28 gennaio 2015

Pane Siciliano - Sicilian Sesame Seeded Semolina Bread


An Italian bread for this month's challenge of Aparna's group We Knead to Bake: Pane Siciliano, Sicilian Bread, simple semolina bread crusted with sesame seeds.
I love this bread very much and I use a very fine and selected flour, named Senatore Cappelli, which is a special cultivar of very high quality.
Apana gives a little information about this bread:

On the 13th of December every year, feasts are held in Sicily and around the world celebrating the bravery of Santa Lucia. One way is by baking a special bread which is known as Pan Siciliano. What is different about this bread is that it is made with semolina (flour from durum wheat). In Sicily (and Italy), the semolina used for this bread is a specific grind of durum wheat called semola di grano duro rimacinato or just rimacinato, which translates as ground again. This refers to semolina which is ground once more to break the coarser grain into finer flour for bread.
You can use the finest grind semolina you can find.
Traditionally this bread is made using a pre-ferment which the Sicilians call cresciuta. This produces a more flavourful loaf of bread and isn’t all that much more work than a recipe without the pre-ferment. Pane Siciliano is generally shaped into one of two shapes: Occhi di Santa Lucia meaning the Eyes of St. Lucia or the Mafalda, a snake shape.

Aparna suggestion for shaping the bread:
the Mafalda produces a rather odd looking bread, but if you’d like to shape your bread like this, then wind the rope of dough back and forth on itself a few times, leaving about 7” for a “tail” to lie over the top (here a video about making Pane Siciliano).
To form the Occhi di Santa Lucia or a scroll shaped loaf of bread, roll the bread dough into a long rope and lay it out straight. Then coil it from each end in opposite directions (detailed pictures here).

Recipe adapted from Ciao Italia.






For the Cresciuta (Biga):

1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup all-purpose flour


For the Dough:

1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (110° to 115°F)
2 tsp honey
all the prepared Cresciuta
2 to 2 1/2 cups fine durum semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

a little water for brushing on the bread
1/8 cup sesame seeds





First make the Cresciuta. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl and stand it aside for about 10 minutes till it is frothy. Stir in the flour with a fork and loosely cover the bowl. This mixture should be a little wet/ stringy. Leave it in a slightly warm place for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

The next morning, mix the dough for the bread. In a large bowl (or the bowl of your processor), dissolve the yeast in the warm water mixed with the honey. Let it stand for 10 minutes till it is frothy.

Add the cresciuta and mix well. Mix together 2 cups of the semolina  and salt and add it to the bowl with the olive oil. Mix well and then add as much more semolina as is necessary until you have a smooth ball of dough.

Stir the cresciuta into the yeast and water mixture and blend well. Add 2 cups of the semolina flour and the salt and mix until a pancake like batter forms. Add additional flour a little at a time and knead well until you have a soft and smooth ball of dough that is just short of sticky.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it to coat well, then loosely cover and let the dough rise till about double in volume. This should take about 1 1/2 hours.
Deflate the dough, and then roll it out into a “rope” that is about 30” long. Place baking parchment on your baking tray, grease it lightly, and then gently lift up the rope of dough and place it on the baking tray. Curl the dough back and forth on itself leaving a 6 or 7 inch tail. Fold the tail over the shaped loaf. Do not tuck it under the loaf. If you’re making the “occhi”, then shape the rope accordingly.

Loosely cover and let the shaped dough rise for 2 hours till almost double in size. Lightly brish the top of the dough with water and then sprinkle the sesame seeds over this pressing them in lightly with your fingers.

Pre-heat your oven to 190C (375F) with a baking tray placed upside down in it. Place your baking tray with the dough on the hot tray and bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is brown and done, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Cool on a rack completely before slicing.

This recipe makes one small to medium sized loaf and should serve 3 to 4 people.






 This recipe also goes to Susan's weekly YeastSpotting.

22 gennaio 2015

Batida de Abacaxi - Pineapple Batida - Batida di ananas



Bem-vindo ao Brasil!
Bem-vindo ao Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro!


E con l'Abbecedario Culinario Mondiale siamo sbarcati in Brasile, ospiti della frizzante e vivace Rosa Maria.
Un detto nostrano dice che dopo Natale ... è sempre Carnevale, e il Brasile ne vanta una tradizione ben radicata e super spumeggiante, con quello di Rio capostipite fra tutti. Qui qualche info sui carnevali minori di Olinda e Recife, Salvador de Bahia, Florianopolis, San Paolo.
São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo

Il Carnevale di Rio de Janeiro è il più famoso in Brasile ed è forse considerato uno degli spettacoli più grandiosi nel mondo per la magnificenza e la ricchezza dei festeggiamenti. Di recente il governo brasiliano ha riconosciuto ufficialmente l'importanza del Carnevale come "espressione della cultura" della nazione stessa. E' un allegro periodo di musica, danza e festeggiamenti, che culmina con la grande parata in cui tutte le scuole di samba gareggiano e sono in concorrenza tra di loro per il miglior carro allestito, il miglior tema scelto, i migliori costumi, la migliore musica e la migliore coreografia. Pochi anni fa lo sfarzo del Carnevale è stato un pochino oscurato dalla polemica creatasi per l'elezione della Reginetta più Sexy del Samba dividendo anche l'opinione pubblica: può essere eletta una bimba di soli 7 anni? Per saperne di più leggete questo articolo, forse mi devo considerare fortunata che ho tutti maschi!

