grated Parmigiano cheese and 1 or 2 thyme or marjoram twigs (only leaves) into a mini pimer and work into crumbs.
Sprinkle the aromatic crumbs over zucchini. Place a small piece of cheese (scamorza or provolone or other cheese available) on one end and roll the zucchini up around cheese.
Prepare the zucchini rolls before you start rolling the foccaccia dough.
Place the zucchini rolls inside the focaccica. Cover and let it rise until doubled (at least 1 hour).
Brush the dough with an emulsion of water and extra virging olive oil.
Bake in an oven preheated to 240°C until golden in surface.
Bake the focaccia on a hot baking stone if you have one, otherwise on a hot baking sheet (heated alongside with the oven) and adding steam (pouring water or ice cubes into a small pan placed on the bottom of the oven).

Small simple focaccias, if making these instead (or one big focaccia, just the same), after you took the dough balls out of the fridge, and let them warm up at room temperature, simply take each piece of the dough, flip it and place on floured surface.
Pour some water and oil emulsion on top, spread it evenly with your fingers and then press the surface with your fingertips.
Let them rise for an hour then bake in the same way as the twisted focaccia.




############################################################################


Focaccia chiocciola o Focaccine al latticello e semi di lino con le zucchine

Impasto della focaccia:

* 25 g di semi di lino
* 100 g di acqua

Portare a bollore e lasciare raffreddare (l'acqua si trasformerà in mucillagine).

* 100 g di farina integrale
* 320 g di farina tipo "0"
* 100 g di licoli (lievito madre con 100% di idratazione)
* 125 g di latticello (buttermilk)
* 125 g di acqua
* 8 g di sale
* 12 g di olio EVO

Settaciate le farine in una ciotola. Mescolate il latticello con l'acqua e scioglietevi il licoli.
Aggiungete i liquidi e i semi di lino con tutta la mucillagine e cominciate a impastare.
Successivamente aggiungete l'olio e infine il sale.
Lasciate riposare l'impasto 30 minuti.
Dategli poi un giro di pieghe a tre, sistematelo in una ciotola e lasciatelo lievitare coperto fino al raddoppio.
Dividete l'impasto in base a quello che volete fare - per realizzare la chiocciola ho usato 300 g di impasto(1/3 del totale), per le focaccine pezzi da 100 g, e formate delle palline.
Sistemate le palline di pasta nei contenitori con coperchio e lasciare maturare l'impasto in frigo per 12 ore. Passato questo tempo, lasciate acclimatare l'impasto a temperatura ambiente (1 ora circa).

Per la focaccia chiocciola, prendete il pezzo di pasta e formate un cordoncino lungo. Non infarinate il tavolo ma ungete le mani con un po di olio per evitare che l'impasto si attacchi sia alle mani che al tavolo. Attorcigliate il cordoncino su se stesso (come per strizzare un asciugamano, ma con molta gentilezza) e poi formate una chiocciola (sopra un foglio di carta da forno cosparsa di semola rimacinata) lasciando spazio per le zucchine.
Tagliate le zucchine (2 medio lunghe) a fettine sottili nel senso di lunghezza (possibilmente usate una mandolina per averle tutte dello stesso spessore), spennellatele con l'olio e cuocetele brevemente in una padella antiaderente (devono solo ammorbidirsi per poterle arrotolare). Tritate insieme una fettina di pane raffermo con 2 cucchiai di parmigiano e 1-2 rametti di timo (o altre erbe a piacere, maggiorana per esempio). Cospargete questo misto sulle fettine di zucchina. Mettete su ciascuna fettina un pezzettino di formaggio (scamorza o provola o simile) e arrotolatele.
Sistemate i rotolini di zucchine all'interno della chiocciola.
Lasciatela lievitare almeno un'ora ancora, spennellatela poi un emulsione di acqua e olio e infornatela nel forno caldo a 240°C finché sarà dorata in superficie (io l'ho cotta sulla pietra refrattaria).

Per le focaccine, invece, semplicemente prendete ogni pallina, giratela in modo che la parte che era sotto adesso sia sopra. Ungete la superficie con un emulsione preparata con pari quantità di acqua e olio EVO, e premete con le punte delle dita. Scaldate la pietra refrattaria o una teglia grande se non avete la pietra, mettendo anche una teglia piccola o pentolino sul fondo del forno (per il vapore), a 240°C. Infornate le focaccine versando dell'acqua o del ghiaccio nel pentolino per creare il vapore. Cuocetele finché dorate in superficie.





############################################################################


Puž focaccia ili focaccine s mlaćenicom, lanom i tikvicama

Tijesto za focacciu:

* 25 g sjemenki lana
* 100 g vode

Staviti u lončić vodu i sjemenke i zagrijati dok voda ne proključa. Isključiti i ostaviti da se ohladi  (hlađenjem će se voda pretvoriti u sluz).

