Friday, July 01, 2016

Teff bread with hemp seeds.

If you have tried to do the gluten-free sourdough following my instructions, now you could also try to make this recipe that requires its use.
It is a recipe that I developed after several tests, and that gave me a very satisfactory result, for the structure and for the taste of bread obtained. 

I thought my recipe for the Teff bread, enriched with hemp seed, which combine very well with teff flour, and which are known to be so healthy

The result will be equally good also replacing hemp seeds with other seeds (sunflower, chia, teff, sesame, flax), or with chopped hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios. Or for those who prefer, without seeds

It is a recipe with indirect dough and is divided into two phases. The first includes the creation of a preferment with gluten-free sourdough. The second consists in making the final dough with the addition of preferment previously obtained.

So if you are passionate like me to flavor of teff and want to try this novelty, you just need to follow the recipe and kneading.


Teff flour kg 0,300
Gluten free sourdough kg 0,060
Lukewarme water kg 0,290 
Final dough:
Teff flour kg 0,500
Preferment kg 0,650
Lukewarm water kg 0,470 
Milled chia seeds kg 0,025
Psyllium husks powder kg 0,025
Extra virgin olive oil kg 0,030
Honey/malt syrup of rice or corn kg 0,004
Salt kg 0,006
Hemp seeds to taste

How to procede:

  •  Preferment -  Mix the gluten free sourdough 10 to 12 hours before the final dough, and leave to ferment in an air-tight, food-grade container. Desired dough temperature is 30°C.

  •  Final dough - Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix. Proceed until  a smooth, homogenous dough is achieved. When mixed correctly, the dough have a soft, mousse-like texture.
    Desired dough temperature is 30°C. 
  • Bulk fermentation 30/40 minutes (depending on room temperature)
  • After this fase of bulk fermentation proceed dividing in equal parts and shaping. Roll the top of loaves in hemp seeds and let them rise for 2/3 hours (depending on room temperature).
  • Once risen, put the loaves in preheated oven with steam at +220°C for 10/15 minutes (depending on size of each loaf) then continue for other 15/20 minutes at +180°C. Could be useful to complete the cooking with door ajar for another 10 minutes.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Gluten free dough and bread.

I usually like to enjoy myself kneading flours of cereals that are called "ancient grains". Namely those cereal flours, einkorn, durum and common wheat as others, who have not been altered and have remained largely the same since their first appearance in fields. They are all cereal flours that contain gluten but often less than cereals called "modern", those currently in use that were selected during the evolution of agriculture.
However, among the flour I have already mentioned on this blog, there are some naturally gluten free. they are teff (Eragrostis tef), buckwheat, quinoa and corn, to name a few.
I started adding some of these flour in the dough made with flour containing gluten, in order to give to bread a particular flavor  and coloring.
Then, as my curiosity was not completely satisfied, I tried to make a bread 100% with gluten-free flours.
In the beginning I was satisfied to get some hardtack and crackers, then seeing that some experiments with my sourdough gluten free QUEEQEG began to give encouraging results, I decided to try to knead a leavened bread.
I admit that before reaching the current results I have collected a number of partial and total failures, but I did not give up. I finally found the right formula to achieve soft, tasty and well-leavened loaves.

4 cereals (teff, buckwheat, corn and quinoa) gluten free buns with hemp seeds.
The several tests I did, were important to the selection of the ingredients that I used in conbination with flour. As many know, in gluten free leavened dough, very often are used some "gum" to replace gluten.
I initially tried with xanthan, then with the guar gum. These two products have not fully satisfied me for several reasons. So I looked for an alternative to them.
After collecting a bit of information I decided to try flour of psyllium husks. Which immediately made me reach a quite satisfactory result. Later I combined the flour of psyllium husks with ground chia seeds. Improving the result further. The basic recipe I use to prepare buns with gluten-free flour provides an indirect dough, which requires the use of a preferment.
Glutenfree preferment after 8/10 hours
Soon on this blog some recipes.  
Stay tuned!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The bread of the king!

On summer evenings, when as a child I was chasing fireflies in the attempt to catch at least a couple.
I was used to sing a doggerel. More or less it was beginning thus: "Firefly, firefly, comes to me I will give you the bread of the king ........"
How it continues I do not remember but, then as now, the desire to know how was this bread of the kingprompted me to imagine and then to try to achieve what, according to my personal taste, could be a bread worthy of kings, and why not, able to attract the fireflies.
I wanted to make a rich but simple bread, without too much sought-after ingredients, tasty and healthy at the same time.

