I brought a salad to the office on Friday, which is not unusual. But I was in a rush in the morning and didn’t prepare the little container with the dressing (olive oil, vinegar, salt).
As I started cycling towards the office, I expected / hoped / vaguely remembered that the office kitchen had some bottles of these.
Imagine my sheer horror when, hours later, I turn up at the kitchen and… nope. There was nothing of that. There was sugar, marmite, sriracha (hot sauce), salt, pepper, other random things… but absolutely no olive oil or vinegar.
This is an enriched sweet bun which also happens to be one of my absolutely favourite Valencian sweets. It has everything you could wish on an autumn bun: softness and fluffiness, aromas, caramelised nuts, juicy raisins… EVERYTHING!
It is my hometown’s local take on the slightly more widely known “Fogassa de Tots Sants” i.e. All Saints’ Fogassa, which was eaten on that day before going to the graveyard to pay respect to the dead. Nowadays you can buy it during the whole month, and you might even convince a local baker to make you one out of season (por encargo).
What I have also found is that by virtue of being so extremely local, the recipe isn’t readily available online or in books, and it has taken me about six iterations to come up with a recipe that tastes how I remember it tasted. In fact, the pictures for this will show you how I ended making four fogasses last week-end, trying two flours and two yeast amounts. I am that scientifically committed to the quest for the perfect fogassa!
And I am also finally pleased with the results and happy to share! 😎
When it gets hot in Spain we avoid eating hot food and turn our attention towards things that are eaten cold. You might have heard about gazpacho or salmorejo!
Then there is the “plato de verano”, which literally means “summer’s dish”. It’s not a unique recipe, but a way of describing “something somewhat substantial that you eat cold”. It depends on the cook and whatever is available on the day.
My recipe provides a good balance between sharpness, oiliness, savouriness, softness and crunchiness so that it’s a pleasant and refreshing thing to eat, but without having to bite too much (too much effort if it’s very hot).
Now that summer is officially under way and it (sometimes) gets hot, I tend to avoid turning the oven on, as our flat gets very hot and we don’t need any extra heat. It’s time for salads, gazpachos and things that can be eaten cold(ish).
However… sometimes the pull of making something with flour is still strong. And that’s when I reach for these very easy to make pitta breads, which are dry-fried in a pan rather than baked in the oven.
It will still be hot in the kitchen for a bit, but then you’re done and ready to eat your little freshly baked wonders. And it’s so exciting to see them puff up! One of my favourite parts.