Having two young men of four and six years old (grandchildren), visiting twice a week, who grew up enjoying some of Nonno’s best efforts in baking bread, and who are now considering themselves as experts, Nonno has to keep up the quality and deliver at least twice a week. Normally focaccia in this house has garlic and rosemary as toppings, which meet with the approval of the critics. Last week I tried a plain focaccia with olive oil and salt, which was instantly rejected as quality. This week I am trying my hand at tomato and garlic – let us wait on feedback from the experts.
Panettone is traditionally eaten throughout Italy and the world by Italians during the Christmas period. The origin of panettone is from Milan where we consume it all year round. It is a tedious and long process to make, but always worth the while.
150 g Sugar
15 g Natural Live Yeast
260 g Biga (50:50)
200 g Egg Yolks
340 g Flour
220 g Butter
1185 g TOTAL
Dissolve the sugar and live yeast in the Biga, then add the egg yolks and flour and mix well until even. Ad the soft butter and mix well. Let it levitate 12 to 14 hours at 25°C or until triple in volume.
200 g Flour
35 g Sugar
50 g Egg Yolks
50 g Butter
10 g Salt
3 g Vanilla Pods
200 g Sultanas pre-soaked and dried
180 g Candied Fruit
50 g Orange Peel
778 g TOTAL
1963 G GRAND TOTAL
Knead the flour and first kneading until elastic. Add the sugar and the egg yolks and mix / knead thoroughly, then add the butter, salt and vanilla and mix until even. Lastly add the fruit and mix well.
Let the dough proof for one hour, then divide into portions and let it rest for another hour. Pirlare (to make the dough round) and place into moulds lined with baking paper.
Levitate at 30°C for 5 to 6 hours or until triple in volume. Bake at 160C for twenty minutes, rotate the moulds and bake another 40 minutes at 150 C (Approximately 60 minutes per kilogram for each mould). When taken from the oven, turn upside-down and rest for at least 3 hours, then put in bags and store.
For some time we every year imported a 10 Kg Albertengo Moscato Panettone from Albertnego in Italy.
What to do with a gift of porcini mushrooms, locally foraged? A recipe that would not change the flavour of the mushrooms in any way, but that would also be a full meal. Mrs BYF came up with a simple pie that hit the spot
Porcini Mushroom Pie
Pre heat the oven to 200 F
4 porcini mushrooms
25g butter for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pack of defrosted filo pastry
100g melted butter to brush on pastry
Fry the mushrooms in the butter for a few minutes. Unroll the pastry, remove one sheet and brush with melted butter, layer with 5 sheets all brushed with butter. Heap the fried mushrooms in the centre and scrunch the pastry up around the mushrooms partially covering them.
Bake the pie until the pastry is crisp and golden and serve with a fresh garden salad.
ENJOY with glass f home made wine!
Cured olives (picked last year in Cromwell), dried tomatoes, garden salad, peperoni sott’ olio (capsicum under olive oil), peperoni grigliati (roasted capsicum), calabrese salame, pickled onions, provolone cheese, focaccia and, of course, dry wine (apple and black currant) – ALL HOME MADE. I am very happy with the result of all the hard work. A few more kilograms tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants processed should see us through the winter.
We had a glut of lovely apricots during summer (not from the garden, but from a local farmer) and I preserved quite a few for use during winter. Yesterday I used some of my stash for a pie and got a thumbs up from the household, even from the grand kids who, as a rule, do NOT touch their lips to any “new” foods.
Winter Apricot Tart
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
Any sweet pastry recipe will do for the case. I make a short crust pastry dough without eggs, using butter, sugar and flour, baked until golden. Line a 300 X 60 mm round spring form cake tin, you can also use a pie dish (in my case) and press the moist dough up the sides of the tin and pat down the rest of the dough on the base. Add the filling when the crust is cooled slightly.
500 g preserved apricots
225 g sugar
225 g butter
100 g flour
4 eggs whisked
1 orange juiced
vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste
Mix everything together well and pour into pastry case. Bake for 40 minutes at 200 degrees. Glaze the tart with home made apricot jam
I am going to try the same recipe using preserved pumpkin, in place of the apricot, next week.