20 Regions of Italia

20++Regions+of+Italia

Gail Vilardo Frommeyer, Cuisine Editor

20 Regions of Italia

20 Regions of Italia,” as pictured in the boot will be the Logo and the focus areas for the Cuisine section of La Voce Italiana. In this time of confinement, we have the opportunity to connect to our Italian roots by learning to make traditional Italian recipes that are the heart and soul of our Italian culture.

In all of the 20 Regions of Italy, “BREAD” is the common ingredient. The word bread (a noun) is defined as, “The food that one needs in order to live”. The following are two easy recipes for making bread.

Bread and or Pizza Dough

Ingredients
4 cups of Gold Medal flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbs. of dry yeast or (can use rapid rise yeast as well)
1 cup of warm water
1 tsp. Olive Oil

Directions

1.) In a large mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water (105-115 degrees). Let sit for 5 minutes.
2.) Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar.
3.) Add the dry mixture to the warm yeast (make sure that you add the flour blend in small portions). Add 1 tsp oil. Use dough hook to incorporate. When the dough comes together and pulls away from the mixer bowl, remove from the bowl.
4.) Lightly flour area and knead the dough into a ball. Lightly cover the ball with olive oil and place in a large bowl that has been sprayed with Pam. Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm area. Let rise to double the amount – about 1 hour.
5.) Remove dough – lightly knead again.

6A.) For Bread, divide the dough into 4 sections and place each section in a greased loaf pans; Let rise again for 1 hour in a warm space, covered.
Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes (test by knocking on the loaf-hollow sound) or until golden brown.

6B.) For Pizza (makes 2): For a second rise Remove dough and lightly knead- divide the dough into 2 sections. Roll out each of the 2 sections and place each one on a greased cookie sheet. Rise again in warm area for about 45 minutes. Add whatever ingredients you wish to the each pizza and bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

Honey Wheat Bread

Ingredients
2 ¾-3/34 cups of Gold Medal flour
4 ½ cups of Wheat flour
2 Tbs. of dry yeast (or 2 pkg. of fast rise yeast)
¼ cup of warm water (105-115 degrees)
½ cup honey
¼ cup butter or margarine (room temperature)
3 tsp. salt

Directions
1.) In a large bowl- dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of water.
2.) Add honey, butter, salt and 2 ½ cups of very warm water and 3 cups of whole wheat flour.
3.) BEAT with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute- Scrape the bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. BEAT in the remaining 1 ½ cups of whole wheat.
4.) With a wooden spoon stir in 2 ¼-2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
5.) On lightly flowered surface, KNEAD the dough. Add ½-1 cup of all purpose flour. Continue kneading 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy.
6.) Grease a large bowl with cooking spray turn in the dough, place in a warm space. Let rise for 1 hour or doubled in size.
7.) Generously grease (8×4) loaf pans. Gently push down the dough. Shape the dough into pans and place back in the warm space (oven) and let rise again for 1 hour.
8.) Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes until loaves sound hollow to the touch.
9.) Cool on a rack for 1 hour.

* Helpful Hint: If you have never made bread before, you can find this recipe on the Internet and there is a video for you to watch as well.

Have fun with this baking project and if you have kids at home – they will love the idea of making their own bread.

***Also, many of us remember our parents and family members going to Findlay Market to purchase all of their food needs. Among all the many vendors (many home growers as well) at Findlay Market in Cincinnati, Ohio Blue Oven Bakery (locally owned) makes 30 different kinds of Artisan breads. The blue tiled, wood-fired oven is in operation daily filling the air with the wonderful aroma of Panni breads. There are several choices of fillings for the panni’s and eating “al fresco” gives one a feeling of eating at an Italian café.  Focaccia breads, scones (sweet and savory), croissants, and soups are the many delicious homemade delightful choices. Support Findlay Market vendors (many of whom are home growers) during this crucial time. Each month follow me as we travel and explore the Cuisine and Wines of the ” 20 Regions of Italia.”

Ciao and God Bless all of you and stay safe,

Gail Vilardo Frommeyer