Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.
Here’s one for you, my English reading visitors. How would you translate fette biscottate? I hear someone says rusks, others Melba toasts, although I am pretty sure none of them fits for the purpose. You simply don’t eat them, and they may as well be an Italian tradition, one that certainly comes from the times when we were poor(er) and we toasted stale bread to make it edible for another while.
With time it evolved into a typical breakfast food, spread with jam, honey or whatever you like. If you happen to be pregnant and have morning sickness, this works too, apparently.
Whatever the name, it is halfway between simple bread and a brioche bread, and in this dairy free version it is good for everyone. If you don’t like having it too toasted and crispy, you can skip the last passage, and simply toast it every morning. In that case, it’s not fette biscottate anymore… but that’s another story!
500 gr semi refined flour
225 gr water
75 gr caster sugar
5 gr salt
12 gr fresh brewer’s yeast
4 spoons of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon barley malt
vegetable milk (or normal milk if you like)
1 egg (separate whites from yolk)
First thing dissolve the yeast and the malt into 200 gr water (keep the remaining 25 gr for later). Let it rest for 5 minutes.
Put the flour, the sugar, the oil, the egg white in a bowl (you can use the kneading machine, it’s much easier) , mix it together and the add the water with the yeast. Keep on kneading for a few minutes, then add salt, and keep on kneading.
If the dough is too dry add the 25 gr water you left behind.
After about 15 minutes the dough should be soft and smooth, with no lumps.
Let it rest for about 30 minutes, then form three balls and let them rest for 15 minutes.
After that put the dough into a pound cake baking tray covered with parchment paper. Brush the surface with the egg yolk to which you must add some two or three tablespoons of milk (or plant milk). Let it raise for one hour covered with plastic wrap.
After one hour, take off the wrap, brush again with the egg yolk/milk mixture and put into a pre heated oven at 200 degrees celsius for about 30 minutes. Please check it doesn’t get too dark on the surface. if it does, simply cover it with aluminium foil, and continue the baking.
After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 180 degrees and finish the baking (it’s going to take another 15 minutes).
Let it cool before removing from the baking tray, then let it dry well for about 12 hours.
After 12 hours you can cut the bread in slices, about 1 cm thick, lay them on the baking tray covered with parchment paper and toast them in the oven for 1 hour at 140 degrees. Turn them after 30 minutes.
Let them cool before tasting.
There are two flavours that put together remind me of the summer, and they are lemon and lavender. I used the flowers of this plan on various occasions, but the combination I prefer is with lemon, and in fact I have used it time and again.
To be true, any excuse to open the envelope containing the lavender buds, and be surrounded by the memories of a summer in the South of France, with lavender fields as far as the eye can see, the light blue sea and a pair of espadrilles that I consumed as much as I walked around!
I returned to France several times, for work mostly. But more than Paris or the north, it is the South of France the place I remember more fondly.
I let myself inspire by lavender fields to realise these mini pound cakes with lemon and lavender, a classic combination, that are so easy and quick that we can name it the last minute recipe. If you realise you’ve run out of breakfast stuff, this is the recipe that’s gonna save your day!
The basic recipe can be adapted to almost any combination of flavours according to the season. For the end of spring, lemon and lavender are just perfect.
170 gr baking flour
40 gr rice starch (or another starch)
100 gr sugar
8 gr baking powder
2 medium range eggs
40 ml lemon juice
Zest of a lemon
60 ml sunflower oil (or any other vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon of lavender buds (edible)
Sift the flour and the starch with the baking powder and set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until they are very fluffy and pale. It’s going to take about ten minutes, depending on your mixer.
After that, incorporate the flour and the oil (alternating them) with the help of a spatula. Keep on until both ingredients have all been amalgamated.
Them, pour in the lemon juice, the lavender buds and the zest of the lemon. If you see that the batter is too thick, add some more lemon juice, or a few drops of water.
The batter must be quite firm, but slightly soft as well.
Fill in the mini pound cake moulds for something more than a half of their volume, but please pay attention that they’re not overstuffed and we dn’t want them to overflow.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees, and when it reaches temperature bake the mini pound cakes for about 25 minutes. I sprinkled some granulated sugar on to for a more breakfast feel, but you can do without it as well.
Let the mini pound cakes cool on a rack
Almonds and carrots, a match made in heaven. I have prepared tons of versions of this classic cake, it’s my hobby horse kind of, because for quite a long time I have prepared it over and over again. I kept on eating it, god knows why.
My rabbit time is now over, but from time to time I indulge in baking one of the hundreds of versions of the carrot and almond cake.
Recently I baked many sorts, but I lacked the gluten free and dairy free version.
Sooner said than done, here’s this particular type which you can of course also prepare with plain flour, if you have no problems with food intolerances. It is a very light cake altogether, because it has no dairy, so no butter of course.
But then, apart from keeping in good shape, you’ll get a 20/20 visus!
250 gr carrots (already peeled)
180 gr caster sugar
180 gr gluten free flour mix
70 gr di almonds (you can also use almond flour, but I prefer to feel it under my teeth)
50 gr potato starch (please make sure it’s gluten free)
90 gr sunflower oil (or any oil with a mild flavour)
2 medium range eggs
8 gr baking powder
Grated lemon zest (half)
One pack vanillin
Peel and wash your carrtos. Cut them into small pieces and put them into the food processor with the oil, and blend it until you get a coarse carrot puree.
Grind the almonds in the food processor too, and set aside this one too.
Mix together in a bowl the gluten free flour, the baking powder, the potato starch and the vanillin.
Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl with the mixer until they’re pale and fluffy. Then pour in the lemon peel, the carrot puree and the grounded almonds.
Then add little by little the dry ingredients (sift them first).
You can mix them with the electric mixer, but use a very low speed.
Pour the batter into a 22 cm baking tray, and line it with parchment paper first .
Bake at 180 degrees for thirty minutes.
Let it cool before taking the cake out of the tray.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you want, before serving.
It’s perfect for breakfast, teatime, or whenever you crave for something light and sweet.