Homebaker’s Cookbook: Milanesini Biscuits / Il Ricettario di Homebaker: i Milanesini

The recipe for today’s Homebaker’s Cookbook is a classic swiss Christmas cookie. For those who ignore it every self-respecting Swiss housewife prizes herself for the quantity and quality of biscuits baked preceding Christmas festivities. Tradition wants them to be given as gifts, presented in fancy packs. Here I present you with milanesini. I admit, in 37 years of life I had never tried to make this recipe at home, probably because it is not part of my tradition (at our place during Christmas time we bake one and only recipe: mincepies). So I’m not a biscuit expert, but thanks to homebaker’s 400 flour I managed to bake superlative milanesini! I discovered it relatively recently, or rather I knew it before but not being a biscuit virtuoso I had never tried it out, but the choice of flour is essential when baking biscuits. Farina 400 is the perfect flour for crumbly, crisp and light biscuits. Try it and you won’t bake biscuit without it… trust me!

Milanesini
x 2 baking trays

250 gr farina 400
120 gr butter,
100 gr sugar,
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
grated peel of half a lemon
1 pinch of salt

1 egg yolk diluted with a little water, to brush the biscuits

for lemon icing
40 g of powdered sugar
1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice

durum wheat semolina for rolling out the biscuits

All ingredients at the time of preparation must be at room temperature.
In a large bowl, process the butter and the sugar until soft and fluffy.
Add the lemon zest, egg and egg yolks.
Beat well with a whisk until you get a light mixture, then add the flour.
To mix, use a fork until all the flour is absorbed.
Press together the dough using your hands, shape into a ball and wrap in clingfilm.
Crush the ball with your hands to get a square and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least half an hour.
Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough to a thickness of 5 mm.
Cut out the biscuits and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Store the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before baking.
Meanwhile, turn the oven onto static mode at 175° C.
Brush the surface of the biscuits with egg yolks mixed with a dash of cold water.
To obtain a more intense yellow and a thicker crust, brush two or three times.
Bake the biscuits until golden brown biscuits, for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on a wire rack.

To glaze the cookies instead mix vigorously all ingredients for the icing, using a fork, until you have a smooth glaze.
Dunk cookies in the frosting while still warm and put them to rest on a grill.
Alternatively, you can spread the icing using the back of a teaspoon.

Il Ricettario di Homebaker: i milanesini

La ricetta del Ricettario di Homebaker di oggi è un classico nei sacchettini dei biscotti di Natale di ogni casalinga svizzera che si rispetti: i milanesini. Ammetto che in 37 anni di vita non avevo mai provato a fare questa ricetta a casa, vuoi perché non fa parte della mia tradizione (da noi a Natale si è sempre e solo fatto i mincepies). Insomma non sono una biscottara nata, ma grazie alla farina 400 di homebaker sono riuscita a sfornare dei milanesini superlativi! L’ho scoperto relativamente da poco, o meglio lo sapevo ma non essendo una virtuosa del biscotto non l’avevo mai provata, ma la scelta della farina è fondamentale quando si cuociono i biscotti. La farina 400 è la farina perfetta per avere dei biscotti friabili, croccanti e leggeri. Provatela e non riuscirete più a farne a meno…fidatevi!

Milanesini
x 2 teglie di biscotti

250 gr di farina 400 
120 gr di burro,
100 gr di zucchero,
1 uovo intero
2 tuorli
scorza di mezzo limone grattugiato
1 presa di sale

1 giallo d’uovo un poco diluito per spennellare i biscotti

per la ghiaccia al limone
40 g di zucchero a velo
1 ½ cucchiai di succo di limone

semola di grano duro rimacinata per lo spolvero

Tutti gli ingredienti al momento della preparazione devono essere a temperatura ambiente.
In una bacinella grande lavorate il burro e lo zucchero a pomata.
Aggiungete la scorza di limone, l’uovo e i tuorli.
Sbattete bene con una frusta fino ad ottenere un composto chiaro, dopodiché aggiungete la farina. Per amalgamare usate una forchetta finché tutta la farina sarà assorbita.
Compattate con le mani, formate una palla e avvolgetela in pellicola alimentare.
Schiacciate la palla con le mani per ottenere un quadrato appiattito e mettete nel frigorifero a riposare per almeno mezz’ora.
Infarinate leggermente la superficie di lavoro e tirate l’impasto ad uno spessore di 5 mm.
Ritagliate con gli stampini e appoggiate i biscotti sulla placca foderata con carta da forno.
Riponete la teglia per almeno 20 minuti prima di infornare.
Nel frattempo accendete il forno in modalità statica a 175° C.
Pennellate la superficie del biscotto con del rosso d’uovo mischiato con un goccio di acqua fredda.
Per ottenere un giallo più intenso e una crosta più spesso fate due o tre passate di tuorlo.
Infornate subito i biscotti e curate la cottura fino a doratura dei biscotti, circa 20 minuti.
Fuori dal forno fate raffreddare i biscotti su una gratella.

