Sunday, 3 February 2013

Itching for Italy part 2

Longing for Italy still hasn't subsidised. I particularly miss that Roman speciality of porchetta, herb-stuffed pork loin. So fatty, so delicious! Another thing I find myself pining for is Trastevere. 

Trastevere is part of Roma that with its narrow cobble-stone streets is reminiscent of the picturesque charm of the villages in Southern Sweden.   It also played host to a lengthy lunch me and the Gentleman had in a small family-run restaurant without a care in the world. 

At some point the family closed the restaurant and sat down for their own lunch, but every now and then one of them came over to make sure our Limoncello glasses stayed topped up.

Limoncello is ssomething so delightful. It's like sun in a bottle. But it is also one of those things that one can only have in Italian sun- in the hale storms of Helsinki it would just feel... wrong.

My, my we're looking relaxed. I wonder how many Limoncellos that took...

Since jetting off to the eternal city is not possible, I got cracking with dough. And a couple of hours later I had Italy on my plate. Almost...

Grissinis are a Turinese treat  that have since trimphantly taken over Italian restaurants everywhere. The ones I made today were the plain kind, but if you want, you could add a tablespoon  of chopped rosemary. Or go for bagel- style and add crunchy, roasted onion flakes. Caraway seeds would add a nice touch, too.

In Turin they sprinkle some semolina on top of these when rolling. If you want grissini siciliani, sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the grissinis before baking. For grissini al papavero, sprinkle them with some poppy seeds. 

makes 24 

2 dl warm water
2 tsp dry yeast
1 tbsp syrup or honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
4 dl all purpose flour

for brushing: 1 egg ja 1 tbsp oil

Mix yeast with water. Add syrup and let sit for appr. 5 minutes. Then add oil and 1 dl of flour. Mix and add salt and the remaining flour. Work into a smooth, elastic dough. Pour excess flour out of the bowl, oil it lightly and leave the dough to rise.

Let the dough rise until doubled in size in a covered bowl, in a warm and draft-free place. Divide the dough in 4 and then each one of those into 6. Roll one tray at a time so the bread sticks won't rise too much- they're supposed to be crunchy.

Whisk the egg and mix with oil. Brush the bread sticks with the mixture and, if you want, add some fleur de sel, chopped rosemary, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

Bake in 200° for 15- 20 minutes util golden brown and crisp.Let cool on a rack.

Yes- animals were hurt for the shooting of this picture.

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