The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside--Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Who can resist bruschetta rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, almond-studded biscotti dipped in coffee or wine, and, of course, a thin-crusted pizza with fresh, sweet tomatoes and tangy mozzarella? These Italian classics that Americans know and love are just the beginning; there are a wealth of other equally delicious breads and sweets waiting to be discovered.
In this groundbreaking classic—now thoroughly updated for today’s modern kitchen—Carol Field introduces artisanal doughs and techniques used by generations of Italian bakers. Every city and hill town has its own unique baking traditions, and Field spent more than two years traversing Italy to capture the regional and local specialties, adapting them through rigorous testing in her own kitchen.
Field’s authentic recipes are a revelation for anyone seeking the true Italian experience. Here’s a chance to make golden Altamura bread from Puglia, chewy porous loaves from Como, rosemary bread sprinkled with coarse sea salt, dark ryes from the north, simple breads studded with toasted walnuts, succulent fig bread, and Sicilian loaves topped with sesame seeds.
The Italian Baker is the only comprehensive book, in English or Italian, to cover the entire range of Italian baking, from breadsticks and cornetti to focaccia, tarts, cakes, and pastries. There is even a chapter on using leftover bread—with recipes ranging from hearty Tuscan bread soup to a cinnamon and lemon-scented bread pudding.
Winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for best baking book, The Italian Baker was also named to the James Beard Baker’s Dozen list of thirteen indispensable baking books of all time. It has inspired countless professionals and home cooks alike. This latest edition, updated for a new generation of home bakers, has added four-color photography throughout, plus new recipes, ingredients and equipment sections, source guides, and weights. One of the most revered baking books of all time, The Italian Baker is a landmark work that continues to be a must for every serious baker.
But the spice merchants profited mightily: spices were so important to Venice that an entire stock market based on their value was set up on the Rialto. Speculation gave pepper and cinnamon a value way beyond what they were worth, and all kinds of secret deals based on fluctuating prices were made until the bubble of this craze for kitchen spices inevitably burst, or at least leaked and then declined dramatically once Vasco da Gama broke the Venetian monopoly. Cinnamon and ginger ceased to be such great rarities.
2 oz / 5 g) active dry yeast 1 tablespoon (0. 5 oz / 13 g) sugar ½ cup (4. 2 oz / 120 g) warm milk 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon (4. 7 oz / 135 g) unbleached all-purpose flour Stir the yeast and sugar into the milk in a large mixing or mixer bowl; let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and whisk vigorously to make a thick batter. Cover and let stand until doubled, less than 1 hour. DOUGH 2 large eggs 1 tablespoon (0. 5 oz / 15 g) rum 1 cup (8. 5 oz / 244 g) milk, at room temperature (cold if using a processor) ¼ cup (2 oz / 55 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature (cold if using a processor) 2⅔ cups (13.
5 oz / 100 g) diced pancetta ½ cup (2 oz / 60 g) diced salami 1 small yellow onion (about 4 oz / 115 g), minced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 large eggs, 1 of them separated 1 tablespoon (0. 1 oz / 2. 5 g) chopped fresh parsley Grated zest of 1 lemon Freshly grated nutmeg Salt and freshly ground pepper ½ cup (2. 5 oz / 65 g) unbleached all-purpose flour 6 to 7 cups (49 to 60 oz / 1. 4 to 1. 6 kg) homemade chicken broth Cut the bread into rough 1-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour the milk over the bread.
If it fits conveniently in the refrigerator, for slowing down the action of the yeast when necessary, so much the better. SURFACE ON WHICH TO KNEAD I love my butcher-block table, which is 24 by 30 inches, big enough to hold a scale and basic tools, but any wooden or Formica surface will do handsomely as long as it is at least 2 feet by 2 feet and is high enough for you to work comfortably with your palms extended and your back straight. Stooping or stretching will make it hard to knead correctly and can give you a backache—hardly desirable, since one of the reasons for baking is pleasure in the process as well as in the wonderful loaves that ultimately result.
Makes 2 large oval loaves 4 to 6 dried porcini mushrooms 1¾ cups (14. 7 oz / 420 g) warm water 3 cups (8 oz / 225 g) sliced fresh mushrooms 1 teaspoon (0. 2 oz / 5 g) minced garlic 1 to 2 tablespoons (0. 5 to 1 oz / 15 to 30 g) olive oil 1¼ teaspoons (0. 1 oz / 3. 5 g) active dry yeast 3¾ cups (17. 5 oz / 500 g) unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon (0. 5 oz / 15 g) salt Cornmeal Soak the porcini in the warm water for at least 1 hour, then drain, reserving the liquid. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth two or three times and measure out 1½ cups.