Per i biscotti ricoperti di ghiaccia al limone unite gli ingredienti in una ciotola e mescolateli energicamente con una forchetta fino ad ottenere una glassa liscia.
Tuffate i biscotti ancora caldi nella glassa e metteteli a risposare su una griglia.
In alternativa potete spalmare la glassa tirandola con il dorso di un cucchiaino.

Homebaker’s Cookbook: Yogurt bread/ Il Ricettario di Homebaker: Pane allo yogurt

pane yogurt 1

I too often get excited when going shopping fro groceries. Family packs are my thing…usually I stock up on crackers, lupins and one-kilo natural yoghurt jars. Usually the next weeks all sort of unexpected things happen and I find myself with a lot of ingredients coming close to the end of their shelf life. And get in a panic. This is more or less how this loaf, which I now propose for Homebaker’s Cookbook, was born. Fragrant, soft and long-lasting, it was a great discovery given by necessity and total randomness. The great thing is that you can forget about it and leave the dough to rest in the fridge for a few days, in fact your loaf will acquire more flavour!
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Homebaker’s Cookbook: Almond and Sesame Biscuits / Il Ricettario di Homebaker: Biscotti alle mandorle e sesamo

Some time ago I discovered reginelle palermitane, very simple but delicious biscuits. This recipe is simply inspired by the original biscuits, which I thought were the result of a mix between wheat flour and almonds an ingredient in fact missing in the original recipe, as found out after a fairly detailed study, nonetheless I decided to put in the mixture to make my own version for Homebaker’s Cookbook. I chose to use homebaker’s farina 400, a flour specific for biscuit baking. Since I started using it in my recipes for biscuits and crackers I keep a package in the pantry…the difference, compared to biscuits baked with all purpose flour, is tangible and all the baked goods resulting are definitely more crisp! These almond and sesame biscuits are not too sweet and are ideal for both breakfast and a coffee break.
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Homebaker’s Cookbook: 4 Seeds Crackers / Il Ricettario di Homebaker: Crackers ai 4 semi

 Crispy baked goods have always been an obsession of mine…during the past years I had to face countless disappointments with full trays of grissini and crackers that wouldn’t turn out as crispy as I would have liked them. Stubbornness pays off though, and finally with time I came up for the recipe for perfectly crispy crackers. Ideal for aperitifs or to nibble on during work breaks, especially needed when spending a whole day in front of the computer. A simple and reliable recipe, just top with fresh cheese, two lemon zest, sprinkle with freshly cut chives and you will have a stunning aperitif with zero effort! For today’s Homebaker’s Recipe Book I present you with my tasty 4 seed crackers recipe crackers. Follow me and discover our online shop!
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Homebaker’s Cookbook: Lemon and Vanilla Olive Oil Biscuits / Il Ricettario di Homebaker: Biscotti all’olio di oliva, limone e vaniglia

Once you crunch you can’t stop, don’t you agree with me? Usually I’m more of a crackers and grissini fan, but won’t say no to a crumbly sweet biscuit. And that’s what I propose for today’s Homebaker‘s Cookbook. What’s the secret to achieve such a result? Well with a calculated mixture of durum wheat semolina and cornstarch. In order to have healthier cookies I used olive oil instead of butter, so I suppose they will be lighter on your conscience as well as on your thighs compared to a common cookie! Flavouring is the most classic vanilla and lemon zest combo but I have no doubt that this recipe can be customized with the most disparate additions, from chopped walnuts, to chocolate chips, and spices like cinnamon, cardamom or saffron as well. I can’t wait to do other experiments myself…what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and bake these delicious biscuits, it’s easy peasy!
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Homebaker’s Cookbook: Cavatelli with broccoli and anchovies/ Il Ricettario di Homebaker: Cavatelli con broccoli e acciughe

