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.

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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Kamut and Pear Crumble / Il ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Crumble di kamut alle pere

 

A classical British dessert for today’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook recipe. I used a flour available at Maroggia’s Mill which is not directly produced by them. I was intrigued since I used Kamut flour very seldom. I took a look online and found out that Kamut flour is more easily digestible, has a lower glycemic index and is very rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals compared to wheat flour. Seen all these qualities why not use it to bake a sweet? The crumble turned out beautifully, soft and heavenly melting in the mouth when warm, crunchy when eaten cold. The basic recipe for the crumble can be used with any kind of seasonal fruit, spices and even chocolate chips!

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ZZAFF!: Risotto con la Luganega

This month recipe for ZZAFF! is a classic of Ticino cuisine. Luganega or luganighetta is a sausage made with pork, pepper and spices, which is usually grilled in summer and country festivals. I remember when I was a child at the Sassello Fair in Obino, the village where I grew up, they served luganighette rolled on wooden sticks which looked like a snail. This sausage is usually associated with carnival and is appreciated with the classic risotto, a dish formerly reserved for holidays.

Here you can listen the program, every first Sunday of the month:
At 20 pm Rendez-vous on http://www.radiogwen.ch to hear Vostok’s podcasts in Italian!
At 21 Rendez-vous on http://www.radiovostok.ch to hear Gwen’s podcasts in French!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Semlor / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Semlor

The carnival is almost over, but in Ticino opportunities to celebrate do not lack. For this post for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I propose a typical Shrove Tuesday recipe, from Sweden. No one will notice, we are still having fun after all aren’t we? In fact even in Sweden these soft rolls, flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and cream, have become the national breakfast cake and snack and are sold in bakeries all over the country. And there’s no wondering why, they are simply irresistible!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye flour, Thymian and Orange Cake / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Cake alla farina di segale, timo e arancia

Orange is one of the most versatile fruits that we can find in the kitchen. Whether it is sliced, juiced or peeled, orange is found in countless recipes. Both sweet and savoury. Habit, at least for what concerns me, often leads to combine it with the same ingredients, especially when it comes to sweets and cakes. Cinnamon and dark chocolate, a classics. In this recipe I developed for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I decided to combine orange with an aromatic herb that I love very much, thyme. The result is fresh and very fragrant. Especially given the contrast with the more rustic flavour of Maroggia’s Mill rye flour. A true discovery! This cake is excellent with a good cup of tea, I’m sure it will bring a bit of sun in these chilly days. Are you ready? Then roll up your sleeves!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Roscòn de Reyes / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Roscòn de Reyes

Today for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook a festive recipe. For once not a Christmas one but one dedicated to Epiphany instead, so you still have plenty of time to study it and find the time to bake it. For once I decided to cross cultural boundaries, flying to Spain. Roscón de Reyes is a doughnut shaped bread, made with a dough similar to panettone, which is decorated with candied fruit. This bread is prepared on the occasion of the coming of the Three Kings, on January 6th. In short, the Iberian version of the Swiss Three King Cake Bread! The dough I created is not the simplest to handle. For those who are not familiar with very rich and soft doughs I would recommend using a dough mixer. For reasons balance in the photographs but also to redistribute the Roscon to my various guinea pigs I decided to make mini portions, I think that for a larger donut 20 minutes of further baking lowering to 160 ° C will be surely necessary to bake the bread thoroughly. Try it…I bet you won’t find a softer dough!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Bread Tin Brioche / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Brioche in cassetta

Shall those who do not like to have breakfast with a sweet and pillowy soft bread raise their hands. Well, as expected…no one! For some getting up in the morning is really hard, but I swear this brioche bread I baked for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook will make your day perfect at the first bite. Maroggia’s Mill AP white flour lends itself perfectly to bake this grumpiness-proof bread. You don’t believe me? Well, there’s nothing left for you but try!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye Flour and Ginger Biscuits / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti alla farina di segale e zenzero

This is not the first time that I talk about Maroggia’s Mill rye flour which is sold by Migros Ticino among the Nostrani selection. I used it before to cook pillowy soft blinis and a spiced Babka. An aromatic flour which can be used in sweet preparations (but I will soon develop recipes for pasta and savoury bread). This time around I decided to bake biscuits which are the perfect accompaniment for a moment of pause and chatter while sipping a damn good coffee.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye Beer Burger Buns / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Burger Buns alla birra di segale

Did you know that Maroggia’s Mill sells Beer too?? Oh yes, we are talking about la birra del mugnaio (miller’s beer) and for this recipe for Maroggia Mill’s Cookbook I thought of using this product to invent beer burgers buns! These sandwiches have a delicious flavour of beer that goes well with the finest flavours of meat and all the ingredients that make a good hamburger. Add some proper cheese, fresh tomato and onion and I assure you…you will love them! Burger must be accompanied by a good beer, of course! These sandwiches are so soft I can’t find the words to describe them and in my opinion they are very well suited for breakfast too if you like intense aromatic notes! Have you turned the grill on?
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