Ricetta n. 3 A spelt and honey variation on the paste di meliga, on a windy day…

Warren strandSince Saturday night the wind has been strong and gusty, with rain, hail and more rain – actually the rain started long before that (a few years I’d say). Grey but not too cold, and well wrapped up I went for a walk on the beach near Rosscarbery.

Nice big waves, seen from land – this is when I appreciate not being at sea anymore. Rowan – the dog – loved it!

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When home from a fresh walk like this the oven beckons!

This biscuit is  from Piemonte, and it is a Slow Food Presidium , and this says enough about the importance of introducing a spelt version of it to West Cork….

There are quite a lot of recipes for it on the web, and the one I used is Luca Montersino recipe, that I found here.

Last year, while in Milan, my dear friend Biba (if you happen to be in Milan and need – or even if you do not need it – new lingerie go and see her shop here ) made me discover the existence of a pastry chef called Luca Montersino  who gives sweet things a healthier twist. Needless to say another book was added to my loaded bookshelves, and a lot of his recipes can be found online.

I rarely follow recipes, so I substituted spelt flour for the wheat soft flour, and used half of it wholegrain and half white. The honey is local, and had crystallized, and the butter – well nothing but really nothing can dream of getting close to the taste of Irish Butter, so I reckon that would change the taste and possibly the texture of the biscuit – for the better of course!

Since the recipe on the link is in Italian, here is it in English:

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Ingredients:

200 g honey

200 gr butter, unsalted

100 gr. wholemeal spelt flour

100 gr. white spelt flour

200 gr fine maize flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

25 gr. egg yolk and 60 gr whole eggs (or 1 yolk and 2 eggs)

1 teaspoon proper vanilla essence (or better a vanilla pod)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

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meligaCream the butter and honey until very light. Add the egg a little at a time. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the butter/honey/egg mixture.

If using a mixer bring everything together at low speed, it’s never a good idea to overwork with biscuit and sweet pastry in general, it looses lightness, and this is even more true for spelt – I have used spelt flour a lot, in breads and everything sweet or savoury, and it just doesn’t like being handled roughly.

Cover and let rest in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 170˚C

Line 3 baking trays with parchment.

The traditional shape is made with a pastry pouch, but if you refrigerate the dough that is really hard, so roll it to about 5 mm thick, cut it with your favorite cutter, place on the trays and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Next time I am going to try to bake them at 140˚C for longer – time is really relative, in every sense but even more in baking – ovens have a mind of their own.

That’s it, kettle on now!

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5 Responses to Ricetta n. 3 A spelt and honey variation on the paste di meliga, on a windy day…

  1. 76sanfermo says:

    I love your photos!

  2. And I love these biscuits!
    But the sight of a very happy lab thundering down a windy beach, tail wagging – awwww! Go on, pass me that saliva-covered tennis ball!

  3. Biba says:

    I’ve just done these cookies last sunday!! love them!!!
    Brava Paola!!

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