Tag Archives: peel

Maritozzi con la panna recipe

Maritozzi con la panna

A while back, we went on a field trip and scoffed maritozzi con la panna at Regoli. They are reputedly Rome’s best. They are indeed delicious, albeit a bit OTT with the whipped cream (panna montata. Not to be confused with hannah montana).

Seeing as I made splits the other day, and splits and maritozzi con la panna are basically both variations on the enriched dough cream bun, it seemed fitting that I try and make maritozzi too. Me living in Rome, and them being a local speciality and all. My version isn’t quite so generous with the cream as Regoli’s, though how much you use is really up to you.

Maritozzi ingredientsLemon zest

My research took me to numerous recipes on Italian websites1. The basic gist really is an enriched dough, some with milk instead of water, some with oil or butter, all with egg and/or egg yolks.

My recipe is a kind of hybrid, though relatively authentic in that it contains the key flavourings of candied peel, citrus zest, raisins (or sultanas) and pine nuts. Some of the recipes I found use a biga, but I decided to use the sponge-and-dough technique. Here’s the nice active sponge:

Nice active sponge for maritozzi

For this recipe I agonised with professional-style recipe calculation 2, bakers’ percentages and scaling weights. Then I made a schoolboy error and left a key ingredient out of the dough. Then I burnt the buns.

So I made a second batch too – and tried to remember all the ingredients and tried to not burn them. (In my defence, my oven has fierce bottom heat, even when I use multiple sheets for some shielding, so it’s hard to get nice colour on top without the bottoms getting a little bruciato…)

This recipe makes 10.

Ingredient Bakers’ percentage Quantity (g) Notes
Sponge:
Strong white flour 10 43 Aka manitoba
Milk 47 224 Warmed
Yeast 5 22 Fresh. If using ADY, use 11g, instant, easyblend use 9g
Caster sugar 5 22
Dough:
Strong white flour 60 258 Aka manitoba
Plain flour 30 129 Aka all-purpose, or Grano tenero 00
Salt 1 4
Caster sugar 7 30
Butter 12 52 Melted and cooled. Or oil. See ‘Options and decisons’, below
Egg yolk 8 34 Separate a few eggs, beat the yolks then weigh off on electronic scales
Zest 1 4 Lemon, orange or mix
Pine nuts 8 34 Aka pinoli
Raisins or sultanas 8 34 Soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or so, squeezed out
Candied peel, chopped 8 34 Orange or citron or both

Method

1. Make up the sponge by combining the first four ingredients: the milk (warmed to about blood temp), yeast, sugar, flour. Whisk together.
2. Leave the sponge, covered, to ferment. You want it nice and bubbly. Time will depend on the warmth of your kitchen or chosen location. With all that yeast and sugar it won’t take too long – around 20 minutes.
3. When it’s nice and active, add the rest of the ingredients (except the pine nuts and fruit) and bring to a dough. Do by hand or with a mixer with dough hook. If the dough feels a bit dry and tight, add a little more tepid liquid – either water or milk.

Adding the fruit and pine nuts to maritozzi dough
4. When you’ve achieved a nice smooth dough, stretch out, then add the fruit and pine nuts. Fold it over and knead again.
5. Put the dough in a clean bowl and leave to prove again. Prove until doubled in size. Again, time will vary.

Dough, before 1st proveDough, after 1st prove
6. Gently deflate the dough, to regulate the structure. (This is called “knocking back” in Britain, but all that business with thumping it with your fist is far too violent – you don’t want to lose all the inflation.)
8. Form a ball and rest for 10 minutes.
9. Divide the dough into 10 pieces, each weighing 85g or thereabouts.
10. Form the pieces into balls, then allow them to rest again for 10 minutes.
11. Form the balls into cylinders by turning over (so the rougher base is upwards), flattening and rolling up. You can roll the ends to a tighter point if you want. You might want to also pinch the seam (on the underside) closed so it doesn’t open up again.

