HOMEMADE BREAD AND SWEETS: TIPS TO MAKE THEM PERFECTLY
With the Coronavirus emergency, yeast is no longer available in supermarkets, and some people are rationing it. Everyone started making bread, pizza, and homemade desserts. But make sure you are making them right: the expert's advice
I don’t know the situation in your supermarket, but in the one closest to the writer, it is useless to look for brewer’s yeast (for example) in the frozen food aisle. That’s easy; there isn’t. You have to ask the salesperson, who will give you 50 grams per family.
In short, everyone started making bread and cakes at home. But in an article published in Corriere della Sera – Salute (yesterday’s edition, article by Daniela Natali) Marina Carcea explains how to make bread and sweets, and what mistakes we should avoid. Carcea is a chief technologist at the Crea Food and Nutrition Research Center, Council of Agricultural Research, and Agricultural Economy Analysis.
Tip 1: mix different flours
Mixing different kinds of flour gives the bread a particular aroma and flavor, and each flour has different qualities and characteristics. For example, legumes are «rich in protein, and if we use them, our bread becomes more protein. Whole grain and buckwheat flours – Carcea continues – contain more fibers. Rice, corn, and potato starch flours are gluten-free and starchy, but be careful: if you are celiac, do not mix them with others».
Furthermore, the different types of flour always guarantee diverse contents of vitamins, minerals, and bioactive substances. Try mixing with regular flour (the classic ‘0’ or ’00’) flours obtained from oilseed nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts. They are very energetic and low in cholesterol. With the further addition of raisins (very rich in polyphenols) and a little sugar, you will have an excellent Easter dessert, kind of “Colomba,” Easter Dove Bread (Easter Italian Cake).
Tip 2: the yeast
The yeast lasts just under a month, and then you will have to throw it away. However, you can buy dry yeast, which can also be found online. The latter lasts several months. With flour and yeast available, then, just knead, directly by hand, left to rise and bake at 180-200 ° C for about 30-45 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of the loaf.
Tip 3: cooking
In the beginning, cooking will be the main obstacle. Carcea’s advice is to start with small loaves to prevent the bread from baking too much or too little. An overcooked bread, in fact, exposes to carcinogenic risks due to the creation of acrylamide. At the same time, if undercooked, it is difficult to digest since the digestive enzymes could not attack the starch.
Tip 4: the bread is delicious, but don’t exaggerate
How much bread can we eat without worries? It will be good not to exceed 150 grams per day. Possibly consume less since your current lifestyle will necessarily be sedentary.
Tip 5: the cakes
So, the bread is ready, now let’s talk about cakes. The transition seems inevitable, especially in such a bitter moment. Of course, it will be better to avoid fats and sugars in large quantities, but even so, they will remain cakes. As a result, eat them mainly for breakfast and use yogurt, which lightens them from the caloric point of view and offers precious probiotics.
Tip 6: the meringues
Easy to create, they do not contain flour, but are made with egg and need a lot of sugar. Avoid exaggerating here too.
Tip 7: stay on the salty quiche
Quiche, or savory pies. With bread dough (not the puff pastry), focus on vegetable fillings «with two or three eggs – says Marina Carcea – to make something like Easter cakes. Neapolitan pizza or calzone is also excellent. Even fresh pasta: a plate of ravioli (about 120 grams), followed by a salad and a fruit, represent a complete meal and also a plate of fresh tagliatelle (about 100 grams) with tomato sauce or ragù, maybe vegetables, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. And above all, a little bit of cheese ». Voila, healthy, and tasty!
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)