25 novembre 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

It's Thanksgiving time in Usa and I would like to send all my warmest wishes to my American blogger friends: have a nice day and celebrate in peace and love with your families and dearest friends!
A little "edible" ideas to make your festive holidays to come more appetizing, and my entry to this week Susan's YeastSpotting.

Festive Holiday Breads

lebkuchen segnaposto

Last year I had made so many gingerbread hearts, decorated with white frosting and the initials of my guests, a beautiful satin bow tied them to the napkin and they were a personal placeholder for each one: for grandparents I used larger gingerbread man and woman cutters. I put hearts and stars, always decorated with white icing and silver confetti, in the majestic centerpiece of true pine, with fresh chillies (from the last harvest of my dear friend Paola) to give a little bright color in the dark green pine.

lettere-stelle-alberini di pane

For my birthday, which falls just a week before Christmas, I prepared bread trees and letters shaping Merry Christmas (in Italian, of course!): I have then also used to decorate the buffet table on Christmas' Eve dinner and Christmas lunch. They may be a simple placeholder, or enrich a wreath or centerpiece. Years ago I had them placed into a centerpiece of true pine and red berries of piracanta.
Bread trees are easy to bake, the recipe is here.
You can prepare in advance, freeze and defrost a few hours before (a few minutes in the oven will take them as freshly baked). If they are not eaten, they can be kept well sealed in a box (wrapped in parchment paper) for long, for these pictures I used last year leftover ones! ... I did not have the courage to give them the dog and so this year I have enough stars to make a couple of trees!

alberino di pane

alberino e stelle di pane

alberino e stelle di pane

Bread letters are very beautiful too (as well as hearts or little garlands). The recipe is simple, and a little bit crunchier, you can see som pics in the Italian version here.

lettere di pane

lettere di pane

You need:

500g flour + some other dusting
200/250 ml water
5 g fresh yeast
50 g extravirgin olive oil
15 g sugar or 7 g barley malt
25 g salt
1 beaten egg
poppy/linen/fennel/sesame seeds

- Sift the flour, make a well, pour water and oil in the middle and dissolve yeast into.
- Add sugar or malt, start kneading adding salt at last.
- Knead for a long time: the dough should result soft and elastic.
- You can use your kneader to make it easier!
- Grease with oil a large bowl and place the dough into, cover with plastic film and let rise for half an hour.
- On a floured surface, halve the dough and then divide in many portions of equal size. Take a piece at a time, slide it under your palms to a breadstick shape, about 70cm long. (Depending on the size of the object to do). Then give it the desired shape: a letter, a heart or whatever, then brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. As all the parties are ready, arrange them neatly and spaced out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Let rise for about ten minutes. Bake at 200° for about a quarter of an hour.
This dough makes 10 letters (about 15 cm high) and 4 hearts.
As for the recipe above, you can prepare in advance, freeze and defrost a few hours before (a few minutes in the oven will take them as freshly baked). If they are not eaten, they can be kept well sealed in a box (wrapped in parchment paper) for long, mine were stored in a kitchen drawer (but I must admit my house is not humid at all).

lettere di pane
a white linen embroidered napkin (inheritage my grandmother)
shaped in a nest for welcoming letter placeholder

lettere di pane

lettere di pane
a red ribbon brightens the white towel and allow to tie up the letter

christmas breakfast
bread stars could also be an idea for a festive breakfast,
defrost the night before and heat a little bit,
butter and jam will make them fantastic!

Happy Thanksgiving!

7 commenti:

Fabiana ha detto...

queste decorazioni per la tavola di natale sono strepitose.. bellissime e fanno subito festa...

FOODalogue ha detto...

You are such a wonderful baker. I remember those bread trees!! Thanks for good wishes for our holiday.

P.S. I'll be announcing Culinary Tour 2011 soon -- hope you'll be joining me again.

franci e vale ha detto...

Ma come sono belli gli alberelli !!!! E le lettere?....sabato ho una cena e voglio farle con le iniziali dei commensali,sono bellissime! Poi sembrano un pò i brezel, é vero. Fai sempre delle cose bellissime e interessanti, un abbraccio, Franci.

Susan/Wild Yeast ha detto...

Thank you Cinzia -- wonderful festive holiday breads! Have a very happy holiday season!

Unknown ha detto...

quante meravigliose creazioni! :) un sacco di begli spunti per le feste!

Unazebrapois ha detto...

Auguri!!!Buon thanksgiving!!! (ieri...oggi dovrebbe essere il super giorno dei super saldi, in America, giusto!?Il Black Friday) Comunque sia, qualsiasi giorno vogliamo festeggiare, resta che le tue manine d'oro hanno creato delle piccole meraviglie!!!

Cindystar ha detto...

Fabiana, grazie, mi fa piacere che ti siano piaciute.

Joan, thanks and can't wait for your Culinary Tour! I will be joining with pleasure!

Franci, grazie, ppoi mi fai sapere se le hai fatte e le hanno gradite?

Susan thanks again for hosting this lovely event, hope to be more regular in the future!

B&B, grazie e ... di corsa ad impastare!

Zebretta, beh, da me è stato un black friday nevoso! menomale si è sciolta in fretta, e tutto è rientrato nella norma nel primo ppomeriggio. ... le mie sono anche "manone" da schiaffi ... e ancora ben allenate ... quanno ce vo', ce vo' ... ! baci a pois!

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