www.giallozafferano.it: authentic Italian recipes
www.joyofbaking.com: bible of classic baking recipes
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500g plain flour
7g yeast sachet, fast acting
300ml water warm
Put the flour into a large, warm mixing bowl. Add the yeast, a good pinch of sea salt and then pour in most of the water. Mix to a soft dough, by hand or using a food mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add more liquid if your dough seems too tight.
Flour a work surface generously, then turn out the dough and knead until it feels smooth and elastic. A good 10 minutes of firm kneading is necessary if you are doing it by hand, five or so if you are using a machine.
Put the dough in its bowl and cover it with a tea towel or kitchen film and leave in a warm place for about an hour, until it has almost doubled in size. Generously flour your board, then roll out the dough to your desired size and thickness.
3 big onions
2 garlic toes
200g green beans
6 or 7 carrots
1 pepper (puntpaprika)
1 potato (middle size)
Let lentils hydrate for one hour. Put them in a pot with water the morning you'll cook them. Three times as much water as the volume of the lentils at least.
Chop finely onions and pepper, and let them soften in the pot with a good 30 ml olive oil. Add the garlic toes -smashed- , the (peeled, sliced) carrots and the green beans. Let them barely cook for some minutes (2-3).
In the meantime peel and cut the potato in 6 or 8 reasonably big cuboid blocks and add it. Add the tomato, also cut in 6. Let them cook a couple more minutes.
Add the (rinsed ) lentils.
Move the whole gently around with a spoon.
Add water to cover everything plus 1,5-2 cm more (2/3 - 4/5 of an inch :) This depends on the type of lentils, and how much water they absorb. You can also skip the water first step, and add more water here. You have to try yours to see)
Seasoning is something personal and also depends very much on the cultural background, we use: salt, black pepper, 3 or 4 laurel leaves, 2 coffee spoons of sweet powder paprika, a good bunch of cumin seeds.
In our understanding, this mix is not hot, neither particularly spicy...
If you have a pressure cooker you need some 6-7 minutes of full steaming to have them done, that's typically 10 to 15 from closing the pot, depending on the amount and the temperature at the moment of closing it. Do not overcook, or else the lentils will go puree (set an alarm clock). Better a bit less than too much and then finish them off with the open pot, to control the cooking.
After opening the cooking pot (once the Temperature is down enough to have reduced the pressure)
If you see the lentils, but no brew, add a bit of water. You had added too little in the first place. Lentils keep on absorbing it... Also, how watery you'd like the final result is a matter of personal taste. I prefer them dryer, my wife soupier. We eat them soupy.
If you prefer to cook the long way, the result is better, and it takes longer. There is no mystery here. Check gradually the water then, and (yes, it’s also riskier for the line) taste from time to time.
We finally add 0.5cm thick slices of chorizo ibérico (1 piece of around 150-200g).
And leave it melt and mix with the rest in the remaining heat (no further heat is necessary).
The latter is not compulsory, but for non-vegetarians, it's a big improvement!
Note: Try the same dish without lentils, with chickpeas and spinach (spinach is just slightly first cooked in a wet floor of olive oil, removed and added at the end, with the chorizo, and let rest. Dried chickpeas need a longer water soak than lentils) and a more generous portion of cumin. A potato is not really needed here, the chickpeas add the thickness to the mix on their own. Green beans neither, spinaches provide for the colour.
400 g puff pastry
250 g pork
1 small bunch parsley
1 clove garlic
20cl dry white wine
Salt & pepper
La marinade the day before, dice meat into small cubes 1cm wide, mix together.
Add echalottes and finely chopped parsley (fat parsley). Add garlic, but not too much. Mix well with meat.
Add white wine and cover with Clingfilm.
Leave for one night in fridge. Meat should absorb the liquid
Add salt and mix
Slice puff pastry into two pieces. Most will act as a base. The first rectangle will serve as a base. Place marinated meat in the middle of the base. Fold up the sides. Glue the smaller rectangle to the other piece and connect by applying light pressure with the fingers.
