First attempt at making Altamura bread: I made a rock

Altamura bread, baked

As I mentioned, I have a stash of Italian flours at home and I’m attempting to make breads in different Italian styles. There’s more than pizza, ciabatta and focaccia!

My first attempt was to make a bread in the style of the pane di Altamura. But I was too impatient and didn’t wait until my semi-dormant starter was sufficiently lively again, so I made a nice looking rustic rock. It smells amazing, but it didn’t rise a lot, so it’s quite compact inside (it can be eaten in thin slices, haha!)

A look inside the Altamura bread: it is too dense
A look inside the Altamura bread: it is too dense

That said I got to practice handling the dough and folding it, so there will be less new concepts to learn at once the next time I attempt making this.

Continue reading “First attempt at making Altamura bread: I made a rock”

Scone spam

Scones with clotted cream and jam

Anyone who runs a website which allows comments to be posted will be familiar with the neverending stream of spam comments.

They are easy for a human to spot, mostly because they normally talk about things that have nothing to do with your post or site at all. Often they’re nothing more than a collection of random words and then some links to pornographic, drugs, scams or other similarly illicit websites (or try to install malware in your computer). And typically the comment’s author name and email address are a collection of random letters too (or they have numbers on it).

So, it does look like something a bot created. The automated crap can be sensed from a long distance.

The problem is that there are SO MANY comments. It is just so time consuming to remove them. Fortunately there exist solutions such as Akismet that help you automatically filter the trash out.

But sometimes legitimate comments end up marked as spam. So I have a look at the spam comments from time to time to make sure the good comments aren’t lost forever, as the spam gets automatically deleted after a number of days—otherwise the database would eventually explode with rubbish.

Today I just did that, but this time I spotted something unusual: spam which talked about scones, in my Skulls & bones (or scones & scones) post.

Now that is interesting! Spam about baking! How thoughtful!

Continue reading “Scone spam”

Falling into the Italian bread hole

Happy new year everybody!

After the break, we’re back with a lot of curiosity and interest in perfecting our cooking.

May this be the year in which you master anything that has been bugging you, or maybe the year in which you learn something new that you did not even know existed and it brings you lots of pleasure!

Which in my case seems to be Italian flour and breads. Brace yourselves…

Continue reading “Falling into the Italian bread hole”

The quest for the perfect fogassa d’Ontinyent

Four bowls with ingredients for a fogassa, before mixing

As I said in my Fogassa d’Ontinyent post, I have been trying to locate the “proper” recipe for this for a few years already.

I think I started searching for a recipe in 2018, as November approached and I desperately wanted to eat a fogassa but could not visit Spain for multiple reasons. And I thought: Well, it is “only” a sweet bun, so it can’t be that hard to find a recipe for it, right?

Well, turns out that it can!

Continue reading “The quest for the perfect fogassa d’Ontinyent”

Spooky things to bake around Halloween

Skull and crossbones streamer made out of newspaper

I love skeletons and skulls and spooky things in general (think Scooby Doo and Victorian horror novels level of scariness), so I always get very excited about the idea of baking things in that theme.

The more I learn about this, the more I realise there are a lot of traditional goods that were also baked in commemoration of the loved (but dead) people. All of these things look very interesting to me but I have no time to tackle all of them at the same time.

So I decided to make a list! Maybe it gives you ideas. Show me your pictures!

Continue reading “Spooky things to bake around Halloween”