* 100 g integralnog brašna
* 320 g mekog pšeničnog brašna
* 100 g prirodnog kvasa  (tekućeg, sa 100%-tnom hidratacijom)
* 125 g mlaćenice (buttermilk)
* 125 g vode
* 8 g di soli
* 12 g ekstradjevičanskog maslinovog ulja

Prosijte brašno u zdjelu za miješenje.
Pomiješajte mlaćenicu i vodu pa dodajte i kvas (kvas prethodno nahraniti i ostaviti da fermentira 3-4 sata).
Dodajte tekuće sastojke i sjemenke lana zajedno sa sluzi u brašno i počnite mijesiti. Kad su se sastojci povezali dodajte ulje i na kraju sol. Izmijesite dobro tijesto.
Stavite tijesto u zdjelu, pokrijte i ostavite da odmara 30 minuta.
Istresite ga na lagano pobrašnjenu površinu i preklopite na trećine (rastanjite tijesto rukama na kvadrat, preklopite gornju i donju trećinu prema sredini, a zatim i s desna i s lijeva također prema sredini), zaokružite tijesto rukama da dobijete kuglu, stavite je lagano nauljenu zdjelu, pokrijte i ostavite da se diže dok se ne udvostruči volumen (ovisno o temperaturi, 3-4 sata).
Podijelite tijesto ovisno o tome što želite praviti - uvijenu puž focacciu ili focaccine.
Za uvijenu focacciu sam odvojila 1/3 tijesta (300 g), a za malene focaccie po 100 g za svaku.
Oblikujte podijeljeno tijesto u loptice, smjestite ih sve u malo nauljene plastične posude s poklopcem (može biti jedna ili dvije šire pravokutne posude, nije neophodno imati posebnu posudu za svaku lopticu). Stavite posude s tijesto u hladnjak preko noći (oko 12 sati).
Ujutro (ili u svakom slučaju nakon 12 sati) izvadite posude s tijestom iz hladnjaka i ostavite na sobnoj temperaturi oko 1 sat, da se tijesto zagrije.

Priprema puž focaccie, Uzmite veći komad tijesta i oblikujte ga u dugačku rolnicu. Nastojte ne brašniti stol, već samo nauljite ruke.
Uvrnite sad rolnicu oko vlastite osi (kao da cijedite ručnik, ali puno nježnije) a zatim je uvijte kao da oblikujete puža (na komadu papira za pečenje posutog brašnom) ostavljajući prostor između koncentričnih krugova za rolnice od tikvica (ili još bolje, pripremite unaprijed tikvice pa slažite istovremeno tikvice dok savijate tijesto)
Narežite 2 zelene tikvice, srednje veličine, na tanke ploške (savjetujem da koristite ribež/mandolinu da bi imali podjednako tanke kriške), uz pomoć kista premažite ih uljem s obje strane i pecite kratko u teflonskoj tavi da odmeknu (da bi ih mogli smotati).
U električnoj sjeckalici usitnite skupa jednu krišku starog kruha, par žlica parmezana e svježe začinsko bilje (timijan, mažuran ili dr.). Posipajte ovom smjesom tikvice, stavite na jedan kraj komadić polutvrdog sira (ja sam koristila scamorzu tj. sušenu mozzarellu) pa zamotajte tikvicu oko njega da dobijete rolnicu.
Smjestite dakle rolnice od tikvica unutar puža od tijesta.
Pokrijte i ostavite da se diže oko 1 sat.
Premažite zatim focacciu mješavinom maslinovog ulja i vode (u jednakom omjeru) i stavite je peći u dobro zagrijanu pećnicu (240°C). Za idealan rezultat focacciu stavite peći na dobro zagrijan kamen za pečenje ili pleh od pećnice ako nemate kamen, koji ste zagrijali zajedno s pećnicom. Istovremeno zagrijte i jedan manji pleh na dnu pećnice i u njega ubacite kockice leda u trenutku kad stavite peći focacciu da biste stvorili paru.
Pecite focacciu dok ne dobije lijepu zlatno smeđu boju.

Priprema focaccina (pogačica), jednostavno uzmite loptice tijesta (nakon odmora u hladnjaku i 1 sat na sobnoj temperaturi), okrenite svaku tako da je strana koja je pri dizanju bila gore sad bude dolje. Ravnomjerno ih premažite emulzijom maslinovog ulja i vode (u jednakom omjeru) i pritisnite malo površinu vršcima prstiju.
Pecite ih kao uvrnutu focacciu, samo kraće.

