bread · Italian recipe · leftovers

Pane a Spiga con Patate or Spike-Like Potato Bread

Pane con Patate

These last days of the year I’ve been baking a lot – making up for the days I’m going to be away from the family oven soon 🙂 Among all that I could manage to bake and squeeze into the freezer for my parents, this potato bread in particular stands out of the crowd. This is an Italian recipe which originally calls for lard but which I quite successfully turned into a vegetarian version, using butter instead.

Pane con Patate

It looks kind of funny too. It’s supposed to resemble a spike (spiga) but mine looks more like some insect. Well it might as well but it certainly tastes like white bread! 🙂

Pane con Patate

A year ago – Architectural Walks in Kolpino Part 6 – Prospekt Lenina

Two years ago – Old-Fashioned Apple Slab and Greek Crumble

Three years ago – Goodbye 2013

Four years ago – Let Me Invite You into the New Year

Five years ago – Flammekueche

Pane a Spiga con Patate or Italian Spike-Like Potato Bread translated and adapted from the original recipe at ilpane.blogspot.com will make a giant loaf of soft and sweetish white bread.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g flour (or farina 0 if you can get it), sifted
  • 200 g water
  • 12 g fresh yeast – I used an equivalent 1.4 tsp of instant yeast
  • 10 g salt
  • 15 g sugar
  • 25 g home made lard – I used butter instead
  • 300 g of boiled and pureed potatoes (weigh them after pureeing)

Procedure:

Place all the ingredients in a big bowl, adding the pureed potatoes last. Knead the dough pretty well, about 10 minutes, then place the dough into a greased bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form 2 logs (batards), one smaller than the other (roughly a 1/3 and a 2/3) and leave them to rise for 30 minutes. With a help of a rolling pin or just with your hand make an indent in the center of the bigger log and place there the smaller one, pinching it so that they stick to each other (I had to reshape them both after the 30-minute rise as they were quite puffed at that point). Cover the loaf and leave it to rise for 40 more minutes. Dust it abundantly with ground bran (almost forgot to do it and dusted it with lour instead) and cut the top part with scissors to resemble a spike (I cut the lower part too and in a much freer fashion so to speak 🙂 ). Bake in the preheated 220 °C oven for 30 minutes or until your bread is done (mine took a bit longer).

Pane con Patate

Remarks: I used leftover potato puree which my Mother makes with milk and butter (plus salt). There were little bits of it visible in the crumb and I think the puree also added sweetness to the bread. I guess that eaten with some soup or cheese will counterbalance the sweetness. The loaf is huge but has baked through just fine.

Pane con Patate

Result: Soft and really white, a tad on the sweet side with a contrasting ‘burnt’ crust. Flavourful. The recipe is quite easy (having leftover potato puree helps a lot too) and yet the result is pretty impressive. And it does taste Italian to me! 

Pane con Patate

The air bubbles and the crust:

Pane con Patate

If you are looking for more Italian bread, here’s another – sourdough – version of potato bread (also with herbs) Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina, sourdough oatmeal bread Pane di avena a lievitazione naturale, leavened Italian Panini all’Olio, Pane Tipo Altamura, Tuscan Bread, Stirato or Italian Baguettes, or simply Italian Bread.

This post goes to the Leftovers, Yeast Bread and By Country recipe collections.

G.

sweet

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Chocolate and Pistachios

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Chocolate and Pistachios

Inspired by a colleague who brought us some Iranian pistachios to the office (those were good!) and another colleague who baked her own sukhariki (Russian for rusks) recently, I just had to make some biscotti too. With pistachios.

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Chocolate and Pistachios

I ended up following an American take on an Italian recipe and using Greek pistachios, Russian chocolate and dried fruits from Finnish muesli which do not necessarily come from Finland as you can imagine 🙂 And that having in mind to ‘finally follow a recipe to the letter’. No way!

