Sunday, 31 August 2014

Let's Do The Twist!

Pani 'Nturciniatu chi Fichi, Pistacchi & Miele
Plaited Bread with Figs, Pistachios & Honey


Just 1 roll of ready-made pizza dough in the fridge, nothing else at home other than a couple of figs I was going to eat as a snack, being as I have emptied everything out before I leave the country for a week... and what's a guy to do, come suppertime?

Well- obviously, THIS! But who ever would have thunk it, eh? Suddenly filled with inspiration, I quickly rustled-up one of these twisty Sicilian loaves, threw the figs in there, added some delicious pistachios- and voila! Totally treat-a-licious!


Based on one of those twisted loaves called "'nfigghiulati", from Ragusa,which I have made a few times already, I basically plaited 2 of them together to make this... which was a lot of fun to do and completely awesome when it was finished! So worth it! The word "n'turciniatu" is Sicilian dialect for twisted btw!


To make 1 loaf you will need 1 roll of pizza dough- enough for 1 pan pizza, 2 figs, a handful of pistachios and just a drizzle of honey.

The pistachios I used were from Bronte, in Sicily. They have the reputation of being the very finest in the world. And they may well be right! But... any old pistachios will do of course!


This would make a great snack food, party food- or it would also make a great accompaniment for a cheese platter I would say- I think the fruity figs would accent the cheeses really well!


I decided to halve the pistachios- chunky is good- but I think whole pistachios would be a little too much... plus of course, this also unleashes that beautiful vibrant green color as well! Wow!


I sliced up the figs relatively thinly... being fresh, they will give off quite a lot of moisture when they get hot during baking, so large pieces of them will make for soggy dough. Thinner is better!


Cut the sheet of dough into 2 equal parts and lay out the fig slices and pistachios nice and evenly, before adding a light trickle of honey all over.


Carefully roll up each rectangle of dough and make sure that everything is neatly sealed when you get to the end.


Set the 2 rolls out side by side with the sealed edge facing down and then cut half-way into the rolls with a very sharp knife. This is going to expose the layers and the filling inside and make the bread look so wonderful!


Now plait the 2 lengths of dough together- don't fuss- as you can see- I didn't! It can be a little tricky, so just let is turn out however it does... because once you have gone over and over a couple of times and twisted both lengths of dough together, you simply gather them up like a snail into a little spiral. Tuck the ends in and pat it into shape- the whole fun of it is that each one will come out completely different.


Add any extra pistachios, pressing them into the folds of the dough and then pop the loaf- surprise-surprise, into a frying pan and let it toast from beneath for 3-4 minutes first, before popping it into a preheated oven, at 200°C, for 20-25 minutes until crusty and golden brown.


Something a little bit like this! Pretty awesome, right? Just look at those beautiful colors! And the best thing about it is- it tastes every bit as good as it looks!


Isn't that just a thing of beauty? And yes- I am bragging a little! But that's ok!


It's like a jewel-studded, golden crown of a loaf of bread! Baking royalty indeed! And that from a roll of pizza-dough! Haha!


 And plenty for all to share!


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