so dear readers, i was planning to bore you all with a couple of hot chocolate recipes today when i'm blindsided by the sweetest, most generous email from my italian kitchen hero, carlo middione. himself.
he actually read my blog yesterday, personally, and sent me his own recipe for the italian starfish bread, which comes from ferrara.
can you imagine anything more open-hearted? i'm overwhelmed. . .thank you, thank you carlo.
of course the recipe's in italian, but hey! no problem! devoted readers may recall that i have in fact studied italian!
and what i can't read or look up in my dictionary (baking being full of technical terms), i can always babelfish. so. . .
this very week, dear readers, probably wednesday, i'm attempting carlo's pane ferrarese. he warns that it takes much practice to shape.
he however kindly gave link to a video showing how the bread is made, which doesn't appear to work on a mac (sigh), but in turn led me to another fantastic italian bread site, il pane fatto in casa. this site just has tons of information on baking italian breads at home, with pages on techniques, and recipes including the classic sicilian mafalda with its twisty shape and what looks to me like a lovely ciabatta.
what interests me about the ciabatta recipe is that it's the first i've seen that calls for diastatic malt.
carlo -- he's incredible! a hero to all home bakers and lovers of the italian lifestyle everywhere!
the amazing thing is that his cookbooks are often available used or remaindered at low prices. so you can benefit from carlo's research, genius and artistry no matter who you are or what your budget; even if you hated the recipes (not possible!) the books usually also offer priceless wine info.