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Chocolate and Pistachios

A year ago – Architectural Walks in Kolpino Part 5 – Around Railway Station

Two years ago – Old-Fashioned Apple Slab and Greek Crumble

Three years ago – Vermont Sourdough and Yellow Roses

Four years ago – All the Soviet Children…

Five years ago – Flammekueche

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Chocolate and Pistachios adapted from Chocolate, Raspberry, and Walnut Whole Wheat Biscotti on www.kingarthurflour.com will make crunchy sweet rusks, almost 100% whole wheat if you follow the recipe 100%. The recipe is on the website; here are my changes and remarks:

Ingredients: had to use a mixture of wholewheat flour + a bit of all-purpose flour as the batter seemed too sticky to handle; added less salt; instead of freeze-dried raspberries (what are they anyway?) used raisins and other dried fruits from muesli; used whole pistachios instead of chopped walnuts.

Procedure: did not flatten the logs that much for the first bake and thus the biscotti turned out smaller (shorter) in size; the procedure might take some time but there’s something so enjoyable in it that you’ll want to do it again.

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Chocolate and Pistachios

Remarks: Already after the first bake the biscotti (or rather logs of biscotti) looked pretty attractive with a crack along the top. Be careful with the timing: during the second bake you’ll have to flip the biscotti over halftime through and they might seem not that crunchy enough. However, 10 minutes after they will be more than crunchy, believe me! By the way, these biscotti do not contain any butter or oil. I would add less sugar next time, as chocolate and dried fruits already contain sugar.

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Chocolate and Pistachios

Result: Chewy, crunchy, sweet. The pistachios (from Aegina) I used were slightly salty which added that little something in contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate. The (original) raspberries should have contributed to the appearance too, however even with the modest raisins these biscotti have a very rustic look.

Want more biscotti? Try these Almond Biscotti or the Greek Ouzo and Pistachio Paximadia or simply Biscotti.

Thanks God we’re past the shortest days of the year, the light will gradually come back, drop by drop. We’re having no snow and consequently no sun here in St Petersburg. Wearing sneakers at the end of December reminds of my other December, 6 years ago in Thessaloniki, almost entirely spent in a T-shirt 🙂

This post goes to my Chocolate and Sweet collections.

P.S. Domes of the St Sophia Cathedral in Veliky Novgorod on some of the photos on a Catholic Christmas Eve unintended.

G.

bread · French recipe · Italian recipe · pies · sourdough · sweet

Pear Croustade and Pane Tipo Altamura

Pane Tipo Altamura from www.myitaliansmorgasbord.com

Sharing with you two recipes I’ve tried recently. That was a rather gloomy day (typical St Petersburg!) which of course did not prevent us from enjoying the food 🙂 Let’s start with the sweet part of the post (how untypical!).

Pear Croustade from kalofagas.ca

A year ago – Buttery Sourdough Buns and Off We Go

Two years ago – Two Cloudberry Cakes

Three years ago – Apples and Chocolate

Four years ago – Meanwhile… What’s Cooking in My Post-Soviet Kitchen Apart from Soviet Things

Pear Croustade adapted from kalofagas.ca will make a super-flavourful and super-crunchy tarte! Check out the link to get the entire recipe.

My changes: Used 3 pears without peeling. Did not add lemon juice or allspice, just the ground anise seeds.

Pear Croustade from kalofagas.ca

Remarks: A croustade (typically made with apples in France) is supposed to be crunchy so do not worry if your crust is too thin, it will work out perfectly fine! The original recipe comes from USA though, but I can imagine such a croustade being perfectly French too. I was lazy enough to grate some allspice over the pears but I guess the two spices would taste even more untypical in this pie!

Pear Croustade from kalofagas.ca

Result: Soft pears on a crunchy crust! A very untypical combination of anise and pears will make this pie disappear too fast 🙂 It’s rustic and at the same time sophisticated – or rather, delicate.

