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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Yesterday was a perfect day.

Yesterday remained a great day activity and friends and dinner.
My bread turned out perfect – except should have had bigger pans so it wouldn’t be so thick. And could have used more olive oil and rosemary on the top. Here’s the recipe. It’s from the book “A Thousand Days in Tuscany” by Mariena de Blasi. And the book is a good read too with lots more recipes in it.

Schiacciata  flatbread

1 TBS active dry yeast or 1 ½ small cakes of fresh yeast
1 scant teaspoon of dark brown sugar
2 ¾ cups tepid water
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons fine sea salt
6 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
2 TBS fresh rosemary leaves, minced to a powder
Coarse sea salt optional
Additional olive oil for baking pans, drizzling and glossing

In a large bowl, mix the yeast an the sugar into the tepid water, stirring until the grains of sugar are dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap and let the yeast activate for 10 minutes.
Stir the oil and salt together and pour it into the yeast mixture.
Begin adding the flour a cup at a time, stirring well after each dose. Add the cornmeal all at once and mix to form a soft dry dough.
Add additional flour – a tablespoon at a time – if the dough feels sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Place the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for an hour, or until its mass doubles.
Release the air in the dough with a firm punch, divide the dough in two and stretch each piece onto the surface of a lightly oiled 12 inch baking pan sprinkled with cornmeal. The dough will fight a bit but don’t be tempted to use a rolling pin. Using fingertips push the dough to the edges of the tin and let it rest.
Go back to it in a few minutes and stretch it to the edges again. Dough will have relaxed sufficiently by this time and should behave nicely under your hands. Cover the prepared bread with clean towels and let rise for half an hour.
Preheat oven to 450.
After the second rise, press your fists knuckles down all over the breads, squashing them and creating indentations.  Drizzle the tops with oil and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until deeply golden.
Cool on wire racks. Using pastry brush paint the breads with a few drops of oil.

In the afternoon we went to a Farmer’s Market in Bean Blossom – yes that’s the name of a little town near us. Such delicious looking stuff and all of it smelled so good. Unfortunately I’d just bought produce at the market the day before. [wanted to throw it away and buy more – but didn’t] You can bet next Friday we’ll be there to shop. Some of vegetables piled on the stands looked like still life paintings. I took my camera with me but forgot to use it!
We had two friends over for dinner – the bread which everyone loved – I even like it and I usually don’t care much for bread. Tore it off in hunks and dipped it in olive oil and put some sauce with sausages on it. The sauce was just onions, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine and cut up Italian sausage. So yummy. And we ate at the table outside in our all cleaned up plexiglased and carpeted back porch. Talked and watched the fire flies flit around in the woods.

Today is going to be another great day weather wise – maybe later this evening we’ll go into our little town for the Art Walk a monthly event. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Folks I sent you an e mail the other day I was wondering if you received it? Thanks Wendy