Wednesday, February 19, 2014

AS ATTRACTIVE AS ASPHALT....

BUT, FRAGRANT AND DELICIOUS



I met the "Grano Arso" (burnt wheat) last summer in Puglia. Any time I get to know a food I had never heard before I get surprised (after 50 - or so - years spent in the kitchen, discovering something new is a... discovery) and happy. Happy to live in the most astonishing and beautiful Country in the world.
Anyway, this is the package:


The tradition of the "Grano Arso" comes - obviously - from the past, when the paesants were not allowed to take the leftover grains on the ground after the harvest. The straw was burnt and, with the straw, also the grain felt and spread around got burnt. The paesants used to gather those blackened grains and mill them. The obtained flour was - and is - a kind of ash:


I cannot scientifically warranty what I am about to say, but, kneading it in a douhg, my fingers noticed that it does not develop much gluten. So I thought that a good utilization would be to make a fragrant short bread.


It did not look very appealing. The bitter scent of burnt arising from it made me think that a Crostata with the jam of cherries I was keeping in the refrigerator (without finding the courage to eat it, as it was too sweet for my palate) would have been a perfect combination.


With this purpose, I also decided to put a small amount of sugar in the dough, in order to increase its bitterness and the contrast with the sweet jam. 
This is the recipe:

CROSTATA DI GRANO ARSO





Ingredients:
90 gr ( 3 oz) flour of Grano Arso
90 gr ( 3 oz) flour of Farro
90 gr ( 3 oz) 00 tender wheat flour
150 gr (  oz) butter, unsalted
60 gr ( 2 oz) sugar
3 egg yolks
a pinch of salt
grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

400 gr ( 13 oz) jam

Knead quickly all the ingredients for the short bread. It is not necessary to let it rest in the refrigerator because of the presence of the baking powder.
Take off a little piece of doug, needed for the lattice on top.
Stretch the pastry evenly with a rolling pin on a sheet of baking paper. Cut is round, a little bigger than the pan. Display the pastry on the pan, with the baking sheet below. Rise the edges of the pastry a little along the border.
Spread the jam.
Cut off pieces from  the other piece of pastry, roll them on the board, to obtain long thin cylinders. Display them upon the layer of jam, crossing them in a nice lattice.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180° c ( 350 F) for about 25 minutes.
The result is eccellent in texture and taste.

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