Review: Love Laugh Bake! – Silvia Colloca

Love Laugh Bake

Love Laugh Bake!

Silvia Colloca

Pan Macmillan Australia

Plum

ISBN: 9781925481457

RRP $39.99

 

Description:

For passionate home-cook and baker Silvia Colloca there is nothing more satisfying than baking – combining the simplest of ingredients and seeing them transformed into the most delicious creations to share with others.

 

In Love, Laugh, Bake! Silvia shares more than 120 of her must-have recipes: breads, pizzas and focaccias, tarts and pies, cookies, simple cakes and also baking for special occasions. There are recipes for new and experienced bakers alike, from the easiest one-bowl cakes to crusty sourdough loaves and flaky jam-filled cornetti. Learn how to make the perfect pizza base, fluffy focaccia and deliciously rich tarts. Standout sweets include hazelnut brownies, blackberry and pear crostata, and plum and red wine upside-down cake. Silvia is well known for her fresh take on gluten-free baking and in this book she shares more than 50 of her most popular gluten-free and vegan recipes that you will want to bake again and again.

 

This is easy, generous food for every day. Silvia’s baking is simple, classic and is always enriched with her warmth and a unique sense of joy and abundance. Love, Laugh, Bake! will inspire you to discover the delights of baking for yourself, so grab your trusted rolling pin and roll up those sleeves!

 

The Author:

Silvia Colloca is an Italian-born food lover living in Sydney, Australia and has claimed the mantle of Passionate Italian Home Cook in Australia since arriving here in 2009. She share unfussy, delicious, recipes that have been passed down through her family for generations. Her food is traditional, authentic, simple, and embedded in it is the legacy of her mother and grandmother. She has authored three books Silvia’s Cucina, Made In Italy and La Dolce Vita and has hosted and co-produced Made in Italy on SBS and the ABC’s Silvia’s Italian Table. https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781925481457/

 

 

My View:

I first meet Silvia when I was scouring the net for hints and advice on making a sour dough starter and sough dough bread. Luckily I came across Silvia’s website https://silviascucina.net  and I proceeded to finesse my sough dough making skills.  So when I had an opportunity to review a book written by this famous author I leapt at the chance. It has not disappointed.

 

This is a great book for all home bakers.  The recipes are simple, elegant and they work! I particularly like that Silvia has catered to a variety of readers/bakers and their differing lifestyle needs; there are recipes that are vegan, gluten free, dairy free…there are breads, scrolls, chocolate dipped coconut macaroons (and I hesitate to make this statement but I think they are even better than my late mother in laws, but we will keep this between us, mother in laws cooking skills should always be respectedJ ), an amazingly easy and yummy gluten free Orange and Blueberry cake ( sorry no pictures we devoured it before I had an opportunity to photograph but I may make this again soon…I’ll let you know), there are brownies (gluten free), pavlova, biscotti, savoury and sweet tarts…there is something here to delight all bakers.

 

Now I have visitors coming for morning tea tomorrow so I best get baking!

 

 

Turkish Pide: The Flexible Vegetarian – Jo Pratt

The Flexible Vegetarian

Images and recipes from The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)

Turkish pide with spinach and aubergine

Pide (pronounced pee-day) is much like a pizza, but has no tomato sauce and a colourful, aromatic Turkish

flair. Traditionally, this boat-shaped ‘pizza’ is filled with vegetables, spices, cheese and/or meat, most commonly

lamb. I’ve made this one into an exceptionally tasty vegetarian version using spinach, aubergine and feta, but

you can be as creative as you like by using a selection of ingredients to top the dough, as you would a pizza.” p. 143

 

_TurkishPide-

Time taken 1 hour + 30 minutes rising / Serves 4

 

7g/¼ oz sachet fast action dried yeast

1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar

300g/10½ oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp salt

olive oil

2 medium aubergines, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

250g/9 oz baby spinach leaves

150g/5½ oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp nigella seeds

flaked sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

small handful mint leaves

 

Put the yeast and caster sugar in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of

warm water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture

starts to show some bubbles on the surface.

 

Put the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add

the bubbly yeast mixture and slowly add 170ml/5¾ fl oz/2⁄3 cup of

warm water while bringing everything together with your other

hand. If you feel it needs it, add extra water but take care not to

make the dough too wet.

