Pane Siciliano

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Pane Siciliano

This was my first attempt at Pane Siciliano. The “S” shape is a little loose here, but subsequent loaves were much improved. Semolina flour provides a crunchy crust that makes this bread go very well with soup.

The Mechanics of Pasta

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Alright. So, a few months ago – eight, to be precise – my wife and I bought a masticating juice extractor. This is a toaster-sized appliance with a large auger, which forces foods down a cone with a sieve where the juice flows into a receptacle. It juices all kinds of fruits and vegetables, including carrots, celery, kale, spinach, grapefruits, apples, and beets. The list goes on and on.

The juicer also has a pasta extrusion component. Like I said, I’ve had this thing for months, and I hadn’t tried making pasta yet. That is until now.

The recipe was really simpler than I thought: 219 g of flour, 3 eggs, 2.5 g salt, and 5 ml olive oil*

I kneaded the dough until it was soft and smooth, adding a little water from time to time. This batch was just enough to make about four servings of pasta. To make a full batch, use 438 g flour and five eggs, plus doubling the other ingredients.

I attached the pasta extruding end for spaghetti-sized noodles and turned on the motor. Feeding small amounts of dough through the tube into the auger, the machine whirred and pushed the fresh pasta out the business end, and presto! We had noodles. The spaghetti strands exited the machine a little warmed, but they weren’t cooked, so that was fine. I quickly realized I needed another person to cut the freshly-rendered noodles to a manageable length. 50 cm is considered a traditional length. That’s half a meter long! Well, I cut them to about 20 cm each and dropped some into boiling water. Al dente took about 8 minutes. The cooked pasta had better flavor and texture than the usual store-bought dried variety. I’m pretty excited, especially that I got really good results my first time. I plan to add other ingredients in the future, like spinach and tomatoes. A friend forwarded me a recipe for butternut lasagna with cream and nutmeg. Wow! I can’t wait.

 

Spaghetti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* all my measurements are metric units, sorry USA.

Ugly Baked Goodness

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Ugly Baked Goodness

The deformities may be explained by the omission of salt in the early stage. Nevertheless, it was good.

Bad

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Someone said to me once, “bread is so bad for you!” I get this a lot, actually. I try to educate people, but so much misinformation has been spread over the years. Well, real bread consists of flour, water, yeast, and salt. If you put butter or Nutella or something fatty or sweet on it, that isn’t bread. It’s a sandwich or something else. The bread is not “bad” for you.

Now, store-bought bread has a lot of stuff that is, in my opinion, not necessary. Manufacturers are including gums and sugars, plus preservatives and chemicals. The bread is soft and has the appearance of freshness long after you buy it. Is it unhealthy? That is possible. Is it natural? The Food and Drug Administration has declared it so. But I remind people that mercury and arsenic are also 100% natural, and they are very unhealthy.

I made another loaf, and I’m looking forward to having some for lunch tomorrow.

Bon appétit!

Trouble

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I’m troubled. Most of what we Americans eat is full of chemicals. You might have difficulty even pronouncing some ingredients in some of your favorite foods. For example, Cheerios® contain Tripotassium Phosphate. Why? You’d have to call them and ask (the number is 1-800-248-7310).

I occasionally will make mayonnaise. It’s pretty simple: whisk together an egg yolk, some vinegar or lemon juice, a little mustard (preferably Dijon), salt, and white pepper; and drizzle in about a 230ml of oil. Keep whisking. It makes a lot, and it only stays fresh in the fridge for a few days, so you’ll only want to make it when you’re planning to make chicken salad or prepare a lot of sandwiches. I have a jar of Hellman’s in the fridge right now. It’s been in there for weeks. What’s keeping it fresh?

Chemicals.

We ingest a lot of chemicals in our diet. So many, that I think it’s making us very sick. And drug companies are profiting from this. Now, I realize I come off sounding like one of those conspiracy nuts. But you must admit that there is a lot of stuff we eat that we probably shouldn’t.

Well, I’ve got some pizza dough that needs to be punished. Until next time.

Real Bread

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Real Bread

This loaf consist of four ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt. It has great flavor and firm texture. It takes many hours to make.
Eat up. It only stays fresh for two days.

Hello world!

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