I wanted to make orecchiette…and I came out with cavatelli! For today’s Homebaker‘s Cookbook recipe I studied a lot, watching several videos and discovering an inspiring woman…Nunzia! The problem is that despite my good manual skills that gesture that might seems so easy to do, dragging a dumpling of dough using the tip of a knife, proved to be very difficult and quite frustrating. So after the first ten orecchiette that believed themselves to be cavatelli, I gave in. But I intend to find a grandmother from Puglia willing to spend several hours with me to teach me all secrets that lay behind the famous pasta. I wonder if this site could be of any help (go and take a look, it is truly wonderful!). Ok, no more chatting…fasten your aprons!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Maroggia’s Mill Rye loaf / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pagnotta di segale del Mulino

Naming a Mill what’s the first thing that comes up to your mind? A loaf, of course! When thinking about home baking, the first image that pops into our mind is that of a beautifully leavened and fragrant bread. For Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I came up with this recipe for a tasty bread homemade, using the Mill’s rye flour. I sort of thought about it as a trademark loaf! This bread goes well with local products such as salamis and cheeses, but serves as a good alternative to cereals if you enjoy a healthy, homemade breakfast, spread with a generous layer of homemade jam or a good regional honey.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye Flour Pizza/ Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pizzette alla segale

 

Pizza, you name it…I am simply crazy about this dish! I actually think it is not by chance that my partner is 100% Neapolitan! But even before meeting him my passion for this iconic dish of the Neapolitan tradition fascinated me, and in the past 7 years I lost count of the pizzas I baked. Many of them were baked in my friend Reto’s wood fired oven, you can’t ask for more! But I realized it has been quite a while ‘since I posted a pizza dough recipe, I had to go as far as my licorice and beetroot pizza which I had baked for the MTChallenge. A gap to be filled with a new dough for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook, made Mulino di Maroggia’s rye flour. A very tasty and versatile flour which I love particularly. I baked the pizzas blind to be garnished as one likes the best, even with cold ingredient as we are in the full bloom of summer and not anyone is in for eating an oven hot pizza!

And with this post I wish you a wonderful summertime, see you in September!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Semolina cheesecake/ Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Cheesecake al semolino

 

Here we are with a new recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As some of you might know the past year I often travelled to one of the most beautiful cities in Italy: Naples. Falling in love with a proud Neapolitan I did not miss out on the opportunity to visit the city, admiring its culture, beauty but especially enjoying its gastronomic specialties. Specialties of which time by time I have written down the names, usually using my cellphone transferring all manually on post-its when back in Chiasso. Too often these notes are then forgotten, buried by piles of books that gradually accumulate while I research for other recipes during my work of testing and programming for the baking workshops I teach at Maroggia’s Mill. Usually I and end up finding the precious notes while I clear up the mess, which I must admit happens quite infrequently, peeking out from a notebook inviting me with their phosphorescent colors to undertake a new challenge in the kitchen. So it happened with the migliaccio, a typical dessert of the Campania tradition. Hold on, before unleashing horrified comments and anathemas. This recipe has nothing to do with the traditional recipe, if not as an inspiration for this cake that I renamed semolina cheesecake. Why a cheesecake? Well this cake has a crust and the filling as the traditional dessert too requires ricotta, which makes it in itself a sweet cheesecake. Did I convince you? Well I hope so. First of all I decided to use a very fine soft wheat semolina flour, which is great for making gnocchi alla romana too, and compared to the original recipes found online I added a much lower amount of sugar. The dough, made with 00 flour, is also slightly sweetened so if you want you can add ten grams of sugar if you prefer sweeter flavors. Raisins can be soaked in rum to give the sweet an edge and nothing prevents you from adding other ingredients in the semolina filling, may it be candied fruit, nuts, chocolate or fruit it’s up to your preferences. The dessert is fresh and light and if you want to make a simpler version you can skip on lining the cake tin with pastry, but remember to grease well the mold and sprinkle it with plenty of semolina!

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ZZAFF!: Cavollatt montato

 

For the last episode of this season of ZZAFF! I chose a simple but very scrumptious recipe. The base consists in cavollatt, an egg cream that was once consumed as an energy drink because of the amount of sugar and fat contained in it. The cream, alternated with ladyfinger biscuits, results in an excellent dessert that is perfect for the summer season. Cavollatt montato has to rest in the refrigerator and is to be eaten cold.
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