Casatiello Napoletana (Stuffed Easter Bread)

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There are many Easter Breads in Italy and each region has its own version, but most include whole, sometimes coloured, eggs. This specific recipe is from Napoli and is made in a pan with a hole in the middle, called a ruoto. The recipe is enough for two breads in 270 mm pans.

  • 800 g Bread Flour (Tipo 0)
  • 300 g  Water – luke warm
  • 5 g Honey or Molasses
  • 23 g Yeast – fresh
  • 500 g 1:1 Biga (Mother plant of yeast)
  • 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil – plus extra to smear the pans
  • 20 g Salt
  • 50 g Salami –  about 5 mm cubed
  • 50 g Pancetta – about 5 mm cubed
  • 50 g Cheese  – any melting mild cheese of your choice – about 5 mm cubed
  • 50 g Parmigiano or Grana Padana Cheese – about 5 mm cubed
  • 12 Quail eggs – fresh – Plus two to glaze the bread

Mix the honey, water and yeast and let it stand for 5 minutes. Now mix in the flour, biga, oil and salt and knead well. Let it proof until at least double in size, then knead briefly again. Divide the dough in two, but keep about 50 g to make strips to secure the eggs,  and roll each into a square of about 300 mm. Spread all the cheeses and meat on the squares and roll up. Place each roll in a well smeared pan in such a way that it fills the entire base of the pan. Now place the whole eggs evenly on the breads and secure each with two thin strips of dough. Proof until at least double in size. Glaze the top of the breads with beaten egg and bake at 220 C for 13 minutes. Turn the pans around and bake for another 20 minutes at 190 C.

Enjoy hot or cold, or the next day on the Easter Picnic.

 

 

12 Bits and Pieces Vegetable Lunch

Today we needed a quick light lunch. I have come to the conclusion that the more vegetables I bring in from the garden, the more innovative Mrs BYF becomes. I decided to post this recipe that can never be repeated because it was delicious and used up all the bits and pieces I have produced and harvested.

1/2   cup thinly sliced swede
4     handfuls radish tops, washed and picked. Discard the bigger stems and eat the radishes
8   small tomatoes some not fully ripe, some over ripe
2   handfuls of very tiny potatoes
4   very small zucchini and whatever flowers are left, diced
1   small but evil chilli
1  thumb nail sized bit of fresh ginger
1/2  medium onion
1   tablespoon or much more chopped garlic
 4  tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
1  sprig of rosemary just because I got it for free from the museum foyer on Anzac Day
3 fried quail eggs (runny yolk) on top of each serve. The egg is optional but makes all the difference according to Mrs BYF who can eat eggs for every meal, every day of the week
Method
Put the washed radish tops in a pot , cover and fry until the leaves have wilted. In the mean time, fry the onion until translucent in the olive oil along with the garlic, chilli, ginger and rosemary.  When the onion is ready add the potatoes (boil them first if they are bigger than your pinky nail)  and the swede. Fry quickly until all is soft and integrated. Add a spoonful of water if necessary. Lastly, add the tomatoes and fry for a minute. Serve when everything is soft and just before the tomatoes burst. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add a ladle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cracked Black Pepper and enjoy while washing it all down with a glass, or two, of home made Cherry and Black Current Wine. Scoop up the sauce with home made bread.

Garden of Eden

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Only a portion of today’s harvest

The hot and wet summer of Dunedin this year, combined with good healthy soils which we are achieving after four years of constant organic soil development, have changed our garden into the Garden of (Dun)Edin.  Pumpkins and Potatoes, which are both in abundance, are being stored in a dry and dark place to be enjoyed throughout the year.