After a few baking tries, I came to the conclusion that this is my
Bread of the king!

For dough starter

Wheat flour tipo "0" kg 0,229
fermented stiff starter kg 0,034
water kg 0,137
Final dough 

Flour mix (50% whole wheat
+40% einkorn+10% sifted rye) kg 1,000
Water kg 0,180
Starter kg 0,400
Apple puree kg 0,670
Oat flakes kg 0,150
Almond flour kg 0,150
Roasted hazelnuts / Nuts kg 0,200
Extra virgin olive oil kg 0,056
Barley malt kg 0,008
Salt kg 0,020

  1. 12/14 hours before proceeding with the preparation of the dough prepare the starter by mixing water, flour and yeast previously refreshed.
  2. Let stand the prefermento in an airtight container for about 12/14 hours. Then proceed preparing the weighed ingredients. In a fairly large bowl, place the flour, make a fountain and add the starter, malt, water and start to stir. Once the water is fully absorbed, stirring constantly, add the apple puree, then the almond flour, oat flakes, oil and finally the salt. Continue to knead for about 6/7 min., Until the dough is sufficiently elastic, soft and smooth.
  3. Now add the toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, knead gently for about 2 more minutes and once given back softness and elasticity to the dough, store it in the bowl lightly oiled to ferment for about 50/60 minutes. If necessary, make a pair of folds cycles, waiting 15/20 minutes between one and the other.
  4. Proceed with portioning. With this dough you can do both buns and loaves without problems. After deciding on the weight of the portions make a first step of shaping without stressing too much  the dough. Let stand the obtained portions for about 15 minutes and then make  final shaping. In this phase not to be too energetic, and let the loaves or buns quite soft.
  5. Then pass the top of the dough shaped before on a towel sufficiently moist, then in the oat flakes you've previously distributed on a tray or on a dish. Will be sufficient place the loaves / buns on the flakes to make it stick the sufficient quantity.
  6. Let rise for about 3 hours (depending on room temperature) in proofing baskets or on a floured cloth, wait until they have almost doubled in volume. Bake in preheated oven at about +260 °C with steam. The cooking time for 2 loaves of about ½ kilo is of about 15 minutes at +260 °C with steam, then lower to +200 °C, and continue cooking without steam for another 25 minutes. Then finish the cooking for 10 minutes with the oven door ajar, in order to facilitate the correct drying of the loaves.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

My bags of flour.

If you'll look into my bag of flour you'll find a Iot of colours and aromas. But surely you'll not find the dazzling white of the flour too "refined" to my liking. Some of my flours will can certainly deceive and appear white. Be wary, looking closely you will see several dots and small pieces of fiber. Maybe it was the skill of the miller to make so thin these whole grain flours.
Just like that, after swetching the yeast to sourdough, I decided to try some stone ground flour. Initially I focused on some common wheat flour for easier bread-making , type 1 and type 2. Then with increasing my interest in flour markedly rustic and original, I switched to whole grains flours.

So little by little I've steered clear of flours too refined or too rich in gluten.
Taking this path I found some aspects of the bread and doughs overall, I had not considered previously. Leading me to consider what I wanted to accomplish in the future with my doughs.
I was asked several times because the loaves coming out  from my oven are not  super-soft  and hyper-leavened, so beautiful as those of some posts of the most famous bloggers among the people of the irreducible fans of sourdough. 
Let me be clear, maybe in the beginning I also aspired to results of this kind. But then I realized that hyper-leavened loaves with holes in the crumb as big as those of cannelloni did not satisfy me. They were not what I preferred to chew on. I felt the need to get more substance and taste. 
In the end, after trying a few dozen mixtures. Consisting of two, three and sometimes even five different flours. I knew I had to focus my work on whole grain flours or slightly sifted flours, as well as on those of some cereals remarkably peculiar.
So the three main criteria by which I select the flours I use are:
  •      Stone grinding.

  •      Degree of sifting as close as possible to that of the wheat flour.

  •      Remarkable organoleptic properties of cereals.

So I started looking for a different kind of flours, less refined more genuine, not necessarily organic, but with a good story to tell.

Through this research, I met farmers, millers, traders, professional bakers and even enthusiasts like me, and many others I will have yet to meet.
Because the road is long and challenging, and I am not yet tired of learning new things. If you like, join me, also just ideally and maybe help me to tell the stories of your favorite flours by contacting me through this blog.

