Italy's Finest Home Cooked Sicilian Cuisine

Italian Sicilian Step by Step Cooking Recipes Made Simple

                  Home Made Ricotta Cheese!

Two Quarts of WHOLE MILK

One Cup of HEAVY CREAM

¾ Teaspoon SALT

3 Tablespoons of LEMON JUICE

Large Sauce Pan Big Enough for all of the above

Pasta Strainer or Sieve

Pot that you Pasta Strainer or Sieve Fits Into

Piece of fine Cheese Cloth to fit your Strainer or Sieve

Place your Cheese Cloth into your Strainer or Sieve then place your Strainer or Sieve over your empty Pot.

To the Sauce Pan add your Whole Milk, Heavy Cream and Salt and bring to a boil at medium heat and stir every few minutes to prevent burning. Remember MEDIUM HEAT only!

To this boiling mixture add your Lemon Juice and stir in

Now lower your heat to low simmer and keep stiring until the mix curdles, about 5 minutes more or less.

Pour this curdled mix into the Cheese Cloth and let drain for about 1 ½ hours and the Ricotta will get nice and firm. Room Temp.

Spoon this mix , Ricotta!, into a covered container and refrigerate.

This Fresh Ricotta has no preservatives so it will keep for only 2 to three days

 

                        Basic Brioche Dough

2 Cups SIFTED PASTRY flour

1 Packet of DRY YEAST not rapid rise

1 ½ Tablespoons of LUKEWARM water

2 Large eggs

3 Tablespoons of sugar Remember Brioche is sweet

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Cup of REAL BUTTER at room temperature

Follow steps!

Part One:

1. Dissolve the YEAST with the 1 ½ Tablespoon of water

2. Take ½ cup of FLOUR and place on a flat surface making a hole in the middle

3. Pour your YEAST mix into the hole and work the dough as you would for bread until it forms a smooth round ball.

4. Cut into the top of the ball a "X", cover with a light towel and set aside for about 20 minutes

Part Two:

1. On a flat surface place the remaining FLOUR and make a hole in the middle.

2. Into the center hole add your EGGS, SUGAR and SALT.

3. Now here is the trick. Work this mix into a dough fast and hard. Pick it up and drop it down hard several times. Knead it, squeeze it, drop it hard until it becomes one smooth piece. You WILL NOT set this dough aside to rise or rest. When it is one smooth piece it is ready.

Are we having fun yet?

4. When your YEASTED dough has doubled you r going to stretch it out and shape it into a round disc about the size of a pie pan.

5. With your second dough do the same.

6. Now put one disc on top of the other and place you ROOM TEMP BUTTER in the middle.

7. WORK them together until the butter is thoroughly incorporated and you have a ball of dough that is smooth and elastic.

Time for a break? Getting close.

8. Put your dough into a bowl and set aside in a still and warm location for about 30 minutes. Note I said ABOUT 30 minutes because when you notice it is starting to rise your going to push it down before the full rise.

9. After you push it down recover and place in refrigerator for 7 to 8 hours, this is VERY important.

That is the basic Dough for Brioche. Now you can rest.....fun?

 

                   One Way to Bake Brioche

You did the hard part of making the Brioche Dough and now I will show you how to bake it. Or at least one of the many ways.

You will need:

Your Brioche Dough at room temperature.

2 Tablespoons of Melted REAL BUTTER

1 Large Beaten Egg

A round and deep baking form where your dough must fill it half way up.

1. Butter your Baking Form. Butter not spray or oil.

2. From your Dough remove a piece about the size of a golf ball and set aside.

3. Form the rest of your Dough into your Round Deep Baking pan so the dough reaches half way up the sides.

4. Make a small half round indent into the center of your dough and place the golf ball piece of dough into it.

5. Brush the top of everything with your Egg wash and the remaining melted butter.

6. Set this whole thing aside in a warm place until it rises to the top of your pan.

7. Bake in a pre heated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crusty.

Whew! Enjoy!

 

                    Pizza and Calzone Dough

Basic Pizza Dough for a 18 inch Pizza or Two Large Calzones

3 Cups of All Purpose Flour

1 Packet of Dry Yeast

1 Cup of Hot Water to Temp

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Table Spoon Oil or Melted Butter

1 Tablespoon or so of Flour

1 Large Bowl

1 Flat tray or pan for kneading

Pour the cup of hot water into your bowl and add the sugar, salt, yeast and oil or butter. Stir to dissolve and let sit for about 10 minutes to ferment and bubble. When well fermented add the 3 cups of Flour and mix well with a spatula until the liquid is absorbed. Now with your hand begin to work the dough hard into a ball.

Now coat your Flat work surface with some Flour and place your dough on it. Now start your kneading process. Push you dough ball down into a flat, but thick. circle. Now picture this dough in 4 quarters. Work clockwise and using your fingers fold each quarter one at a time to the center and press with the palm of your hand. Repeat over and over for at least 10 minutes, better 15. This is a very important step. Add small amounts of flour as needed. When done you will have a tacky but not sticky smooth ball of dough.

Wipe out the bowl you used for mixing and coat it with a light coat of oil. Place your dough ball in it, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it sit for about 1 ½ hours in a warm place or until doubled in size.

When doubled place it on your tray and punch it down to deflate. Form back into a ball and cover with the bowl inverted over it for about 15 to 20 minutes. (Note if you plan on refrigerating your dough for later use place it into a flour coated plastic bag right after you punch it down and re shape it.)

Watery Lazagna or Calzones?

Here is why!

Ricotta  Cheese has a vey high moisture content. To resolve this you should always drain your Ricotta through Cheese Clothe or a Strainer in your refrigerator  several hours before using or better yet the day before. Place a plate on top of the Riccotta to help push the moisture out.

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