Assorted Sourdough Ciabattas In Only One Bake

Assorted Sourdough Ciabattas

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...]

Barley and Spelt Sourdough Ring and Epi

Barley-Spelt Sourdough

Barley-Spelt Sourdough

Alright I know I had promised to write down and publish all the formulas of the breads I made in the past few months but there has been a couple of accidents: my daughter’s birthday party and a nasty flu.
Good thing is that during the flu I had a day which felt like “yeah I am ok again” and I could bake.
The result is this ring and a couple of epi, the latter made for our virtual baking school on Panissimo group (to which you are all welcome to join).
The dough had the special addition of barley flour, which has no gluten so it cannot be used alone, but when used with other, more “bake-able”, flours it confers to the bread a very distinctive and yummy flavor, plus it gives a very appealing bronze color to crust and crumb.

Barley-Spelt Sourdough

I apologize if the pictures are not as good as my usual standard, but, oh well, after the happy baking I realized that my cold was back. But this bread was outstanding, believe me, and back to bed I go… [Read more...]

No-Knead Sourdough with Old Dough

Old Dough Soudough

Old Dough Soudough

These days I am a refugee without my own kitchem, ok, a luxury refugee -who spends her days in the comfortable guest loft with sauna of our condo- but I admit feeling a little messed up by the temporary exile (we are renovating our apartment, that’s why). Notwithsatnding all, I still managed to bake a little.

So I baked one lovely spelt sourdough about 10 days ago and since I knew I would not have had the time to feed my starter or plan much, I saved a piece of dough and kept it in the fridge since. Then I made the experiment of using this piece of old dough straight from the fridge to leaven a new loaf. Could that work? Also, I had no stand mixer and could not even knead by hand the night i decided to use the old dough, so this loaf truly made itself, with very little help from my side. The result is a delicious bread with a crunchy crust and a moist and light crumb. Oh how I like my ferments! NOTE: to be successful at this loaf you have to make sure that your own starter is a very good one. I will post soon how to trouble shoot your starter.

And if you are wondering how to put jam or honey on all those holes… well, my answer is: cover it up with good cheese first!!

Old Dough Sourdough

In questi giorni sono una profuga senza la propria cucina, ok, una profuga di lusso -che passa le sue giornate nel confortevole loft con sauna del nostro condominio- ma ammetto di essere un po’ scombussolata per via di questo esilio temporaneo (stiamo ristrutturando il nostro appartamento, ecco perche’). Ciononostante, sono riuscita a panificare almeno un pochino in queste settimane.

Una decina di giorni fa ho sfornato una bella pagnotta al farro e dato che sapevo di non aver tempo per rinfrescare il mio lievito, ho conservato un pezzetto dell’impasto, tenendolo in frigo. Poi ho fatto l’esperimento di usare questo pezzo di vecchio impasto, preso direttamente dal frigorifero, per far lievitare un nuovo pane. Avrebbe funzionato? Per di piu’, non avevo la mia impastatrice e neppure la possibilita’ d’impastare a mano quella sera, quindi questa pagnotta si è veramente fatta da sola con pochissimo aiuto da parte mia. Il risultato è un pane delizioso, con una crosta croccante e una mollica soffice e leggera. Ma come come mi piacciono i miei fermenti! NOTA: per avere successo in questo tipo di pane è necessario assicurarsi che il proprio lievito sia molto attivo. Pubblichero’ presto un post in cui spiego come verificare/migliorare la qualita’ del vostro lievito.

E se vi state chiedendo come mettere marmellata o miele su tutti quei buchi… bene, la mia risposta è questa: copriteli bene con uno strato di buon formaggio! [Read more...]

Whole-Grain Apple-Blueberry Spelt Sourdough with Chia Seeds

Blueberry Sourdough

Blueberry Sourdough

This post could easily be called “Ode to Farine”. There is so much about the person behind the bread blog Farine, our beloved MC, that I would like to say, that this post could easily become a poem. But since people reading are mostly interested in recipes and formulas, I will instead stick to this particular loaf, based on MC’s recipe (or “formula”, like bakers and bread nerds call it).

I have been longing to make this bread for a whole year and now that is August again, and blueberries are abundant, I finally resolved in making it. What is special about this loaf is the addition of fresh berries to the dough. And since blueberries can be on the tangy side, applesauce and dry milk are also added to the dough, thing I would never ever have thought of doing before MC beautiful article on Farine. This loaf is made for the most by spelt flour, which gives a particular consistency, taste, and color to the bread. And to complete the already fascinating combination, chia seeds are added, too. [Read more...]

Oro Saiwa Home-Made or… Petit Beurre

petit beurre

petit beurre

Every time that my mother comes to Sweden to visit us, she brings a suitcase full of Italian delicacies. Food items difficult to find here, such as… the olive oil from my uncle’s olive trees orchard in Liguria… 36 months aged Parmesan cheese… huge pieces of prosciutto di Parma for my little carnivore daughter… fresh basil and thyme from her garden… and…

…and mom’s favorite biscuits: Oro Saiwa. A must on her breakfast table since I have known her (ca 40 years). This time my daughter got totally hooked on the biscuits, and on the second day she had already finished grandma’s weekly provision. Disaster. No Oro Saiwa here, how to fix breakfast?

