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TORTANO BREAD RECIPES

from 'One More Slice' by Leila Lindholm

Tortano Bread

Tortano is a filled, round bread that comes from the Naples region of Italy.  It is shaped like a ring a gets its name from its cake-like shape and because it is cut into cake-like slices.  The original is filled with boiled eggs, but I fill my tortano breads with lots of other tasty things.

Tortano is the perfect bread for the picnic basket or the buffet. It is unbelievably delicious and filling and also really easy to vary. You can make the bread in a flash and then just choose a filling from among your favourite ingredients.

Basic recipe makes 1 round bread

15 g (1/2 oz) fresh yeast
300 ml (10 fl oz) lukewarm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
11/2 tbsp sea salt
175 g (6 oz) durum wheat flour
275 g (91/2 oz) strong bread flour choice of filling

Tortano bread

1. Crumble the yeast in a mixing bowl and dissolve it in the water, olive oil, honey and sea salt.

2. Mix in the flours a little at a time; knead until the dough becomes elastic (about 10 minutes).

3. Let it rise in the bowl under a cloth, until it doubles in size, about 40 minutes.

4. Press the dough into a rectangle about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Don’t roll it, because the air will be pressed out of the dough.

5. Fill the dough with the filling of your choice. (see some variations below)

6. Brush the edges of the dough with water and roll it into a long sausage shape, then shape into a wreath.

7. Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F/gas 10).

8. Place on a tray lined with baking parchment, flour the bread and let it rise under a cloth for around 30 minutes.

9. Put the tray in the oven and lower the temperature to 200°C (400°F/gas 6). Bake for around 35 minutes and let it cool on a cooling rack.

Now for some tasty variations for your Tortano bread

Tortano with goats’ cheese, honey and walnuts

I take this tasty bread with me on a spring picnic or to a potluck supper. It is fantastic and tastes like delicious chèvre chaud, which is a wonderful toasted sandwich with goats’ cheese, honey and walnuts.

Makes 1 round bread
1 portion tortano
200 g chèvre or other similar goats cheese
150 g (5 oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp honey, clear

1. Make the tortano according to the basic recipe. (1-4 above)

2. Break the chèvre into pieces then layer the cheese and chopped walnuts over the dough. Drizzle with honey.

3. Brush the edges of the dough with water and roll it into a sausage shape. Shape it into a wreath.

4. Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F/gas 10).

5. Place on a tray lined with baking parchment, flour the bread and let it rise under a cloth for around 30 minutes.

6. Put the tray in the oven and lower the temperature to 200°C (400°F/gas 6). Bake for around 35 minutes and then let it cool on a cooling rack.


Tortano with roasted vegetables and feta

Inviting friends to a picnic or a garden party in the summer is one of the best things there is. I think that such events should be spontaneous and unpretentious. Tortano is the perfect food for such an occasion, simple and appealing to most people.

Makes 1 round bread
1 portion tortano
200 g (7 oz) feta cheese
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
5 artichoke hearts, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp honey, clear

1. Crumble the feta cheese and lightly pound the fennel seeds in a mortar. Peel and dice the vegetables into small cubes.

2. Fry the vegetables and garlic in butter until soft and season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

3. Make the tortano according to the basic recipe.(1-4 above)

4. Layer the feta with the vegetables, rosemary and fennel over the dough. Drizzle with honey.

5. Brush the edges of the dough with water and roll it into a sausage shape. Shape it into a wreath.

6. Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F/gas 10).

7. Place on a tray lined with baking parchment, flour the bread and let it rise under a cloth for around 30 minutes.

8. Put the tray in the oven and lower the temperature to 200°C (400°F/gas 6). Bake the bread for around 35 minutes and let it cool on a cooling rack.


Tortano with portobello mushrooms

Portobello is a type of mushroom that you can find in most shops and some supermarkets these days. I never wash any mushrooms, just carefully brush them off with a brush or peel the upper layer from the top with a little knife. You can also cut off most of the gills underneath the cap. I do this so that the Portobello mushroom has a more pleasant and firmer consistency when I fry it in butter.

tortano with portobello mushrooms Makes 1 round bread

1 portion tortano
3 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tbsp butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
250 g ( 9 oz) mozzarella cheese
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
200 g (7 oz) smoked ham

1. Fry the mushrooms and garlic in butter until soft and they have turned golden; season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

2. Make the tortano according to the basic recipe. (1-4 above)

3. Slice the mozzarella then layer the mozzarella, mushrooms, rosemary and ham over the dough.

4. Brush the edges of the dough with water and roll it into a thick sausage shapel. Shape it into a wreath.

5. Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F/gas 10).

6. Place the wreath on a tray lined with baking parchment, flour the bread and let it rise under a cloth for around 30 minutes.

7. Put the tray in the oven and lower the temperature to 200°C (400°F/gas 6). Bake the bread for around 35 minutes and let it cool on a cooling rack.


Tortano with goats’ cheese and salami

Makes 1 round bread
1 portion tortano
125 g (41/2 oz) mozzarella cheese
100 g (4 oz) chèvre or other similar goats’ cheese
1 handful mixed olives, stoned and chopped
1 handful red cherry tomatoes, halved
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
200 g (7 oz) salami
freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the tortano according to the basic recipe. (1-4 above)

2. Slice the mozzarella, crumble the chèvre, stone the olives, halve the tomatoes and finely chop the rosemary.

3. Layer all the ingredients over the dough.

4. Brush the edges of the dough with water and roll it into a thick sausage shape. Shape it into a wreath.

5. Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F/gas 10).

6. Place the wreath on a tray lined with baking parchment, flour the bread and let it rise under a cloth for around 30 minutes.

7. Put the tray in the oven and lower the temperature to 200°C (400°F/gas 6). Bake the bread for around 35 minutes and let it cool on a cooling rack.


 

As previously mentioned, the above recipes are extracts from 'One More Slice' published by New Holland Publishers.

This publication has far more to offer than Tortano bread recipes as it is full of 'hearty baking' and family favourites including a wide variety of pizzas plus base dough and fresh tomato sauce, cheesecakes, pancakes, waffles, brownies, ice cream, boulangerie (including bagels), pies and pasta.

If I were to have any criticism it would be the quality of the imagery and the fact that some of the recipes are somewhat extravagant with regard to ingredients (one uses 8 free range eggs!). 

I also notice that, although the number of pieces each recipe makes is given, no tin sizes are mentioned.  This could be difficult for new cooks and the wrong size tin can adversely affect the finished results.

That said, the recipes are mouth watering - I am sure I put on several pounds just reading them  - and they are an ideal way of getting children interested in baking.


 

 

 

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