                         Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini  Twisted Buttermilk and Flax Seed Focaccia with zucchini

11 September, 2015

Torta Tenerina



Torta Tenerina

Just as it's famous for its history, art and cultural monuments, the Italian town of Ferrara is famous for this simple chocolate cake.
Torta Tenerina...literally meaning a "tender cake".
Just eggs, sugar, butter, lots of chocolate and very little flour.
These few ingredients combined and baked give such a delicious cake. Moist and melting literally in your mouth.
I like to serve it with some tart berries and have to use all my good will not to eat more than one piece at time...kids of course eat it plain and it's hard to count the pieces they eat 😊


Torta Tenerina



Torta Tenerina

* 3 eggs
* 150 g butter, softened
* 100 g sugar
* 200 g dark semi-sweet chocolate
* 120 ml milk
* 3 TBspoons flour

Put the milk and chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat them in a microwave oven for 1 minute, then stir well until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
Put the yolks and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat well, until foamy.
Add the softened butter,  one piece at a time beating until well incorporated.
Stir in the flour, and then the chocolate. Mix well.
Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. Add the egg whites to the batter and mix them in very gently using a hand whisk or a soft silicone spatula.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured 24-cm round spring form.
Bake the cake for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C.
Let it cool in the pan, remove the ring, and transfer the cake carefully on a serving plate.



*******************************************************************************



Torta Tenerina

* 3 uova, tuorli e albumi separati
* 150 g di burro, ammorbidito
* 100 g di zucchero
* 200 g di cioccolato fondente
* 120 ml di latte
* 3 cucchiai di farina 00

Spezzettate il cioccolato e riunitelo in una ciotola insieme al latte. Scaldateli nel forno a microonde a potenza massima per un minuto. Mescolate con una spatola finché il cioccolato non si sarà sciolto completamente. Lasciatelo raffreddare.
Separate i tuorli dagli albumi.
Montate i tuorli con lo zucchero finché diventino spumosi.
Aggiungete il burro morbido, un pezzetto alla volta e continuate a sbattere con le fruste.
Unite la farina e poi il cioccolate fuso. Mescolate bene.
Con le fruste pulite montate gli albumi a neve ferma. Uniteli al composto precedente con movimenti delicati e lenti usando una frusta a mano.
Versate il composto in uno stampo a cerniera di 24-cm di diametro, imburrata e infarinata.
Cuocete la torta nel forno già caldo a 180°C per 30 minuti.
Toglietela dal forno e lasciatela raffreddare nello stampo.
Togliete la cerniera e trasferite delicatamente la torta su un piatto.


******************************************************************************


Savršena u svojoj jednostavnosti, a tako bogatog čokoladnog okusa, ova torta oduševit će sve čokoljupce.
Torta je ponos talijanskog grada Ferrare. A osim kao Torta Tenerina (Nježna torta) poznata je i pod nazivom "Torta crnogorske kraljice" posvećena Eleni Petrović ili Eleni Savojskoj, supruzi posljednjeg talijanskog kralja Viktora Emanuela III Savojskog.

Torta Tenerina

* 3 jaja, odvojiti žumanjke od bjeljanjaka
* 150 g maslaca, omekšalog
* 100 g šećera
* 200 g tamne čokolade, s najmanje 50% kakaa
* 120 ml mlijeka
* 3 žlice mekog brašna

Nakidajte čokoladu. Stavite je zajedno s mlijekom u zdjelu i zagrijavajte u mikrovalnoj 1 minutu. Izvadite i miješajte dok se čokolada ne otopi u potpunosti (ako nemate mikrovalnu, zagrijavajte na laganoj vatri miješajući). Ostavite da se ohladi.
Odvojite žumanjke od bjeljanjaka.
Umutite žumanjke sa šećerom da dobijete gustu i pjenastu smjesu.
Dodajte omeksali maslac komadic po komadic i dalje muteci mikserom.
Umiješajte brašno, a zatim otopljenu čokoladu.
Čistim metlicama umutite bjeljanjke u čvrst snijeg.
Dodajte snijeg od bjeljanjaka u smjesu i umiješajte ga laganim pokretima od gore prema dolje uz pomoć ručne pjenjače.
Istresite smjesu u okrugli kalup s obručem, promjera 24 cm, namašten i pobrašnjen.
Pecite tortu u pećnici zagrijanoj na 180°C, 30 minuta.
Izvadite iz pećnice i ostavite tortu da se ohladi u kalupu.
Skinite obruč i pažljivo prenesite tortu na pladanj ili tanjur.






                         Torta Tenerina Torta Tenerina

04 September, 2015

Vegetarian Patè


Vegetarian Paté

Back home after vacation...Don't you always feel like you need to recharge the batteries at the end of a vacation? I do. That feeling that you got home more tired physically than when you started. But it feels good to be back home again. Back to my routines...at least until they become "heavy". But small things, like baking a loaf of fresh bread, cooking a simple meal can be gratifying really, after three weeks during which you feel you kept eating and yet never had a decent meal...few exceptions granted.