Shaping a finger roll 1: ballShaping a finger roll 2: ball, undersideShaping a finger roll 3: ball, squashed/rolled outShaping a finger roll 4: ball, squashed/rolled out and rolled upShaping a finger roll 5: cylinder, rounded endsShaping a finger roll 6: cylinder, pointed ends
12. Place on a lined baking sheet, and leave to prove again, until doubled in size and soft to the touch.
13. Preheat oven to 200C.
14. Bake until nicely browned on top, around 15 minutes. (Again, depends on your oven.)

Final prove, beforeFinal prove, after
15. While they’re baking, make a stock syrup with 50g sugar and 50g water, brought to the boil together. This is optional (see Options and decisions, below).
16. When the rolls are baked and still warm, brush with the syrup.

Fresh from ovenGlazed
17. Leave to cool entirely on a wire rack.
18. Whisk 500g whipping cream to stiff peaks. (You might need more, but healthy types might get upset if I put “whisk 1 litre” of cream…)
19. Split each roll long-ways and fill with cream, with piping bag.
20. You can also serve with a sprinkling of sieved icing sugar (see bel0w).

Maritozzo crumb - plenty of fruit and pine nuts

Options and decisions

The last two steps are involve some decisions, depending on you how you want to present your calorie bombs. Although some of the photos you’ll find online have the creamed piped with a star nozzle, many of the maritozzi I see in Rome have the cream smoothed off (with a palette knife presumably). I think I prefer the latter.

As for the icing sugar, this is why I said the stock syrup glaze was optional. If you’re going to sieve icing sugar all over (again, this is very popular for the presentation of cakes and pastries in Rome), the glaze could arguably be seen as useless. So you could either not bother with the glaze, or you could even brush the rolls with beaten egg, egg yolk or even milk (full-fat) before baking, to give them varying degrees of golden crust as they bake.

Maritozzo con la panna - and with icing sugar

As for the butter – if you want to be more wholeheartedly (southern) Italian with this recipe, replace the butter with good quality olive oil , which some of the recipes I’ve looked at use. Some also use sunflower oil, or similar.

One final option – you can also add some vanilla essence when making up the dough. Maybe a teaspoonful, around 6g.

Enjoy!

Footnotes

1. Here are some of the recipes I looked at online, all in Italian: Giallo Zafferano (Italy’s biggest online recipe resource); Alice (a cookery channel; this one uses a biga and some “qb”); Arturo (another cookery channel, related to Alice); Cookaround (a forum); PaperBlog (an online magazine); La Cuochina Sopraffina (a blog, though this one seems to be missing some vital info); Paciulina (another blog); also the book La Cucina di Roma e del Lazio by Maria Teresa di Marco and Marie Cécile Ferré.

2. This style of recipe calculation is very handy if you’re trying to accurately scale up quantities, and for doing costings. You start by adding up all the bakers’ percentages (ie, all the ingredients given as a percentage of the total flour used. Comprehensively explained here). In this case, that gives me 215. You then divide the total dough required by that figure to give you a “recipe factor”.

Here, the total dough I want for 10 buns each made with 90g of dough is 900g. Add a little extra (2%) for loss/wiggle room, giving a total desired dough weight of 918g. 918 divided by 215 gives a recipe factor of 4.3 (rounded).

Then, multiply the bakers’ percentage by the recipe factor to give the ingredient weight (which you can also round, obviously).  The total of these ingredient weights should be the total dough. As I rounded a few figures up, the total weight of ingredients here is 924g.

So If you wanted to do 30 buns instead, simply work out a new total dough weight, ie 90g x 30 = 2700g. Add 2% for loss, giving g. 2754 divided by 215 gives a recipe factor of 12.8 (rounded), etc.

14 Comments

Filed under Cakes (yeasted), Recipes

Almond and candied peel cookies

Almond and peel cookies

A few weeks ago, I made some cookies using almonds and candied peel (ideally homemade, or at least handmade). The flavour was great, but the cookie wasn’t quite right. So I thought I’d try similar flavourings again, but with a much more basic cookie recipe. It’s v simple.

So here it is.

