This summer we have been all crazy about the Friselle - an old farmer's dish from Puglia. A twice baked bread - that kind of look like a bagel split in half - and then toasted.
These ancient breads from Puglia - is really true " Cucina Povera" and originally baked for the shepherds to bring along - when looking after the sheep - since these smallish ring shaped breads are baked twice - and rock hard - they keep well.
Traditionally they are served with chopped up tomatoes, some herbs and a generous drizzle of olive oil - made a few hours before eating, so all the juices can soften the bread - a kind of instant panzanella. Perfect for a summer lunch on the terrace and when the garden is full of sun ripe tomatoes.
For the friselle - you can either buy them - maybe you have already seen them at the market - and wondered how on earth you can eat these rock hard breads - or you can bake them yourself. When baking them yourself - they tend to be less hard and need less time to soak.
this isn't really a recipe - so what you need is:
1 or 2 friselle per person - we always have 2 - one is to little
1 cloves of garlic
some good strong extra virgin olive oil
sun ripe tomatoes - we always use a mix of different colors, shapes and sizes
red wine vinegar
fresh herbs - basil, mint or verbena - or why not a mix - but stick to soft herbs
sea salt and black pepper
So if you buy the friselle - it is a good idea to soak them in cold water first - this sounds a bit strange - but it works - just briefly in a bowl of cold water - then place them on a plate and rub them very lightly with the garlic. If you bake them yourself - there is no need for the soaking.
Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Cut your tomatoes in smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Give them a good splash of olive oil, some vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Chop your herbs of choice and add to the bowl - give it a good stir - normally we give them a good squeeze with our hands - to press out some of the juices.
Pile the tomatoes on top of the friselle and spoon over the juices - let the friselle rest/marinate for a few hours. When serving - drizzle with a little extra oil....
Makes about 16
275 g water
1 bag dry yeast - 7 gram
50 g extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp barley malt or dark syrup
2 tsp fine sea salt
300 g fine semolina
200 g whole wheat flour
In the bowl of your stand mixer pour in the water. Add the yeast and let it stand for 5 minutes to dissolve. Pour in the oil, malt and salt and mix. Add the 2 flours and with the dough hock fitted - mix for 5 minutes on low speed. Scrape down the sides and mix for a further 2 minutes on medium speed.
Let the dough proof to double size - about 60 minutes. Turn it out on a flour dusted work top and knock it down. Cut the dough into 100 g pieces and shape them into rolls.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Press a whole in the middle of a roll - and stretch/swing it to widen the whole - as a bagel. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough. Let the friselle proof for 45 minutes or until double in size.