Well it’s obvious to say i am not the most dedicated blogger out in cyber space. The fact that I’ve reached this far is a shock in itself. Have to admit, I blog in my head and through my lens every time I’m in the kitchen. Gathering my thoughts and photos into a post seems is the major issue. Any amateur blogger out there will understand that. 😉
It’s been raining on the island for just over a week. Excuse my random babblings that may occur through this post. Eventually we will get to a recipe. I promise you that.
My Nonna Maria recently passed away; She is my city Nonna, my namesake and apparently per my Daddio I have truly become her. I definitely see some truth to that. If you’ve followed me you know about my foodie family 😉
This post is heading towards either a journey on grief/loss or making the best of ones life. I’ll make the grief part quick… My Nonna Maria was the best cook, baker, sergeant I’ve ever known. Yes sergeant. Standing under 5 feet she had the ability to make a 6 foot man cry.. Trust me, i saw it happen. 🙂 Sadly, I don’t think I learnt enough from her. I still can’t make a man cry! LMAO
I picked up the traditional Italian basics from our town in Campobasso. Breads, fresh pasta, fresh sausage, prosciutto, jarring anything and everything from tomatoes to any vegetable..My goodness i almost forgot wine! Every year wine from luscious fresh grapes was produced! I could go on forever with what I learned in the famous “basement kitchens”. Theres actually so many more great kitchen secrets that i’d rather not share with anyone. One thing i will share that has stuck with me…She always taught me to make sure i had food ready for everyone else at all hours. She taught me to always eat before anyone else arrived. I do that..It’s one thing that’s become a habit. Even if it’s just bread, I can say “I already ate”. Here’s where the babbling kicks in…so i recieved the phone call from my Daddio to say Nonna Maria passed away. I was fine..because i am always fine. By the weekend i was baking bread, cooking salmon 2 different ways, Lasagne, chicken, creole stuffed New Zealand Mussels, Dark chocolate Brownies, Thai inspired eggplant and anything i could get my hands on. (Those recipes to follow)
Still I didn’t realize what just happend. A week later and I realized my Nonna Maria had left us and joined my Nonno and my brother in heaven.
Really, it took 1 week to realize this? I wonder at times if I should have remained a blonde! Sharp as a tool come business yet in the clouds at times! ahhh ha ha
So, excuse all the above babbling. Ahhh, off my little chest 😉 However, was a must share.
Below is an amazing bread recipe i found online during my recent stress attacks in the kitchen. Actually circulating online as a “copycat” Olive Garden bread recipe. I hardly read those but this one caught my eye. If you’re experienced in homemade breads you can pick out a nice recipe on 1st glance.
This recipe doesn’t have any history to it, however i’ve made it into my own little thing wrapped around my own little life. My goodness they were fabulous. I frooze 1/2 of the baked batch. Re warmed them in the oven and wouldn’t change a thing. Soft pillows as if they were just baked.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water 115 F
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
450 grams (16 ounces) (about 3 1/2 to 4 cups) Flour – I used AP and worked out nice
For the topping:
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
In the bowl of a stand mixer or I make by hand, dissolve the sugar in the water, sugar, then add yeast. Allow to sit to work it’s magic.
Add the flour 1 cup at a time, the melted butter and salt if using unsalted butter. Continue in adding flour until you achieve a soft plyable dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. I’ll be honest, I have become accustome to kneading by hand here , i probably end up kneading for longer as i find it extremely therapeutic and so much more love goes into it. 🙂
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a towel. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Divide the dough into 10 portions. Roll each piece of dough into aprx 8-inch log. Place the dough logs on a nonstick baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180’C. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with the melted butter, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Really you could jazz these up with any seasonings your heart desires.
Buon Appetito 😉
ok, now i will hit spell check and revise this whole post! lol