Monday, April 06, 2015


Mafalde are a typical bread of Sicily made with durum wheat flour. 
Many years ago, when I made them in a baking class, this kind of bread had a big success.
To me, for some reasons I can't explain truly, they are the Italian "brezel" to propose with finger food or some other food eated during a quick lunch or dinner with friends, with a good artisanal beer or a glass of wine.
Anyway, if interested to try baking them, here there is the recipe.

Flour (50% Tumminia 50% Madonita) (*) 1,000 kg
Water 0,740 kg
Sourdough (solid 50% hydration) 0,330 kg
Extra virgin olive oil 0,070 kg
Salt 0,020 kg
Malt 0,015 kg
Sesame seeds (as needed)
(*) Tumminia is an ancient durum wheat from Sicily, Madonita is still ancient and original from Sicily but is normal wheat. The two I use are both whole grain, stoneground and organic.

Refresh sourdough as usual, wait till it double its volume, than melt it in water and malt. (save a 10% of water to add in dough later with salt)
When sourdough malt and water are mixed, add flour and mix again till they are completely mixed. Add extra virgin olive oil continuing mixing, than add salt and the remaining water.
Knead for 5/8 minutes till the bulk is smooth and elastic.
Then let it rest for about 45 minutes in a greased bowl (grease it with extra virgin olive oil).
Divide the knead in some peaces of the weight needed. I usually make portions of 100/125 g.
Fold, making some balls with each portion of knead and let them rest for other 30/45 minutes, then shape proceeding as following:
Make a stick of 30/40 cm of length, 1-2 cm of diameter and bend following the scheme:

When bended sprinkle the top of Mafalde with sesame seeds (will be enough lay them flipping and turning them).
Than let them proof till they double their volume (time dipend on room temperature).
At this point put them into the preheated oven to + 220°C, with water to create steam. Bake for 15 minutes at this temperature, then take away the water continuing baking to +200°C for other 15 minutes. If necessary, finish baking with oven door ajar, for five to ten minutes, further reducing the temperature to +175 °C, in order to dry the Mafalde.

Questions, comment or suggestions are welcome!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Micro buns gluten free.

With "Queequeg," my gluten-free sourdough, without using gluten substitutes such as Xanthan or Guar Gum, I realized these tidbits or "micro buns" with teff and buckwheat, which can become, stuffed with cold cuts and cheese, excellent "micro" - snacks.

According to what you have available and your taste, you can still do these "micro buns" also by adding to teff and buckwheat other flours such as corn, sorghum, rice or whatever.

Below is the recipe for those who want to try and draw inspiration.

Micro buns gluten free:


Teff flour 0.250 kg (8.8 oz)
Buckwheat flour 0,650 kg (23 oz)
Flakes Teff 0.100 kg (3.5 oz)
Gluten free sourdough 0,700 kg (24.7 oz)
Water 0.900 kg (31.7 oz)
Corn syrup (*) 0.025 kg (0.9 oz)
Extra virgin olive oil 0.125 kg (4.4 oz)
Salt 0,030 kg (1 oz)

(*) If you do not have corn syrup can be used: rice syrup, honey or brown sugar.


Refresh sourdough and weigh the other ingredients. Sift flour so as to prevent the formation of lumps in the mixing phase. When the sourdough is ready, in 0.180 kg (6.3 oz) of water (about 80% of the total), dissolve the sourdough and corn syrup. Stirring, gradually add the flour mix and flakes of teff. Add extra virgin olive oil, salt, the remaining water and continue stirring to mix the ingredients well. No need to mix much, just get the right consistency of the dough and complete mixing of the ingredients.

With the help of a pastry bag or by making cnel with a couple of spoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper make portions of about 20-30 grams each. Let rise for about 2/3 hour (typically 3 hours are enough at a temperature of about 25/28 °C - 77/82°F). Theoretically, but that as already mentioned, depending on room temperature, three hours should be sufficient to increase the volume of the dough by about a third. At this point it will be visible on the surface some cracking.

Bake in preheated oven at +220 °C (+430°F) in the intermediate grooves and cook at this temperature for 15 minutes, then lower to 200 °C(+390°F) and cook for another 5 minutes.

At this point, decrease again the temperature to 170 °C (+340°F)and cook for a further 5-10 minutes with the oven door ajar (keep the door ajar by fitting a wooden spoon in the top of the door), making sure that the bottom of the "micro buns" does not dry out.

 If you need more information please feel free to contact me.