No problem. This 40 something Italian hippy immediately looked up her bible (Google) for a home-made version of the biscuits -which actually are not Italian in origin but French- Petit Beurre, this is it. I was not aware of it before the quick search, but apparently the net is now populated by several beautiful renditions of these cookies, probably because Rizzoli released a petit beurre kit which gives close to perfection results. [Read more...]

Bread For Breakfast: Foolproof Sourdough Rolls

foolproof sd rolls

foolproof sd rolls

As usual, the first thing I “have to” do once back from a trip is baking some bread. Not that I eat much of it lately (when home I try to be a vegetarian low carbing gal) but the little I eat has to be high quality and has to taste great. Just like the food critic in Ratatouille -animation I never tire of watching- I don’t just like food bread. I LOVE bread. And if I don’t love it I don’t eat it.

Since after making Martin Johanson’s overnight rolls, which were based on commercial yeast, I have been trying to obtain the same wonderful fluffy result using sourdough instead. What is special in Martin’s rolls and in these sourdough ones is that the overnight fermentation happens at room temperature rather than in the fridge. Therefore, only a little leavening agent is needed. In this case, it was tricky to find the right amount of sourdough starter which would have given me a perfectly ready to bake dough in the morning -after close to 11 hours of fermentation in my pretty warm kitchen! This time a hit the right formula and I am happy to share it with you.

foolproof sd rolls

These rolls need no kneading. You start in the evening, care for a couple of folds before going to sleep, and in the morning, voila, you can bake and eat. Lovely open crumb and and a crunchy and light crust. Heaven. [Read more...]

Nyttigare Sockerbullar: Swedish Rolls With Chocolate And Spelt For “Quanti Modi Di Fare E Rifare”


A year has passed by since I made Jan Hedh’s wonderful sockerbullar with vanilla custard filling (find the original recipe here). The recipe was selected for this month’s challenge by my favorite Italian baking group, Quanti Modi Di Fare E Rifare*, and I am very curious and excited at the idea of seeing all the different versions of this very creative ensemble of home-bakers.

As for me, this time I wanted to see if I could obtain the same soft, melt-in-mouth rolls by replacing the traditionally used wheat with spelt, much of it whole-grain. To healthify this recipe further, I replaced the sugar with organic coconut palm sugar (which is as sweet as regular sugar but has a low glicemic index, a must have). And to make the buns meet  our chochaolic family taste, I added cocoa to the filling. I can tell you that my 4-year old daughter, which is definitely not a lover of whole-grain, said “mamma these are the best rolls you ever made!”. Clearly an overstatement, but a good sign!

A little note about spelt for those of you who are not familiar with this grain. Spelt is a “relic” crop, an ancient type of grain which has been sparsely farmed in modern times and so maintained unaltered its characteristics. Differently from wheat, the spelt we can get nowadays is not very different from the grain harvested 9000 years old and possibly even earlier. Regarding its nutritional qualities, spelt contains 9 percent fibre, 17 percent protein and 3 percent unsaturated fat, as well as several dietary minerals and vitamins. It also contains only a moderate amount of gluten, so it is probably better tolerated by our body (it is likely that even those of us who are not gluten intolerant may be affected by massive amounts of gluten in their diet). SCROLL DOWN FOR THE RECIPE/CLICCA QUI PER LA RICETTA IN ITALIANO.
[Read more...]

Tartine Bread Experiment’s City Bread In Light Spelt: An Act Of Love, A Thing Of Beauty

city bread in light spelt

All right. This feels almost like a coming out. Yes, I have a secret. And it has to do with me “secretly” exchanging correspondence with another fellow food blogger. No, not ANY fellow food blogger. Another bread-nerd fellow food blogger. Actually, I have been writing with plenty of fellow food bloggers and some of them are bread nerds like me. But this very bread nerd, or in nicer terms a virtuous of home bread baking, did something which I will never forget. Getting curious? (SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE STORY AND BREAD METHOD – anche in italiano).
[Read more...]

Dates And Figs Winter Rolls With Spelt

panini invernali

This month’s theme for Bread Baking Day, hosted by my friend Stephanie, is overnight recipes. Bread recipes in which the dough rests a whole night. So I immediately thought about my “discards” overnight spelt buns, which I came up with while preparing for another bread recipe and did not want to throw away my bubbling sourdough.

They involve no kneading and use precisely the amount of sourdough one generally has at hand when making the regular feedings. Since winter is almost here, I added dried figs and dates to the whole-spelt dough. Seriously yummy stuff (SCROLL DOWN FOR THE RECIPE).
[Read more...]

T’Amo Pio Farro: Variations On A Spelt Soup

zuppa di farro

I realize that it has been quite a while since I posted something other than bread. But, truly, saying I now live on bread and water is not a huge exaggeration.

Lately I grew out of some of the food I was eating before, like meat. And reduced considerably also all other sources of animal-based food, like milk, eggs, cheese and fish. You may now call me a lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian. With vegan tendencies.

When I am not eating bread, then, I am most likely eating whole grains and legumes and as many fresh vegetables I manage to have at hand. Last week I made two delicious spelt-based soups which I now want to share with you – vegetarian or not (scroll-down for the recipes – anche in italiano!).
[Read more...]