A simple and delicious Italian savory bread, which will make you hear the mandolines on a gondola over an Italian stream...
In Venice, Italy
Recently, I was reading the cuisine pages of the New York Times, and one article written by Dorie Greenspan was touting French Savory Loaf Breads called "Cakes Salés"
And I remember eating one those Savory Breads, when I was actually in Venice, Italy
I loved my trip to Venice, despite the crowded destination with its packed narrow streets. So much charm and history at every street corner
I believe I could stay here one month and still discover new things to admire, if it wasn't for the crowd that I dislike so much. I like to discover -and- breathe !
And during this trip, I called my old friend Vincenzo who grew up in France in an Italian family, and moved to Venice after he married a charming Italian lady
And after moving to Venice, Vincenzo started cooking French meals with Italian ingredients and flavors
Vincenzo made this Savory Loaf for lunch, and I really liked it instantly. I like to think it's a fusion food between Italy and France
And so, this is his recipe that I am showing you here
As I hear mandolines when I eat it, and no accordion, I think it's more Italian than French... one thing for sure is : it's super delicious !
About this recipe
Here's the recipe for this savory bread, easy to make, and perfect for a lunch or a brunch
Those Italian flavors make everybody happy, and that's the magic of Italian cuisine
Kids or grown-up like the delicious taste of tomatoes, Basil and Cheese
1. For the Tomatoes (1 ⅓ Cup or 260 g), I chose cherry tomatoes, but you may take regular tomatoes
2. Dice them into cubes, not too small
3. For the Onions (⅔ Cup or 100 g) : Peel, remove the first outer layer, and dice. After dicing, you will need ⅔ Cup or 100 g
4. Pour the Olive Oil (¼ Cup or 50 g) in a skillet and cook on high heat
5. Lightly brown the Onions (⅔ Cup or 100 g)
6. After a few minutes, add in the Tomatoes (1 ⅓ Cup or 260 g) and cook on medium heat
7. Transfer to a clean bowl and let cool down at room temperature
8. In a different bowl, mix the Flour (1 Cup or 160 g) and the Baking Powder (2 teaspoons or 11 g), add in the Salt (1 pinch) and the Pepper (1 pinch)
9. In a separate bowl, beat the Eggs (3)
10. Stir in the powders on the eggs, and mix well with a spatula
11. Stir in the Tomato Paste (1 tablespoon)
12. Warm the Milk (½ Cup or 120 g) in the microwave
13. Stream the milk into the bowl, while stirring
14. Whisk altogether
15. Slice the Basil leaves ( 1 oz or 30 g), with a knife or using a Cup Food Chopper
16. The veggies that have been waiting in the bowl should be cooled down (this is important as when too hot, they could activate the baking powder instantly before baking !)
17. You may want to peel the tomatoes (it's easy to do as they are cooked)
18. Combine all bowls into one
19. Make sure to carefully mix (avoid destroying the tomatoes)
20. For the Mozzarella Cheese (¼ lbs or 120 g), make sure to buy a cheese that is sold in its juice, and avoid those ridiculous dried mozzarella sold in a plastic
21. Cut the Mozzarella Cheese (¼ lbs or 120 g) into chunks
22. Gently fold/mix
23. I am using this mold (brand: Matfer) that is a non-stick load mold, found on the internet
24. Butter and flour the mold
25. Poor the batter, and make sure the mold is not more than 3/4 full
26. Bake in preheated oven at 360 °F / 180 °C
27. The baking time depends on your oven : 30/40 minutes
28. After baking 10 minutes, I slice the bread lengthwise (this trick will give the final bread a nice shape)
29. WOnder if the loaf is finished baking? Take a knife or toothpick to the centre of the bread. If your toothpick or knife comes out wet, it’s not finished baking. If it comes out clean, it is finished!
30. Cool on a rack
31. Unmold quite quickly, otherwise the loaf will soggy up
That's it! Pretty simple isn't it?
So good ! Can't you hear the mandolines singing by an Italian stream already??