Wow, what a successful event this has been. I’m overwhelmed by 34 35 entries for this month’s Bread Baking Day with the theme Italian Breads. There were quite a few breads I have never heard of before, and every single entry was mouthwatering. It will take me a LONG time to make all those wonderful recipes. I want to thank everybody for baking with me for this month’s BBD. Adriana of Baking Powders is going to be the host of next month’s Bread Baking Day – make sure to check out her blog on August 6 to see which theme she chose! So, now let’s have a look at all the wonderful Italian breads.
4 people tried their hand at making focaccia. Focaccia is a Ligurian flatbread which is usually topped with herbs. Characteristic of focaccia is the dotting of the unbaked dough with your fingertips to create multiple wells, and the olive oil that is spread over the dough to preserve moisture.
1. My fellow Daring Baker and Daring Cook Audax Artifex from Sydney (Australia) made a banquet focaccia. Audax is known to feed hordes of people, so this recipe with hot spicy Italian sausage, stuffed olives and rosemary was perfect.
2. Palmira of Come con migo from Barcelona (Spain) made a sourdough focaccia stuffed with dried tomatoes and oregano. I LOVE dried tomatoes! And sourdough? Wow – I have never tried using sourdough for making focaccia.
4. Vanessa of Sweet Artichoke from Switzerland fired her oven to make focaccine which are mini focacce. She topped them with cherry tomatoes, olives, parmesan cheese and Italian herbs. Yum! And so cute!
I’d say ciabatta is THE Italian bread. This is the bread people associate with Italy. Do you agree? A typical ciabatta has a crisp crust and a very open crumb. I’ve tried making ciabatta 3 times so far, but haven’t been successful yet at achieving those big, irregular holes. Maybe I’ll succeed with one of the following recipes?
7. My fellow BBA Challenge, Mellow and Modern Baker Abby of Stir it! Scrape it! Mix it! Bake it! from Minnesota (USA) had been home for 3 hours after over two weeks away and already had ciabatta dough rising. She might want to consider attending a bakeaholics anonymous meeting ;o)… Anyway, the ciabatta looks awesome!
Did you know that in Italy there was a bill before Parliament to safeguard the traditional Italian pizza, specifying permissible ingredients and methods of processing? Only pizzas which followed these guidelines could be called “traditional Italian pizzas” in Italy. And the Italian plural of pizza is pizze – who knew?
9. Elle of Feeding my Enthusiasms from California (USA) made a grilled pizza. I was so jealous reading her post because our grill doesn’t have a cover. Maybe when it’s broken I can talk the hubby into buying a grill with a cover ;o). Check out her post – those pizze must have tasted extremely good.
Panettone is a typical bread of Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas. Thus, I wasn’t really expecting anybody would make panettone in the midst of summer. But there were two brave people who tried their hand at this festive bread packed with fruit. Kudos to you!
12. This is Mimi‘s second entry for the BBD. This time she didn’t only use the bread machine for making the dough, but even baked her panettone in the machine. What an interesting approach – I never would have come up with this idea. So, if you don’t have time, but want to make panettone, try her recipe. I’ll definitely give it a try.
The defining characteristic of Tuscan bread is the lack of salt. Bread without salt? Sounds weird, doesn’t it? When I made it, I thought it was kind of sweet, and I liked it when it was still warm from the oven. Cooled, not so much :-(.
14. Susan of Wild Yeast from California (USA) has made Tuscan bread before and was pleasantly surprised by its sweet flavor. This time she made a 70% whole-wheat version which she thought wasn’t quite as good as Peter Reinhart’s version from the BBA. It looks good, though!
15. Cathy of The Bread Experience from Georgia (USA) also has made Reinhart’s Tuscan bread before and really liked it. So she made a KAF (aka King Arthur Flour) Tuscan bread recipe this time, baked it in her La Cloche and used it for bruschetta which she thought gave it a boost in flavor. What a great idea!
Grissini are bread sticks originating in Turin. They are originally thought to have been created in the 14th century. Thus, of course, this month’s BBD wouldn’t be complete without them!
Puglia, or Apulia as it is called in English, is home to the Pugliese bread. Big holes and nutlike flavor are characteristic of this bread.
Semolina is a typical Italian ingredient. Did you know that the term semolina derives from the Italian word “semola” that derives from the ancient Latin simila, meaning “flour”? In German, it is called “Grieß” and I assume there is NO kid in Germany that doesn’t know “Grießbrei” (comparable to cream of wheat). I am still hooked on it even though I’m definitely not a kid anymore and even have 3 kids of my own (who all love “Grießbrei”, too).
21. Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen from Texas (USA) chose a recipe by Jeffrey Hamelman for her semolina bread (which will eventually be baked by me as part of the Mellow Baker Challenge). It looks really fluffy and oh so yummy!!!
Tomato is coming into season soon, so why not harvest some tomatoes, dry them and make some delicious tomato bread?
Miscellaneous doesn’t mean to say these are unimportant breads. NOT AT ALL! I just stuck every entry into this category that wouldn’t make a category with at least one of the other breads. In this category, there are many breads, I have never heard of and which I am really curious about. I also want to say that I intended to conclude this roundup with my entry (to be polite), but for some unknown reason I missed two entries while editing the pictures (which took me FOREVER) and had to add them later on.
25. My fellow Mellow Baker Lien of Notitie van Lien from the Netherlands baked Schiacciatine. No idea what that is? I didn’t know either before I read her post. It is a cracker-like bread, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse seasalt. Sounds very scrumptious to me!
30. Glenda of Domesticated Engineer from Kansas (USA) baked Panini Dolci alla Cannella e Mandorla. Can you imagine that this beautiful name just means: sweet rolls with cinnamon and almonds? Italian is a beautiful language, isn’t it?
33. Cindy of Cindystar from Lake Garda (Italy) brought us Italian doughnuts, also called bomboloni, frati or zeppole. Check out her post – the pictures are amazing and make me want to book a flight to Italy to get some bombolone :-).
34. And last, but not least: Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte, founder of BBD, made Brioscia siciliana alla mandorle – Sicilian almond brioche with a quince jelly glaze. Ah, I’m so jealous – I love quince jelly, but my quince tree doesn’t have ANY fruit this year *sigh*.
Just after I had posted the roundup I received an e-mail with another entry.
I once more want to thank everybody for participating. I had so much fun reading all the entries and look forward to trying all the recipes.