Work smarter, not harder!
Many years ago I called this process "wu-wei" from the non-action concept in Taoism.
Today mainstream bakers and aficionados call it "no-knead" bread. "No-knead" simply means to mix all the ingredients as little as possible and let them do their thing slowly and with time.
This is Ferno's take and twist on a basic "no-knead" recipe (all ingredients are organic):
- 6 Cups of flour (all purpose)
- 1 TBS Semolina
- 1 TBS Malted Barley flour
- 1 TBS Vital Wheat Gluten
- 1 TBS Sea salt (feel free to use less)
- 1 TBS dry yeast
- 1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 4 cups of water (filtered)
PreparationIn a large bowl add flour, semolina, barley and mix them.
Make a well in the middle in order to add some water (1/2 cup) and yeast - mix with a wooden spoon and try to keep the well contained in that same small area. Cover the bowl and place in a warm area for ~15 minutes. This is a kind of "biga" as it is done in Italy.
Flour, water and yeast have created a small pre-fermented starter dough.
Next add salt but avoid adding it directly to the biga but sprinkling it around where there is flour. Add olive oil and start mixing as you add more water.
The amount of mixing should be to allow the different ingredient to bind, no additional mixing is required.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and a cloth.
Place in the fridge for non less that 12 hours and in my case I like to keep it for up to 72 hours.
Take the bowl out of the fridge - let it rest and warm up for a couple of hours (I use a kitchen red light), make small balls "panetti" (I set the size based on weight: gr. 200-250 - about 7 to 9 ounces) and let them rest for an hour or so. In the meantime fire up the oven and start having fun making pizza!
Crostata (Tart Italian style)Anyone who traveled in Italy will sooner or later have a slice of crostata, either for breakfast or as a snack or just because it is so good to eat.
I lost my family recipe long ago but I was lucky enough to meet in person the food expert and writer of In Nonna's Kitchen - Carol Field. She did a fantastic job to collect grandma's recipes from all over Italy. Among those there is a very traditional one that with my wife we have been using: Pasta Di Crostata A Quadratino. There is an intro regarding Carol and then a few recipes. By The Way: Check out her book if you are into Italian cooking.