Pear Croustade from kalofagas.ca

*** 

After a French-American recipe, here’s some Italian bread made with rye sourdough culture. A huge loaf with white crumb and air bubbles:

Pane Tipo Altamura from www.myitaliansmorgasbord.com

Pane Tipo Altamura or Altamura Bread adapted from www.myitaliansmorgasbord.com will make a giant loaf of crumbly white bread. For the entire recipe please visit the original website (where you will find lots of other great recipes like Soder Light Rye or Pane di Ceci for example).

My changes: Fed my rye sourdough culture with whole wheat flour which resulted in a slightly less white color of the crumb. Used all purpose flour instead of high protein white wheat flour.

Pane Tipo Altamura from www.myitaliansmorgasbord.com

Remarks: I guess I overproofed my loaf (the second rise) and when I turned it over onto the hot baking sheet it just became very flat. However, with the high temperature and all, it rose and there were all those air bubbles inside too! Due to this flattening I got a giant loaf which I had to cut in four so that it fits into the freezer!

Pane Tipo Altamura from www.myitaliansmorgasbord.com

Result: Crumbly though quite thick this white bread from Italy will make great sandwiches and also impress everyone with its size! 🙂 You can tell that there’s more to it than just plain white flour from the meaty crumb and a somewhat different texture overall. The crust is chewy and there were no unbaked spots!

Pane Tipo Altamura from www.myitaliansmorgasbord.com

My new job is keeping me busy all the time but I can tell you one thing: I am in love with the city center once again! Walking from Nevsky to that spot where Fontanka and Neva meet each other, with the leaves falling and the clear air, almost touristless sights (too early) and bridges-bridges-bridges… Well, I love you St Pete!

Adding these recipes to Sweet, Sourdough and Country-specific collections.

G.

Italian recipe · no-dough · vegetarian

Involtini di Melanzane

new job

Autumn. Veggies. New job. More veggies and kefir. Tea, tea, tea. New people, new tasks. Seems like I normally change jobs in autumn, already somewhat a habit of mine:) Walking in shorts on September 1st – something new too! Please, autumn, do linger some more!

Involtini di Melanzane from www.greenkitchenstories.com

A year ago – Gulf of Finland and Neva River

Two years ago – Franconian Wood Oven Bread in Regular Oven

Three years ago – Pita, Sourdough Pizza and Stewed Aubergines

Involtini di Melanzane or Aubergine Rolls adapted from www.greenkitchenstories.com will make peppery aubergine rolls à l’italienne with a hidden – Greek – ingredient… For the entire recipe please visit the link above.

My changes:

I had just a bit of canned tomatoes so I had to add water to the tomato sauce. However it was ok! Used couscous instead of bulgur and added some salt. Instead of Feta used Adygea cheese. Had no capers so skipped these. For the topping used hard cheese and no pistachios – cause I forgot about them.

Baked the rolls at 190 on the upper shelf.

Involtini di Melanzane from www.greenkitchenstories.com

The hidden ingredients from Greece in this Italian dish – Feta (here subbed by Adygea cheese) and pistachios, right from the Aegina island! I won’t say that you can immediately tell that there are pistachios in the filling (they get quite soft after baking) but they surely add some special flavour to this dish!

Involtini di Melanzane from www.greenkitchenstories.com

Remarks: Do not skip the tomato sauce – mine was definitely too scanty for the amount of rolls this recipe produced. It adds some extra… Italianism to this dish! Serve the rolls with some salad to balance the spiciness.

Result: Garlicky-peppery vegetarian rolls with thick filling (which won’t escape – that’s nice!) and tasty tomato sauce. Something to bring change to your veggie dishes portfolio!

***

Two more shots from my new job. It’s an old mansion in the center of St Petersburg, right close to the most incredible place in St Petersburg:

new job

And following a nice tradition of working at places resembling Hermitage, this mansion has at least three very authentic-looking halls and a marble staircase. More photos to come!

new job

Adding this recipe to my collections of country-specific dishes and those for lunch / dinner.

