venerdì 8 aprile 2011

Tsoureki (Eastern Bread)

When I found out the blog of Dada Le Ricette dell'Amore Vero was love at first sight! a newly created blog (like mine) but accurate and full of ancient charming details; beacuse each of us has memories tied to the flavours and scents of the kitchen of a grandmother or an aunt, that return suddenly to the mind and bring us uncionsciously to the places of the past.  It's almost a physicoal sensation, unconscious but very real, a journay that without artifice and even through the world's oldest magic, that of the kitchen, takes us in childhood almost faster than a music or a melody that in itself also have the same power of a beloved taste or smell.
One out of every scene for me is when the cynic food critic in Ratatouille comes in contact with the first bite of ratatouille cooked by the mouse, he immediately found himself child at his mother's door, who was cooking for him this recipe; his facial features become relaxed, his eyes become as sweet as those of a child, he is in fact little again, because that flavor is the taste of his mother, of true love. Love returns in Dada's blog, and to take part in her contest "What do I bake today?" I immediately thought what to prepare for her! She writes she loves "all things baked in the oven the scent that spreads all over the house, and a crunchy crust on the surface"...but of course! for me there is nothing that can match the homemade bread, as for the sensations, the smell, the ancient meaning that brings in itself, the bread is the base, the bread is given with love, and it is what we seek when we are hungry! Any dish you prepare for a dinner even a sumptuous cake will never be comparable to the hot bread on the table; the wonder, the smiles on the faces of the guests ... smiles and faces of children! We all become back children in front of a slice of hot bread! Like the little mouse chose a simple recipe, vegetables with tomatos, so I choose the bread because I am increasingly convinced that the simple recipes are the one most difficult to do workmanlike!
Here's the recipe. (in the original greek-orthodox recipe there are also 100g sugar I have removed.)

  • 1kg flour 0
  • 4,5 dl milk
  • 5g yeast
  • 120g soften butter
  • 2 untreated oranges
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 spoon roasted and ground pistachios (or sesame seeds)
  • oil

1. The night before prepare a little dough with 300g flour, 150 g of water and 2/3 grams of yeast. (I use Montersino's method, yes even for the bread!) Mix everything very well, make a ball and leave apart in an oiled bowl covered with a towel, locked in the cupboard.

2. The next day pour 700g flour in a fountain, crumble 2/3 g of yeast, salt, sugar and warm milk, mix everthing by hand. Add the grated orange rind and softened butter and then mix the little dough. Make a smooth paste and transfer it in an oiled bowl cover with plastic wrap for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 230°
3. Devide the dough into 12 equal parts, make with it 12 sticks long about 35 cm. each. Use 3 at a time to make strings. Join the end, sprinkle with pistachios or sesame seeds (whichever you prefer) and let rise for 10 minutes. 
4. Bake for 50 minutes or until they are golden.

in the oven

delicious smell............................

Serves 6/8 persons.

Advice: if you cannot prepare the little dough the day before or you simply forget, just add 50 g of yeast to the recipe.

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