What do you say we start with a new recipe? Something different? Don't worry, I'm not trying to convince you to start a new diet or switch to a new life style.
Simply because I myself am not cut for dieting. Most diets give me creeps. I like to eat everything. Noone's excluded.
Paleo will never work for me. Gluten-free because it's fashionable and not because you must follow it for actual problem you are suffering from. No carbs. No/Low fat. No meat. No dairy. No nothing.
Hey, life's too short. But it doesn't mean you have to waste it eating crap food. Just eat everything but be intelligent.
For me diet includes all of these and none of them exclusively. Because I'm lucky and don't suffer from any food related alergies. Because I don't suffer from any serious desease. And because I believe the only correct way of feeding our body is to eat everything, alternating different food and styles.
And that may include all of the "exclusive" categories. Sometimes my meal is vegetarian or vegan, gluten-free, carb-free, dairy-free but I don't make much fuss about it.
I categorize food as "I like it" and "I don't like it".
The one I've given least thought so far is raw food. I've actually never even remotely given a thought to following raw food diet. And yet I was immediately drawn to this recipe. Probably out of pure curiosity and because I liked the ingredients list.
My instinct doesn't always pay off, but this time it did.
It's not something everybody will fall in with. It's particular. But it's worth giving a go. If nothing else because it's healthy and different from what most of us eat every day. Because change from time to time is a good thing.
Of course, if I were following a raw diet strictly I wouldn't have served it with a slice of bread...but that's where all that I previously said comes in. I'm me. And I don't exclude anyone or anything. I take pieces and put a puzzle together even when pieces seemingly don't fit together ;)


Vegetarian Paté



Vegetarian Paté

* 100 g sunflower seeds
* 40 g ground sesame seeds
*75 g carrot, finely chopped
* 15 g purple onion, finely chopped
* 2 TBspoons chopped parsley
* 1 clove of garlic
* 1 TBspoon powdered yeast extract
* 2 TBspoons apple vinegar
* 1 TBspoon lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon powdered coriander seeds
* 3-5 TBspoons extra virgin olive oil
* salt

 Soak the sunflower seeds in water for 8 hours.
Drain them and put in a food processor together with all other ingredients except the yeast extract and the sesame seeds.
Work everything into a smooth paste. Start with 3 TBspoons of oil, and if necessary, if the mixture's too dry and difficult to pureé add some more.
Add the yeast extract and the ground sesame seeds and work the mixture for 1 more minute.
If you are not eating it immediately, store in the fridge, in a glass jar, for up to 5 days.





Paté vegetale

* 100 g di semi di girasole
* 40 g di semi di sesamo macinati
*75 g di carota, tritata
* 15 g di cipolla rossa, tritata
* 2 cucchiai di prezzemolo tritato
* 1 spicchio d'aglio
* 1 cucchiaio di lievito alimentare in polvere
* 2 cucchiai di aceto di mele
* 1 cucchiaio di succo di limone
* 1 cucchiaino di coriandolo in polvere
* 3-5 cucchiai di olio extravergine d'oliva
* sale

Mettete in ammollo i semi di girasole per 8 ore. Scolateli e trasferiteli nel mixer con tutti gli ingredienti tranne il lievito e semi di sesamo.
Frullate il tutto fino a ottenere un composto liscio (inizialmente mettete 3 cucchiai di olio e se necessario, se il composto risulta troppo asciutto e difficile da frullare, aggiungetene altro).
Aggiungete il lievito e semi di sesamo macinati e lavorate il composto ancora per 1 minuto.
Se non lo usate subito, conservatelo in un vasetto in frigorifero fino a 5 giorni.





Vege pašteta

* 100 g sjemenki suncokreta
* 40 g mljevenih sjemenki sezama
*75 g svježe mrkve, sitno nasjeckane
* 15 g ljubičastog luka, sitno nasjeckanog
* 2 žlice nasjeckanog lista peršina
* 1 češanj bijelog luka
* 1 žlica prehrambenog kvasca u prahu
* 2 žlice jabučnog octa
* 1 žlica soka limuna
* 1 žličica korijandera u prahu
* 3-5 žlica ekstradjevičanskog maslinovog ulja
* sol

Namočite sjemenke suncokreta u vodi 8 sati.
Ocijedite ih i stavite u električnu sjeckalicu sa svim ostalim sastojcima osim kvasca i sjemenki sezama.
Izmiksajte u glatku smjesu. Na početku dodajte 3 žlice ulja, pa po potrebi (ako je smjesa previše suha i imate poteškoća u miksanju, dodajte još malo).
Dodajte kvasac i mljevene sjemenke sezama i opet miksajte 1 minutu.
Ako paštetu ne pojedete odmah, čuvajte je u staklenki u hladnjaku do 5 dana.


                                 Vegetarian Paté Vegetarian Paté