Friselle con pomodoro e basilico

Friselle con pomodoro e basilico

Friselle
Friselle
OH this is some surprisingly good food. I was skeptical that I would like this bread but now I can't imagine summer without it. This is a crunchy snack made in the winter and served in the summer months. It is used as the support to any number of toppings, including fresh tomatoes and other fresh ingredients.
 
In Italy you can buy friselle in the stores, mostly in the south. In the US we have a harder time finding it. Below is a recipe for baking your own friselle. One of the advantages of this bread is it will keep for months in the cupboard.
 
We are going to put a simple salad of crushed tomatoes and basil tossed in olive oil with a pinch of salt.
 
The one trick with this very dry bread is wetting it ever so briefly and letting it rest for a minute before enjoying. The bread is very dry otherwise. Dry enough to keep in pantry throughout the summer. Just a quick splash is enough and will soften the bread but not make it mushy. It should still have a crunchy bite and be able to hold a full assortment of toppings. 
 
To the uninitiated, this may seem strange but I assure you, the Italians have been eating this for years and it is next level snacking.  

Friselle Recipe:

  • 500g (17.5 Oz /4 Cups) - Whole Wheat Flour 
  • 250ml (1 Cup) - Water 
  • 10g (3/4 Tbsp) - Yeast 
  • 50ml (3 1/3 Tbsp ) - Olive Oil 
  • 1tsp - Barley Malt Syrup 
  • 10g (3/4 Tbsp) - Salt 
  • 1tsp - Sugar
     
  • Fresh Ripe Tomatoes 
  • Fresh Basil 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Pinch of Salt
 
Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Then in a bowl, mix the flour, oil, sugar, and malt. Mix for one minute, while mixing, slowly pour the water yeast mixture into the bowl.
 
Continue Mixing. Finally, add the salt and work the dough for another 10 minutes. You should end up with a smooth ball of dough that pulls easily from the bowl.
 
Let rest for an hour. Dough should double in size. Then pinch off 120g portions, you can expect 9-10 pieces. 
 
Take a ball of dough and roll it out evenly from the middle to make a rope. Pinch the two ends together. Let rest for another hour. Preheat oven to 200C (390°F)
 
Once they have doubled again, bake for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven to 160C (320°F)
The friselle should be doubled in size
Back in the oven
 
Cut the friselle in half lengthwise and lay them out with the cut side facing up. Bake for another 40 minutes. They will become dry and crunchy.
 
The drier they are, the better they are. We let ours stand out over night to make sure they are cool and dry before packing them away.
To dress the friselle, splash a bit of water on the dry bread, add crushed tomatoes, basil and olive oil. A pinch of salt to taste.
The friselle should be doubled in size
Back in the oven