125g butter
100g caster sugar
75g soft brown or demerara sugar
1 egg (with the white and yolk weighing about 50g)
1 t vanilla essence
1 t almond essence
100g plain flour
80g ground almonds
1/2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon powder
50g candied peel, roughly chopped
50g plain almonds, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 190C.
2. Melt the butter, then combine with the sugar in a bowl.
3. Add the egg and essences and beat.
4. Sieve in the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon and baking powder. The ground almonds probably won’t go through the sieve entirely – don’t worry, just dunk the rest into the mix.
5. Add the chopped peel and nuts, and combine to form a fairly loose cookie dough.
6. Put desertspoonfuls on baking sheets lined with parchment.
7. Bake the cookies for around 10-12 minutes, until browning nicely.
8. Cool on a wire rack.
9. Enjoy.

1 Comment

Filed under Biscuits, cookies, Recipes

Honey, almond and peel cookies

fresh baked

This was a bit of a haphazard baking experience. I’d wanted to make some biscuits or cookies that included citrus peel, as I’d recently made some. I also wanted to try some more recipes from the American Academy in Rome’s Biscotti book.

It’s a handsome, nicely-designed book, and I know from working in the Academy kitchens that their biscotti and cookies are very good. But, like The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, Biscotti is a recipe book that really needed more testing, to make sure the recipes were scaled correctly for a domestic kitchen. Many of the recipes have large yields and rely on you having a proper food mixer. I don’t want to bake for 40 people, nor do I have a Hobart (I wish!).

melt honey and sugar 2

So I read the Biscotti di miele (honey cookies) recipe with some trepidation. It “Yields 60 cookies”. It doesn’t involve fat or eggs. It seems to rely on having a mixer. It uses baking soda, but doesn’t seem to have enough acid for the alkali sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to react with – just some grappa. And even if it did, it says to rest the dough “in a cool place overnight (not in a fridge”). Which is confusing – won’t the soda just react with the grappa when they’re first combined, producing then dispersing the leavening CO2, then have not efficacy at all once it’s rested? Oh, and its summer here in Rome now, 35C-ish (that’s mid-90F, for you 19th century types) – so there is no “cool place” in my flat, beyond the fridge.

chopping peel

Still, I liked the sound of the flavours – honey, almonds, peel, some spices, so I plunged in. So this is my first attempt at a more domestic, less fussy version of these cookies. It’s not quite right, but the flavour is good. As I didn’t have any grappa (yuck), I changed the baking soda to baking powder, which is already combination of acid and alkali, designed to react and create leavening CO2 when heated. I also jettisoned some of the original recipes spices – cloves (because I find them a bit pungent, and too Christmassy) and nutmeg (because I didn’t have any).

chopping almonds

Ingredients
170g honey
125g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp almond essence
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
260g plain/all-purpose flour
60g candied peel (I used my famous vodka-soaked kumquat zest, now candied), finely chopped
65g raw almonds, finely chopped, or indeed ground in a food mixer
50g (ish) milk
60g icing sugar + water for icing

bring together the dough

1. Melt together the honey and sugar, cooking until the sugar crystals have dissolvde.
2. Put aside to cool, adding the almond essence.
3. Sieve together the baking powder, flour and cinnamon.
4. Add the chopped almonds and peel to the honey.
5. Combine the gloopy honey mixture and flour. Ideally done in a mixer, but it’s possible by hand.
6. Bring to a dough. Add milk if it’s too dry.
7. Form a ball and rest, wrapped in plastic, for an hour or so.

bring together the dough 2
8. Roll out the dough thinly – less than 5mm ideally.
9. Cut with your cookie cutters of choice.
10. Bake on sheets lined with parchment for around 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 180C, until golden brown.
11. Place on a wire rack to cool.
12. While cooling, brush with a simple icing made from icing sugar mixed with water to achieve a runny consistency.
13. Allow the cookies to cool completely and the icing to set.
14. Eat, dunked in milky tea.

ready to bake

So yes, although they still feel somewhat experimental, these cookies were still delicious – particularly for the slight crunch of almond and the chewiness of the peel, the latter complimented by the cinnamon.

iced

1 Comment

Filed under Biscuits, cookies