More recent veggie recipes here and here.

G.

bread · British recipe · Italian recipe · sourdough

Italian, American, Scottish: Bread Recipes with Oatmeal

 PANE DI AVENA A LIEVITAZIONE NATURALE from lepadellefanfracasso.blogspot.com

Browsing through the to-be-posted-one-day backlog I found out I’ve somehow collected three bread recipes which require oatmeal. Here’s an Italian, a Scottish and an American recipe, all three very different (sourdough bread, yeast bread and quick rolls) but reunited here to celebrate the oatmeal 🙂

PANE DI AVENA A LIEVITAZIONE NATURALE from lepadellefanfracasso.blogspot.com

As a sourdough bread recipe will inevitably require more time, let’s start with the Italian one. Although time-demanding this recipe is rather easy to make. And definitely very oaty, I would say, surprisingly so for an Italian bread recipe and also for a recipe using just oat flour and not the oatmeal!

PANE DI AVENA A LIEVITAZIONE NATURALE from lepadellefanfracasso.blogspot.com

A year ago – Neverending Strasbourg and Chocolate Marble Bread

Two years ago – Khachapuri and Bread with Herbs

Three years ago – Fragrant Apple and Pear Tart

Pane di avena a lievitazione naturale or Sourdough Oat Bread translated and adapted from lepadellefanfracasso.blogspot.com will make a small, crumbly loaf with chewy crust and oats oats oats 🙂 See my remarks in italics. ATTENTION: requires an overnight rest.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g of active sourdough culture – I used my rye sourdough culture
  • 260 g of flour (originally Italian O type)
  • 240 g oat flour – I grounded oats plus 4-grain cereal (rye, oats, wheat and barley flakes)
  • 350 g water at room t’
  • pinch of salt

Procedure:

The evening before the bake day dissolve your sourdough culture in water, add the flours and salt, mix with a fork to get a ‘grainy’ dough. Cover with plastic and leave to rise until morning.

The next day proceed with the dough: invert the dough on a floured surface and form a rectangle, folding it from sides to the center so that each fold overlaps the other. Repeat the folds, shape into a boule and then place it in a floured basket (I use a floured glass bowl, also flouring the dough well) seam side down, cover and leave to rise for 2 hours.

Invert the dough into a pan lined with parchment paper and make two slashes across the top. Bake in the oven preheated to 200°C for at least 30 minutes until the bread is ready.

PANE DI AVENA A LIEVITAZIONE NATURALE from lepadellefanfracasso.blogspot.com

Remarks: I think this bread needs more salt, cause a pinch just doesn’t make a difference. Probably it would be better to add about a teaspoon of salt after the overnight rise.

Result: Very crumbly and very oaty! Something to chew on for the breakfast – will substitute a bowlful of hot oatmeal! This bread has the most of the oatmeal flavour and texture out of the three recipes I’m sharing with you.

Crunchy Seed Braid from www.ashaggydoughstory.com

Our next recipe (in the chronological order as I baked it) for oat-lovers is although an yeast one will actually require more effort from your side cause it has all the braiding and the ‘seeding’ to it. So here’s an American oatmeal bread recipe:

Crunchy Seed Braid from www.ashaggydoughstory.com

Crunchy Seed Braid adapted from www.ashaggydoughstory.com (originally adapted from King Arthur Flour) will make a super seed-loaded braid. Go to the link to see the entire recipes and all the helpful remarks (or go straight to the source recipe).

My changes: No surprise that I decided to load this bread up even more with the grains and bran, adding more wholewheat flour and using 4-grain cereal (rye, oats, wheat and barley flakes) instead of grains blend. And the dry milk one buys here in Russia is definitely far from being nonfat… I left my dough rising for more than the indicated 90 minutes.

