Having a leg of lamb leftovers from the holidays, I decided to put together some home-made souvlaki, starting with freshly baked pita. A good shot of sourdough for a simple flatbread that took only two hours to make from start to finish. Opa!
At work, we lack a wood fired pizza oven. What we do have is an oven that manages beautifully at 900 degree. Here's some overnight Verace Napoletano pizza I made at work for New Years eve lunch for the kitchen crew.
These little rolls are a simple to produce Italian brioche, though enriched with fewer eggs and substituting extra virgin olive oil for butter. The batch below were made with milled semola rimacinata and sprouted wheat flour. The results were fantastic and contained no commercial yeast.
Here is a bread mix that includes a sprouted organic grain flour soaker along with home milled sprouted wheat grains. It's based on a Bouley Bakery formula I first used years ago. Revisiting it led to wonderful results with a dark and open grigne.
My first Pandolce Genovese was made at school where we used baking powder. Below is a recent bake using sourdough. Incorporating several feeds, it's a bit like baking panettone; 1st impasto (first dough), enriched with eggs, and sugar, then sprinkled with candied fruit, raisins, and my favorite Sicilian finochietto salvatico(wild anise). With two long fermentations, it's definitely worth the effort. The taste pays off, and it's quite addictive. Next time thought of adding vino santo. What do you think of that idea?
Zampina are lamb sausages from Puglia. I first heard of them from my friend Michele in Montreal. He kindly shared the recipe and my first improvisation with them was inspired by the memory of a terrific lamb sandwich first eaten at Philadelphia restaurant Paesano's in Philadelphia.
Wrapped in panelle, a chick pea pancake (or fritter - a basic Sicilian street food) Paesano's sandwich was a delicious wrap mixing pickeled fennel, and mint redolent along with moist lamb. So when Michelle introduced me to zampina, I had to test it with panelle and salsicce.
For the holidays I did another batch of home-made zampina, mixing pork, lamb, parsley, white wine, sale e pepe, and some great tomato paste I got at Gustiamo in "da Bronx." Rather than use them in a sandwich (or wrap) I had these with some homemade rigatoni made from a mix of milled, kamut, semolina, and rye. Delicious.
Though many pizzaioli tend to make yeasted pizza, my aim is to go all natural with wild yeast. Below are shots of my last batch, made with a mix of low protein, white winter wheat grain milled along with standard A.P. flour and a sprouted wheat levain.
Using a long bulk proof of 4-5 hours, as well as a final two hour rise, I then incorporated my method of cast iron baking in which you cook over the stove, then pop into your broiler. It's perfect when you have a less-than-perfect oven and don't want to overheat your space, the heat from a cast iron is magic.
While milling some durum into rimacinata at home, I revisited the Pane di Altamura DOP on making Pane di Altamura. Using well-refreshed lievito naturale, I found that using their prescribed timing and methods leads to great results for this fabulous golden bread from Puglia. And it turned out wonderfully using home milled, organic grain from America.