Using a sharp knife, cut two small holes to allow steam to escape.. Add a pinch of salt to an egg and whip. Brush top of pate.
Using shape knife. Decorate pate with lightly cut lines.
Place pate in fridge for at least one hour to firm.
In a preheated over 180-200°C place pate for about 40 minutes (depending upon pastry’s browning. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes before eating.
Note: is accompanied by a light lettuce salad with a tangy vinaigrette
300 grams flour
150 grams unsalted (quality) butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons cold water
pinch of salt
Alternative: use an expensive pre-rolled 'pure butter' shortcrust pastry
200 grams grated cheese (Emmental, Gruyere or similar)
250 ml crème fraiche (also good quality such a d' Isigny)
100 grams (or more) bacon (smoked or salted)
4-5 large eggs
Note: the true quiche Lorraine does not contain any cheese. To make the true version is simply removed the cheese from the recipe.
Put all dry ingredients into food mixer. Turn mixer on medium speed. Add 1x1cm cubes of butter into the mixers waiting 5-10 seconds for cube to be blended. Once all butter in combined and mixture resembles coarse meal add egg and water mixture (mix egg with fork beforehand) and blend for further 20 seconds until mixture starts to form lump.
Wrap mixture in clingfilm and put in fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
On a lightly floured work surface, using a floured rolling pin roll roll pastry into a circle. Take care to regularly turn pastry adding small amount of extra flour above and below while rolling out. Once desired size achieved loosely roll pastry around rolling pin and transfer to grease-proof paper.
Lay pastry onto square of grease-proof paper cut to fit quiche (tart) mold. Use rolling pin or knife to remove excess pastry from edges.
Place mold into fridge.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
In a frying pan gentle fry bacon chunks 0.5x0.5 cm or smaller until lightly crisp. Lay bacon chunks onto some kitchen roll to remove excess fat.
In a bowl add crème fraiche and eggs, season with salt and pepper. Whisk for 1-2 minute until well blended and only slightly airy.
Add grated cheese and bacon chunks to eggs mixture and mix with a spoon for a few seconds. Add contents of bowl onto pastry and spread out. Filling should cover whole mold to a depth of +/-2 cm
Add mold to to oven, reducing heat to 180 degrees C. Bake quiche in oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top and inflated.
Serving suggestions: Serve with lettuce salad and French vinaigrette.
1 litre full fat organic milk
1 pot old yoghurt (greek or thick)
Heat litre of milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stay close to milk. Careful to avoid milk boiling! Milk is at 80C when it starts to give off steam and bubbles rise on the side of the pan. When milk is hot turn off heat and allow to cool.
Wait until milk reaches 50C (until you can hold your clean finger in milk for 20 seconds). In a jug mix yoghurt with three spoons of warm milk. Then add remaining milk and mix thoroughly. Pour liquid into yoghurt pots. Place open pots either in yoghurt machine or warm draft free area for 12-15 hours. Once yoghurt is ready refridgerate for 24 hours before eating.
Serving suggestions: Serve with jam, honey, sugar or alone
4 salmon steaks
12 slices serrano ham
Green lentils (preferably du Puy)
Freshly ground pepper
Heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade
Lay 4 slices of ham on a baking tray. Place salmon steak on 4 slices and wrap using a tooth pick to maintain ham in place. Repeat process with 4 salmon steaks. Season the wrapped steaks with pepper and lightly drizzle with a little olive oil. Cook in oven for 20 minutes.
Cook lentils in water following prescribed recipie. Drain lentils. Add juice of half a lemon. Chop and add one generous handful of corriander and another of fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl gently mix yogurt adding freshly ground pepper.
Presentation: Place baked salmon on plate surround with lentils and add dollop of yogurt sauce on top of lentils.