Crunchy Seed Braid from www.ashaggydoughstory.com

Remarks: I made a looooong braid but as the author suggests you can make a shorter and probably softer version. I did not use the damp towel method, but instead immersed the dough ropes in the water (as I saw done at the Greek bakery) and then sprinkled seeds on top.  Whatever method you use, this bread will in any case have lots of seeds inside!

Crunchy Seed Braid from www.ashaggydoughstory.com

Result: Seed-overload 🙂 A bit too dry – which is a natural consequence of so many seeds, of course. The oats do not have a very particular effect on this bread but add to the overall crunchiness. Very good breakfast option!

Crunchy Seed Braid from www.ashaggydoughstory.com

And finally the Scottish oatmeal bread recipe. There’s Irish Soda bread and there’s at least two Scottish recipes that I know which ask for oatmeal – those thin oatmeal cookies and these super-quick bread rolls:

Baps – Scottish Morning Rolls from www.lavenderandlovage.com

Baps, Scottish Morning Rolls adapted from www.lavenderandlovage.com will make the most flavourful buns you ever take out of your oven! Although I tweaked them up a bit, this is yet another recipe for the oatmeal fans. Visit the original website to see the entire recipe.

My changes: As I was lazy enough to ground more oatmeal, I used the already grounded barley flakes + oat bran. I did not use milk, instead recycled water from cooking millet.

Baps – Scottish Morning Rolls from www.lavenderandlovage.com

Remarks: You will get a whole tray of buns but as they are pretty small and what’s more important pretty tasty, you might consider doubling the recipe. I’m also quite sure this dough will work well as a more healthy pizza dough or pie dough. When the dough rises it might look a bit too ‘grainy’ but once baked and sliced, the rolls are super-soft, so I guess the same will apply if you use the dough for pizza or pies.

Baps – Scottish Morning Rolls from www.lavenderandlovage.com

Result: These baps are super flavourful when they are just out of the oven, filling your kitchen with a bakery-like atmosphere. And with all that they are also super easy and fast! It’s thus quite fair to call them morning rolls as you might make them before breakfast (well, in theory 🙂 The oat texture is not very distinct but these rolls are no doubt more ‘interesting’ texture-wise than their all-purpose flour counterparts.

Baps – Scottish Morning Rolls from www.lavenderandlovage.com

Adding this post to my Sourdough, Yeast bread and Country-specific recipe collections.

G.

bread · Italian recipe · sourdough

Addictive Grissini and Sourdough Bread Twists

Grissini (Thin Bread Sticks) from www.wildyeastblog.com

Hungry for some breadsticks? Here are two recipes which will give you a mountain – not kidding! – of truly addictive breadsticks: an easier chewy Italian recipe and a soft chewy but more time-consuming sourdough one. Be ready for both mountains to disappear very fast leaving nothing but some breadcrumbs…

Grissini (Thin Bread Sticks) from www.wildyeastblog.com

A year ago – Pear Clafoutis, Jelly Muffins and Scandinavian Twists

Two years ago – Colours of Summer

Three years ago – Short Post on Short Crusty Baguettes

Grissini or Thin Bread Sticks from Italy adapted from www.wildyeastblog.com will make a lot of crunchy salty breadsticks. I made twice recipe twice as it turned out – each time it was a 100% success! Visit the link above to get the entire recipe.

My changes: As for the topping, I sprinkled some of the breadsticks with pepper and some with the authentic herbes de Provence.

Grissini (Thin Bread Sticks) from www.wildyeastblog.com

Remarks: The procedure might seem a bit lengthy due to the extended rising time and several batches to bake but then it doesn’t require your immediate participation 🙂 Moreover these breadsticks are baking really fast, mine were ready in just about 20 minutes! When you are choosing the topping, make sure it is not “heavy” or just big – most of herbes de Provence just fell off although I mixed them into the olive oil. The grissini will be too thin for seeds either.

