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11 posts in this topic
By Christy Martino
I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days.
And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great.
How to Make Rye Sourdough Bread
I don't know what it is about bread, but it is my favorite thing to make and eat. A freshly baked loaf of bread solves a world of problems. I was lucky enough to get to be one of the main bakers when I worked at the Herbfarm. We baked Epi, Baguettes, Rolls, Pretzels and so much more.
Rye Sourdough Wood Oven Baked Bread
My fondest memory when I worked there was our field trip to the Bread Lab(wait something this cool came out of WSU, of course!) here in Washington. They grow thousands of varieties of wheat and have some pretty cool equipment to test gluten levels, protein, genetics and so on. I nerded out so hard.
What came out of that trip was this bread. Now I can't recall the exact flour we got from them, but using a basic bread and rye will do the trick. We used to get a special flour for our 100 mile menu. This was where we were limited to only serving food from 100 miles away. So finding a wheat farm that made actual hulled wheat in 100 miles was a miracle. The year before...the thing we made, was closer to hard tack.
Now if you don't have a starter, I recommend starting one! It is a great investment!
1000 g flour (60% Bread Flour, 40% Rye)
25 g salt
75 g of honey/molasses
200 g of Rye starter
650 g of water, cold
Baker Scale (or other gram scale)
Bread Razor (you could also use one of those straight razors)
Start by taking the cold water, yeast and Honey and mix together and let sit for 10-15 minutes
I know, some of you just freaked out, cold water? Won't that kill the yeast.
Nope, the yeast just needs to re hydrate. I prefer using cold water to slow the yeast down. That way the lactobacillus in the starter has a good amount of time to start making lactic acid, and really get to flavor town!
While that is sitting, I mix the flour and the salt together(How many times I have forgotten to salt the bread).
Now mix the two products with a kneading hook for 3-5 minutes, only until thoroughly mixed but not yet at the window pane stage of kneading.
Instead, place into a bowl and set a timer for one hour. Then when that hour is up, push the dough down and fold all the corners in
Repeat this step 2-3 more times, pending on the outside temperature.
If you happen to have those cool bowls to shape round loafs! Awesome, use them. I would break the boules into 3 balls of about 333 grams
If not then just put the dough in the fridge and do the steps below the next day.
Once you have bouled the bread, can put it into the fridge and let it sit over night
Again, this lets the bacteria, really get to work(misconception is the yeast adds the sour flavor, nope, think yogurt!)
Now on the next day, heat up whatever form of oven you plan to use. We used a brick oven but if you just have a normal oven, that is fine. Crank it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have not bouled your bread yet, go back and watch the video and break the dough down into three balls of abut 333 grams. Then place the balls on a lightly greased sheet pan. Let sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If you have used the fancy bowls then turn the the bread out on a lightly greased sheet pan, without the bowl and let temper for 15-30 minutes.
If your oven is steam injected, build up a good blast of steam.
If not, throw in a few ice cubes and close the door or put a bath of hot water inside.
The steam is what creates the sexy crust!
Let it build up for a few minutes!
Right before you put the bread into the oven use a bread razor to slice the top of the bread.
Place the dough balls into the oven and douse with another blast of steam or ice and close the oven.
Let them bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees. Then turn the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove when the crust is as dark as you want and the internal temperature exceeds 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now pull out and make sure to let cool off of the sheet pan with room to breath underneath. You don't want your crust steaming!
Now here is the hardest part, wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the bread. Also, cutting into bread to early really seems to come out poorly. I would rip the bread until 1-2 hours has passed.
Now serve it with your favorite butter, goat butter or whipped duck fat!
By Catherine T
Hi, I have just discovered and registered on this site. My main cooking and baking concern is that I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and haven't been able to eat gluten. BUT I have discovered an exception. When I have visited Continental Europe such as Spain and Russia, I have been able to eat their bread and have had no negative repercussions. Then when I try eating bread in Great Britain and North America I have become sick. My research on the Web has not provided any explanations although I believe the EU has banned GMO grains. I was recently gifted panetonne from a Toronto restaurant called Sud Forno that uses Italian flour and I was able to safely eat it. Another bakery called Forno Cultura advertises that it uses European flour. So I am going to approach them to see if I can buy their flour in bulk. I will let you know how it goes.
I am led to believe that World Pasta Day 2016 is to be on Tuesday, October 25 this year. So, with this in mind, what are the eG cooks planning on "cooking up" in celebrating the day?
I will start the ball rolling.
I am going to make my standard egg yoke pasta sheets, rolled out on my now seldom-used manual pasta machine and use them in making lasagna, using my old and reliable bolognese sauce recipe layered with béchamel sauce and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
And with the left-over egg whites I will make a few meringue bases for portioned pavlova - Spring is here in the Southern Hemisphere and berries and fruit are starting to appear in the shops!
Just found out that a member of eGullet, @Cia has begun to post his short videos on Italian culinary culture on YouTube. Only one to date but I know there are more in the pipeline. While made by an Italian based in Italy the narrative is in English.
Here's the first instalment:
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