Sunday, 3 May 2015

No Knead to Fuss!

Pane di Ricotta & Mandorle con Fichi Secche, Cardamone, Cannella e Limone
Ricotta & Almond Bread with Dried Figs, Cardamom, Cinnamon & Lemon

Another rainy Sunday morning in Frankfurt... Whatever happened to yesterday's sunshine?!?! It is cold and grey and somebody needs some cheering up... And feeding... And that person is me!

So, what's to do? Breakfast of course! Something that will take care of itself whilst I take care of some coffee... And of simply waking up! Something like this wonderful little breakfast loaf! Oh yes indeed!


Not sweet, but with that hint of fruitiness from the figs... And perfumed with spice... This moist and delicious little loaf has the rich flavor of fresh ricotta as well as the nutty almond texture and crunch going for it... That should be something for everyone, right? Especially as it only took 45-50 minutes to make!


All I needed to make this small loaf was 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of ground almonds, 3 tablespoons of fresh ricotta, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, the zest of 1/2 lemon, 4-5 dried figs, a handful of almonds, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and cardamom.


It took very little ingredients and even less work... Just a bit of mixing and stirring... And no need to knead! Which makes this super easy and convenient to make... Perfect for a Sunday morning!


In a bowl, add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and soda, spices, a pinch of salt, the zest, the ricotta and the egg yolk... And whisk at high speed for just 2-3 minutes.

The resulting batter will be a little firm and lumpy, but fear not- as soon as you add the fluffy, beaten egg white, it will soon become smooth and soft... And will be wanting a 10 minute rest from all the exertion... Time enough to warm the oven, to slice up the figs and to butter your baking form.


Here is the batter with the egg whites added... Fluffy and light as can be.


Simply spoon the batter into a buttered dish and smooth it out so it is equally thick all over.


Then, add the fig slices and slivered almonds- add the almonds first so that they all come into contact with the batter and stick during baking and then the fig slices, which you should press down firmly. Bake at 180 degrees for 35-50 minutes... It will depend on your oven and the size and shape of your baking form or tin.


Test with a cocktail stick or a piece of spaghetti in the usual way as soon as the loaf looks wonderfully golden brown like this... If it comes out dry, you are good to go! If not... Pop it back in for a few minutes... No drama here!


And what a rewarding little loaf you get, for so little work! You have just got to love it!


Soft, firm, nutty, moist, pity, fruity, light, spicy and delicious! And with a lovely ricotta flavor to boot... So nice to eat with a marmalade or jam... Or 'just so' - and in any case, a nice change from the usual!

With the crunchy and chewy almond and fig crust, this is a real treat to start your day with... Or even later on maybe with cheese- although I can't confirm that... Because I already ate the whole thing! Lol! But you can take my word for it! ;-)

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