Thursday, 8 January 2015

Golden Wonder!

Piccoli Panini di Farina di Ceci, Zucca, Peperone & Rosmarino
Little Gram Flour, Pumpkin & Pepper Rock Buns with Rosemary


How about a little something a little different, rather than regular bread or crackers to go with your cheese platter at your next party? Like these improvised and ingenious little crusty and flaky rolls for example, made using ground pumpkin and pepper, bound using chickpea flour and flavored with dried rosemary, olive oil and sea salt... Do I hear a yes out there?


Small, crusty, flaky and with the rich flavor of rosemary and chick-pea, these little bite-sized rolls are a real change from the usual as well as being fun and easy to make.

The ingredients have already been mentioned- the quantities thereof depend on you- and the forces of nature! I did use a little yeast as a raising agent- but basically, I simply used twice as much pumpkin as pepper to make this, and then added flour to the mixture until it became a soft but firm batter- time for a little trial and error! But follow my lead and you should be ok ;-)


Chickpea or gram flour, can tend to have a pasty consistency- just as the chickpeas themselves do when fresh. I guess this is one of the reasons that some people have a bit of an aversion to them. But by adding some good olive oil to the batter and with the vegetables in the mix, this ends up having a pleasantly flaky bite to it- as well as a great taste!

As you can see, these are fluffy and flaky and perfect to enjoy with cheese or even simply with a little butter- and I guess if you made them a little smaller still you could nibble on them as snacks to serve with cocktails- now there's another idea for you!

But first... let's get back to how to make these little rolls...

I began by dissolving 2 tablespoons of yeast in warm water, with a little sugar and salt and letting it get to work for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, I chopped up the pumpkin and pepper into relatively small, but not fussy chunks- this is just to make them easy to grind to a pulp. 

I popped the chopped pepper and pumpkin into my blender and added the water/yeast mix as the liquid would also make blending easier. Once it had become a smooth, fine, pulp, I scooped it into a bowl- in my case, I had about 2 coffee cups full of pulp. I added 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary, 5 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt and stirred them in well.  


I then began adding the flour, 1 cupful at a time and stirring it in briskly and thoroughly with a wooden spoon.


I kept adding more flour, until it had absorbed most of the moisture of the vegetable pulp and become a firm batter, with about the same kind of consistency of raw hamburger. In my case, it took 6 cups of gram flour.

Have a little taste to check if you have enough salt, then allow to stand for 15 minutes or so, covered and in a warm place. The batter will not grow in size very much, but the yeast will help the flour have a lighter consistency when it comes to baking... so in those 15 minutes- turn on your oven nice and hot and have it ready for action!


I spread out a little olive oil on my parchment paper before spooning out the batter- just 1 heaped teaspoon for each little roll. Then, into the oven they went for 20-25 minutes at 180°C, until they become golden brown.


Crusty and delicious and with a rich, rosemary aroma... mmm! I have to admit that I stole one, red-hot from the oven! So originally- there were 12... but not in this picture as you can see- haha!  


Golden nuggets of crispy, crumbly, savory goodness! And what a lovely smell! So yes- do be sure to use plenty of rosemary- you will be glad that you did!

Rich flavor, through and through! I enjoyed mine with some fresh ricotta cheese and ground pepper... how are you thinking of enjoying yours? ;-)

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