Panissimo April after One Year and My Latest Loaves

buckwheat sourdough

One year ago me and my Tuscan friend Sandra, driving the successful blog Sono Io Sandra -a joy for the eyes and for the mind- decided to do something together. Something that had to do with bread… We called it Panissimo and it became first a blog event, collecting sweet and savory breads from Italy and the world, and later a baking group based on FB. Thanks to Panissimo I got to know hundreds of new (to me) home bakers, and a few professional ones. From all of them I have learned and I keep learning a lot.

Panissimo bread collection has become a “travelling” event lately, with different blogs hosting it every month. This was great and I am extremely grateful to all our hosts (check out the amazing March collection by Il Castello di Pattipa) and to all the enthusiastic bakers who keep sending us their breads. But I have to admit that it feels nice knowing that Panissimo is back home now and for a while. Celebrating a year since it started, me and Sandra will be back doing as we did in the beginning: alternating editions between mine and her blogs and keeping the event bilingual, so that both Italian and international bakers can participate. Scroll down to read instructions and to insert the link to your April breads directly in this page. At the end of the month every bread will be presented in a round-up. Happy baking!

Barley sourdough

Note: In the pictures my latest loaves, first on top is a 20% sourdough buckwheat made with freshly milled buckwheat flour; the second loaf is a 25% barley sourdough made, again, with freshly milled barley flour; the last picture shows the crumb of my latest experiment, a loaf fermented with home-made kefir. I will write about this loaves, eventually…

Kefir Bread

E per le nostre fedeli amiche italiane… Panissimo ritorna infine a casa. Per i prossimi mesi me e la dolcissima Sandra del magico Sono Io Sandra celebriamo un anno di Panissimo ritornando alla nostra vecchia, amata, routine di alternare la raccolta tra i nostri due blog. E ritorniamo cosi’ anche all’originale formato bilingue, in modo che sia noi italiani che i panificatori stranieri possano partecipare. Sotto tutte le istruzioni e la griglia per inserire i vostri pani di aprile e ci vediamo a fine mese per il riepilogo di aprile (sempre qui da me), in cui i vostri pani saranno messi in bella mostra. Buona panificazione e buona pasqua! [Read More...]

Red Lentil-Turmeric Sourdough

Red Lentil-Curcuma Sourdough

One day I was reading a lovely post from my friend Che Foodzheit and the post was about a yummy linseeds bread he baked for a Bread Baking Day. Now, since I am very distracted and time disoriented I first thought the bread was made with lentils (linser in Swedish), then after realizing it wasn’t I made yet another mistake, thinking the challenge (more proteins in your bread) was for February when it was instead a January theme…

Anyway, from two mistakes I made one good bread. With lentils, cause the idea of a lentil bread had already passed my mind a few times in the past and this linseeds bread reminded me that I still hadn’t tested a sourdough with lentils in it. So I boiled some red lentils with a little water and a lot of garlic (yeah!!) and added them to a well hydrated sourdough dough. To improve the color, which would have been not that appealing otherwise I added a couple of pinches of turmeic (curcuma longa) powder. Man, was this bread good! And it is packed with proteins and minerals as well, cause it has a 40% lentils in it (and how about all the vitamins in the garlic and the curcuma?). To be enjoyed feeling you are feeding yourself with a wholosome food. Which incidentally also looks darn cool.

Red Lentil-Curcuma Sourdough

Oh… one last note. This bread was leavened with a piece of old sourdough dough which staid in the back of my fridge for more than two months. After two feedings at room temperature the old dough was a lively starter, ready to be used. And as you can see it made excellent bread, not sour tasting at all. [Read More...]

Pain au Chocolat, Step-By-Step of a Work in Progress

Pain Au Chocolate

Pain au chocolate, chocolate croissant, cornetti al cioccolato. However we may call them at home (mostly me and my daughter), they often pop up in our conversation. Before trying them my child used to like cinnamon rolls. But since finally finding them in a bakery in central Stockholm, chocolate croissant is all she craves. And me with her, only, my craving has last longer than her 5 years of age (read here how I managed to make a super simple brioche version of them a few years back).

In Rome, where I come from, cappuccino and cornetto (Italian croissant) are the locals’ favorite way to start the day. Here in Sweden croissant begin to be seeing around only now, but it is still difficult to find good ones, and fresh ones basically impossible. Our local bakery make our favorite version of them, pain au chocolat, only on Fridays and, honestly, they don’t taste that great. But we buy them anyway cause we love them, we are totally weak for chocolate croissant. Of course, for someone who bakes as much as I do it would be natural to make them at home rather than waiting Fridays for a so so croissant. Alas, up to two nights ago, I have been pushed back by all the stories of insuccess or awful difficulty I have read about making croissant at home. I like baking but I don’t do difficult well. Baking in my opinion should feel natural, easy and maneageable while one does it. So two nights ago I felt it was time to try my hands at croissant and do them my way. I spent no more than a couple of hours reading sources on books and the net and comparing formulas, then I wrote down mine, went to the kitchen, and prepared the ferments: the morning to come I was going to make chocolate croissant! Or pain au chocolat, to be precise.

Pain Au Chocolat [Read More...]

Assorted Sourdough Ciabattas In Only One Bake

Assorted Sourdough Ciabattas

How to start talking about all these breads? Am I preparing for the opening of my Italian bakery in Stockholm? Well, unfortunately, not. Still no big project like this on the way. But I did have a lot of ripe starter and I decided to use it all. Actually I liked this solution so much that it is becoming my standard way of baking. Time costraints dictated by a life divided between a family and a job make us squeeze passions in between chores. So when I happen to have some bubbly starter ready to go, better to do the best out of it right away, because I don’t know if I will be able to bake again some time soon.

This dough was made with a 25% of organic sprouted whole spelt and quite a good percentage of sourdough, what I consider a healthy bread. You can of course use regular whole wheat or going 100% white flour, the result would be just as beautiful. The main idea behind this method is to leave your dough in a bowl or container (bulk fermentation) for quite a long while after kneading and then quickly form and bake pieces of dough in a very hot oven. Some of them can be filled, some may be not.

Pepper-Taleggio Filled Ciabatta

For the filling I used baby sweet peppers and taleggio or green olives and taleggio, always sealing the “package” with a stick of gruyere. I admit I spent a whole, long, half hour thinking about a tasty way to seal the filling of these ciabattas and, well, I am pleased about this invention, so pleased I may have to ask for a patent (wish I could!!). This said, I still had enough dough to make some plain ciabattas, some twisted ciabattas, and why not, a twisted baguette. There is no end to the shapes that bread can (quite effortless I tell you) take. Just try it. [Read More...]