 

Once the dough starts to stick together, tip

onto a floured surface and knead for 6–7 minutes until you have a

smooth, stretchy dough. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover loosely with

cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Brush the aubergine slices with

olive oil. Set on a baking sheet and grill for a few minutes each side

until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

 

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for around

8 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook

for around 1 minute before stirring in the spinach allowing it to wilt.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

 

Heat your oven to its highest setting. Divide the risen dough into four

pieces. Shape each piece into an oval, dust with flour and thinly roll

out. Transfer to a couple of baking sheets and prick the surface of the

dough several times with a fork.

 

Divide the spinach mixture and aubergines between the dough,

leaving a border around the edges. Pinch the ends of the dough and

roll the edges of the border over the filling, to form a boat shape.

Scatter with the feta cheese, sesame seeds and nigella seeds, drizzle

with olive oil and season. Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes

until the dough is golden. Garnish with mint leaves to serve.

 

Flexible

For a meaty twist on this recipe, omit the aubergine, and sauté around 200g/7 oz

minced lamb with the onion, continue to cook as above. Alternatively, to make this

into a seafood pide, omit the aubergine and mix 200g/7 oz cooked prawns into the

cooked onion and spinach before spooning onto the dough.

 

Om….and the Art of Bread Making

Ommmmmm….there is nothing like bread making to ground you, to relax you, to develop your sense of patience. I am rediscovering the art of relaxation, deep breathing, yoga and…sour dough bread making.

Bread making and in particular using wild fermented yeast (sour dough) is an art that develops your patience and attunes you to the local environment – favourable weather conditions are a must – a too cold a house equals bread bricks 🙂   I am guilty of rushing…and sour dough will not be rushed!

Mother Nature has fooled me into thinking that it is a good time to start making bread – the skies have been blue, the roses are budding, the veggie patch is looking good.

spring garden

But I have been fooled- the sun may shine but it is not that warm (16 degrees maximums this week) and each time I have started the bread making process I have reached a particular stage and then the temperature has dropped and …the yeast has returned to dormancy.

Ferment cover

However I have had some success and have learnt alot this week, about  bread making and fermenting in general thanks to the assistance of Holly Davis’s new book Ferment.   This book provides recipes and lots of information relating to the various methods of fermenting ( Activate, Capture, Steep, Infuse, Incubate and Cure). One of the most useful things I learnt this week was the  “float test” to check if your leaven mix is active and ready to go. Getting this right makes such a difference to the success (or not) of your sough dough bread making.

The Float Test

Successful float test and I was ready for action..then the weather changed…it cooled down, rapidly…my sough dough sunflower and rye loaf became a a delicious sunflower and rye brick 🙂  The crumb is great. The flavour is awesome but it needed a few more degrees of warmth to have risen that bit more …I will not give up, I will just have to wait a few weeks for the temperature to increase a few degrees and all will be fine. I’ll let you know how I get on.

sunflower and rye bread

Back to the deep breathing exercises….Ommmmmm…..

Lazy Lady Loaf: Delicious Every Day – Anna Gare

delicious-every-day

Images and recipes from Delicious Every Day by Anna Gare (Murdoch Books) RRP $39.99

 

The Lazy Lady’s Loaf

  • MAKES A 15 X 30 CM (6 X 12 INCH) LOAF •

I have a friend, Kareen, who says she can’t cook and then rocks up with the most delicious home-made loaf of bread. I think the cleverest cooks are the ones who can turn something quite challenging into a simple triumph without any effort at all. This really is the cheekiest bread recipe I have ever made: I call it the lazy lady’s loaf, not because you’re lazy but because you can make it to perfection while you sleep.” p.24

 

500 g (1 lb 2 oz/3⅓ cups) unbleached plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting and shaping

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 teaspoons salt

475 ml (16 fl oz) lukewarm water

 

Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl.

Pour in the water to make a sticky dough.

Combine with a spatula until well mixed.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.

Take the dough out of the fridge the next day and rest at room temperature for about 1½–2 hours, depending on the weather (it must have just reached room temperature before you bake).

Line a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle generously with flour.

Remove the dough from the bowl using a spatula and put it on the prepared tray.

Press and shape the loaf into an oval ciabatta shape, using floured hands.

Flip the loaf over so that the wrinkled, floured side is on top.

Transfer the tray to the cold oven and set the heat
to 220°C (425°F).

Bake for 45–50 minutes until the loaf is a light golden colour and sounds hollow when tapped.

Cool on a wire rack.

 

lazy_lady_loaf_