Result: Very addictive crunchy-crusty super-long breadsticks. The thinner you make them, the better, mmmm. Don’t be mislead by the photos – you will get really a mountain of them. It’s just that my camera battery died before I baked them all. And when I came back home some days ago, all that was left is pictured in the second photo…

Sourdough Bread Twists from www.karenskitchenstories.com

The second breadstick recipe requires sourdough starter. I actually chose it cause my starter needed feeding while I had not much time to bake a proper sourdough bread. And here was this recipe which, although asking for a 6 hour rise, did not demand more than a usual breadstick recipe later on – and so I managed to bake it in one day. By the way, if you’re not ready to bake immediately, you can refrigerate the levain up to 24 hours which is handy.

Sourdough Bread Twists from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Sourdough Bread Twists adapted from www.karenskitchenstories.com will make super-long soft and chewy breadsticks with all those seeds actually NOT falling off 🙂 The recipe with all the instructions can be found at the link above.

My changes: I used my rye sourdough starter which I fed with all purpose flour (this added some color and an extra hint of rye flavour to the dough) and rye flour instead of pumpernickel flour. I added the required active dry yeast, although I am quite confident with the rising power of my sourdough alone. I was not sure about throwing in the entire 2 tablespoons of salt, so I used less and also skipped the extra salt for sprinkling. But after tasting the breadsticks I can say that they could have benefited from more salt. I didn’t brush the breadsticks once baked with oil either.

Sourdough Bread Twists from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Remarks: These breadsticks got a little bit tricky cause the combined power of sourdough and yeast made them all puffy. My breadsticks thus were really long (I had to bake them in two batches) and rather thick. They also were on the verge of falling from the baking sheet but I managed to stuff them into the oven 🙂 My first batch was all soft and chewy while the second one was crustier.

Sourdough Bread Twists from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Result: The combination of the tangy sourdough flavour and the chewiness of the seeds is something you don’t get from grissini. These are more on the soft side, though the thinner you make these, the crunchier they’ll get. Add salt according to your taste but be careful – these twists are also addictive and you can end up eating them all…

Adding these to my Yeast Bread, Sourdough and Country-specific recipe collections. You can also check out this extra-salty breadstick recipe.

G.

bread

Stirato or Italian Baguettes

Stirato from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Seems like it’s Italian bread again! This one is the best if you are dreaming of a super-soft and moist but crusty white bread. It’s more ciabatta- rather than baguette-likу, without the shape of the former and the dryish side of the latter. Although Stirato is a sort of artisan recipe, it’s a no knead bread, so don’t worry – just flour, water, yeast and salt!

Stirato from www.karenskitchenstories.com

I think I was equally fascinating by its crust and crumb!

Stirato from www.karenskitchenstories.com

A year ago – 2,800 km of Russia Seen from Above

Two years ago – What a Peach! Sunny Cake and a Zesty Cranberry Cake

Three years ago – Super Soft and Crunchy Bloomer Bread and Double Citrusy Heaven

Stirato or Italian Baguettes adapted from www.karenskitchenstories.com will make a sort of Ciabatta white bread rather than baguettes, very soft and crusty, with those funny air pockets inside.

My changes: I left the dough to rest for 12 hours and I did not stretch it too far before baking, so my loaves got thicker. I used steam instead of covering the loaves in the oven. And that’s it! No whole-wheat flour added : )

Stirato from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Remarks: Although this recipe demands and overnight rest for the dough, it is actually a very simple recipe – and also very useful if you want to make fresh artisan bread in the morning and impress your family! Just wake up a bit earlier than usual 🙂

Stirato from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Result: Two loaves of crusty bread with super-white super-soft crumb – and all this with a very easy recipe! I tried it with hard cheese and some fresh veggies for breakfast. And although there are air pockets in the crumb, it’s quite a ‘meaty’ bite that you’ll get!

Stirato from www.karenskitchenstories.com

I came back home to bake more bread – and found not a crumb left from the two rather biggish loaves…

Non-Italian recipes coming soon 🙂

Adding this to my Italian recipe collection and yeast bread collection.

G.