250 grams quality butter (room temperature)
250 grams sugar (alternatively half brown and half white sugar)
250 grams flour
1-1.5 teaspoons baking powder (alternatively use self-raising flour)
Vanilla (sugar, essence or preferably bourbon / real vanilla)
Pinch of salt
250-400 grams high quality chocolate (for chocolate cake version)
Heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade
In an electric mixer with a blade add sugar and soft butter. Blend on high speed, scraping down the sides 2-3 times, until mixture is white and fluffy (+/- 4 minutes).
Add, vanilla and then eggs one at a time and blend on medium speed for 15-30 seconds between each egg until just combinded.
Using a sift add flour, baking powder and salt together and mix until just combined (1 minute or less). Feel free to mix using a spatula instead of the blender.
Prepare tin by greasing and dusting it with flour (rub thin layer of butter onto tin and then add tablespoon of flour and shake until buttered surface is covered). Pour cake mixture into a baking tin
Place in center of oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes (if heat is uneven turn cake half way through bake). You can turn down the heat to 160 degrees centigrade after 20 minutes (expect a longer cooking time). The cake is ready when a clean knife emerges from the center of the cake without any wet cake residue. If cake is getting too brown place sheet of foil above cake.
When cake is cooked, remove from oven, place on a wire rack. After 5 minutes run a sharp knife around edge of spring form tin. Remove side of tin, place upside down wire rack on top of cake and flip cake. Use sharp knife to separate base of cake from base of tin.
Note: For a delicious chocolate cake simply add 250-400 grams of high quality melted baking chocolate (70% cacao or more) to the butter, sugar and egg mixture blending for 30 seconds before adding the flour, salt and baking powder..
Waffles will never be the same again once you have tasted these.
1.5 dl. Sugar
3 dl. Skimmed Cultured Milk
3.5 dl. Whole Milk
350g. Plain Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla-flavoured Sugar
1 tsp. Cardamom
150g Melted Butter
Crack the eggs into a bowl.
Add in the skimmed cultured milk and milk.
Sift in the flour and add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Brush the waffle iron generously with butter.
Bake the waffles until they are golden.
Serve with sour cream and jam or cheese and butter if desired.
315 grams flour
3 grams salt
35 grams granulated white/brown sugar
180 grams unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into small chunks (1x1cm)
1 large egg (2 small)
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract (not vanilin, but vanilla!)
2-3 tablespoons ice water
6 apples (4 small tin) depending upon the size of the spring-form baking tin
Apricot (or other) jam
Madeira wine (you can try sherry as an alternative)
1-2 tablespoons flour
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in food processor and process until combined (10 seconds).
While spinning at medium speed add the butter stick by stick and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds between sticks).
In a small bowl, whisk the egg, cold water and vanilla.
Restart processor and pour into in a steady stream until the pastry just holds together when pinched (20 -30 seconds and no more).
Transfer the ½ pastry to an spring form cake tin and press evenly over the bottom. For sides roll thick sausages of pastry using remaining ½, press along sides & between side and bottom. Do not leave crust too thin. Cover tin with clingfilm and refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Peel, core and cut apples into 1.5x1.5 cm chunks. Place apples into small saucepan, cover with several tablespoons (or more) of Madeira wine or replacement alcohol. Cook apples for 5-8 minutes on a medium heat in order to part cook them and in order to release some juices.
Remove cake tin from refrigerator. Cover pastry on bottom of tin with a thin layer of apricot jam. Cover jam with generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Spoon hot apples into tin taking care to leave juices in saucepan. Sprinkle top of apples with 1-2 tablespoons of flour, some cinnamon and a handful of almond flakes (you can also add raisins, chocolate chunks, pecans etc.).
Put cake into hot oven and reduce temperature to 180 degrees C. Cook for about 40 minutes or until biscuit starts to brown on the edges.
When cooked, remove from oven, let stand a few minutes. Run small, sharp and thin knife around edge of tin and pop spring-form tin. If you have doubts that sides will hold keep side of tin open, but surrounding cake. If confident, remove and allow cake to cool.
Serve with freshly whipped cream (cream & sugar) or vanilla ice cream.