Should I start from the beginning or from the end of the story? The end is: my oven is broken, I want to put my hands in the dough so badly, and I am particularly craving for pizza. Any alternative to baking it?
The answer comes from my past (the real beginning). From a far day when the Napolitan mother of a neighbor kid took my breath (and heart and whole being) away with her Pizzelle…
I have never been particularly into sports. Nor ever particularly into big social events. However, that particular day, a 10-year old me found the inspiration to be part of the local street fair, not refusing any of the proposed activities, including il tiro della fune e la corsa (a sprint). While my hands got seriously injured by the tiro alla fune, I unexpectedly got the second place in the corsa. The winner was a skinny boy with an innate sense of fairness, which led him to invite me and a few other kids to share the incredible and luscious pleasures of his mother’s cuisine.
Although a few decades have passed since, the memory of that kitchen and of those incredible pizzelle is still so clear and strong. I can still see the skilled mother preparing in no time those little fried pizzas and letting all of us speechless. For those pizzelle just melted in our mouths and tasted like pizza never tasted before.
To do it myself, I made a dough similar to that used by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou (whose book on bread I strongly recommend) for his baked focaccia. I also added some whole spelt flour and adjusted the amount of water accordingly.
PIZZELLE AL FARRO – FRIED MINI PIZZAS WITH SPELT
dough: 300 g (2 and 1/2 cups) bread flour (I used organic stone-ground), 80 g (about 3/5 cup) whole spelt flour (I used organic stone-ground), 8 g salt (1 teaspoon), 4 g fresh yeast (or 2 g instant yeast), 350 g luke-warm water, 30 g olive oil (2 table-spoon).
topping: tomato sauce (thoroughly cooked), olive oil.
In a separate bowl, melt the yeast in the water. In another bowl combine the flours and the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the yeast water and combine well with a wooden spoon. Pour the oil in a large bowl and transfer the dough in it. Cover and let rest for 1 hour. Uncover and fold (stretching the dough with your hands and folding it like a package) a couple of times. Cover again and let rest another hour. Repeat the folds and let rest covered another hour. After the 3 hours the dough should be all bubbly. It’s ready!
Oil a working surface and transfer the dough on it. Take small pieces of dough and quickly form them into rounds avoiding to work the dough (or it looses all the bubbles). In a little olive oil (I used 1 tea-spoon per pizzella), fry a few pizzelle at a time, on both sides.
Transfer on a plate, top with the tomato sauce and drizzle with olive oil.
Eat hot. And fast (or else someone else will eat your pizzella, too).
CONSIDERATIONS: After having made and eaten these pizzelle for lunch, I had a wide smile on my face for the rest of the day, a smile that not even the most boring chores was able to take away. I had made my pizzelle! And they really tasted close to the real thing (even though the original, most likely, did not include whole spelt).
I would have liked to take more pictures but my photo session was disturbed by a newly born pizzelle addict. And the oven has just been delivered… what a beautiful day.
CONSIDERAZIONI: Che dire… questo e’ un sogno che si realizza. Poter mangiare di nuovo le pizzelle e poterle offrire alla mia bambina (che gia’ ne va pazza) sono emozioni grandissime. Spero che anche voi vogliate provarci, sono veramente buone come sembrano. A proposito… il mio forno e’ appena arrivato. Che giornata fantastica.
This bread will participate to the weekly bread collection yeastspotting.