La Batida è un cocktail brasiliano a base di Cachaça (il distillato prodotto dalla canna da zucchero) e succhi di frutta, e molto bene si sposa con la fantasia dei brasilianai La parola deriva dal portoghese bater (battere). La Batida, se bevuta come aperitivo, è spesso servita nei ristoranti in grandi caraffe. Una Batida autentica deve essere preparata fresca e con frutta fresca, anche se in Europa questo tipo di cocktail viene prodotto su scala industriale (cosa che non avviene in Brasile). Nella musica, il ritmo della bossa nova è anche chiamato "batida".
Sono tante le ricette di Batida, ma le migliori provengono da Salvador, meglio conosciuta col nome di Bahia. Qui, quando il bahiani discendenti dagli schiavi chiamano i loro candombles (gli antichi dèi africani di lingua bantu e yoruba) a terra, la Cachaça gioca un ruolo sfondamentale e significativo. Li aiuta a scendere in uno stato di trance per girare nella danza circolare e diventando solo una copertura per gli Dei, che ballano, mangiano, bevono e danno consigli attraverso il corpo del medium.

Dal libro Drinks di Laura Conti.





Per ogni bicchiere:

ghiaccio tritato
2 fette di ananas fresco
mezzo o un cucchiaino di zucchero di canna
5 cl (3 cucchiai) di Cachaça
1 cl (2 cucchiaini) di panna fresca
la parte superiore dell'ananas con la sua corona di foglie come decorazione


Riempire un tumbler fino a un terzo di ghiaccio.
Frullare l'ananas con lo zucchero di canna nel mixer elettrico.
Aggiungere la Cachaça e la panna, mescolare lentamente in una ciotolina e versare poi il composto sul ghiaccio.
La Batida di ananas è solitamente decorata con il cappello dell'ananas con la sua corona di foglie e servita con una cannuccia.
Decisamente al meglio se gustata nelle giornate calde sia di pomeriggi che di sera.



 Batida de Abacaxi - Pineapple Batida


It's almost Carnival time in Rio!
Carnival in Rio is considered one of the most famous in Brazil and one of the greatest shows around the world because of the magnificence and richness of the festivities. The Government has given an official recognition to Carnival Feast as an "expression of culture" of the nation. It's a long period of music and dance, ending in the most famous parade where all samba schools compete with each other for the best floats, the best theme, the best costumes, the best music and coreography. A few years ago a strong controversy about the most Sexy Samba Queen's election divides Brazilian people: might a 7-year-old girl declared winner? If you lost the news please read this article, I suppose I am lucky I have only boys!

Batida is a mixture of Cachaça (the brandy produced from cane sugar) and fruit juices, and it goes well with the Brazilian fantasy. The word derives from the Portuguese bater (to beat)., Abacaxi is the Brazilian name of pineapple. Batida is often proposed in restaurants in large jugs when drunk as an aperitif. An authentic Brazilian Batida must be prepared fresh and with fresh fruits, although in Europe this kind of cocktails are manufactured on an industrial scale. In music, the rhythm of bossa nova is also called "batida".
There are numerous Batida recipes, but the best comes from Salvador in former Bahia. Here, when the Bahians descending from slaves call their candombles (the ancient African Gods of Bantu and Yorubas) to earth, Cachaça plays a significant role. It helps them descend into a state of trance to twirl into the circular dance and only to be a shell for the Gods, which dance, eat, drink and give advice through the body of the medium.
Recipe from Laura Conti's book Drinks.





 For each serving:

shaved or crushed ice
2 slices fresh pineapple
half/one teaspoon brown sugar
5 cl (3 tbsp) Cachaça
1 cl (2 tsp) whipping cream
1 pineapple top with its crown leaves to garnish


Fill a tumbler up to a third full with ice.
Purée pineapple slices with brown sugar in the electric mixer.
Add Cachaça and cream, mix slowly on a low setting and pour the mixture over the ice.
Batida de Abacaxi is decorated with a pineapple top, retaining its crown leaves and then served with a straw.
It tastes best on hot days in the afternoons and evenings.

21 gennaio 2015

Black & White Wednesday # 155 - the Gallery



Welcome to this week's Gallery,
a huge thanks to Lynne & Simona for their lovely pictures!

As for today Simona of Briciole will host BWW # 156,
send your entries to simosite AT mac DOT com
the Gallery will be up on Wed. 4th Feb.

 Enjoy!
 



 Clams by Lynne


 Fresh Perch by Lynne



 Falcon Enamel by me



 BWW is now carryied on be-weekly,
simply rules to participate and host line-up here,
 There are always hosting weeks available,
should you like to host a gallery,
please contact me at casacortella AT tin DOT it
or just leave a comment to this post. 
 
 


We have a group on Flickr if you'd like to join and share your pics,
hashtag #BWFood on Twitter. 

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