I have been a lucky lady this month, with two bread baking experiences, and my latest foray into the art of dough products was a morning spent with my friend, Carmela.
On this occasion, Carmela welcomed her 3 students into her bright and cosy kitchen and, whilst we sipped coffee and biscotti and got to know each other, she explained that we would be making Grissini, Fennel bread and a Stromboli made from Foccacia dough. Her friendly and knowledgeable practical demonstration followed and, with the various ingredients already on the table, we then continued by weighing, mixing, and kneading the various doughs. Carmela helped when required and interjected with many great tips for us to use in the future.
|Ready for weighing|
|Baked to perfection|
There is nothing like the smell of bread baking in the oven to tempt the taste-buds and, by the end of the class, our huge array of hot, crisp and tasty products made my tummy rumble loudly! Fortunately, Carmela produced a plate of thinly-sliced parma ham with a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, which we happily munched, together with some of our new bread – it was delicious!
Of course, everything about this lovely lady is Italian. From her family roots to her present-day occupation of tutoring, Carmela produces food for her family and guests that has the warmth and deliciousness of Southern Italy. In fact, her latest book has only recently been published and I’m so pleased that I have a copy on my shelves to dip into when the sky is grey outside and I need to cook with a dollop of generous sunshine. I can assure you, these recipes pack a whole load of flavour into simple ingredients and, as chef and restauranter Theo Randall has quoted, “this is a must buy for any family that loves to cook” – I couldn’t agree more!