Wow, scrolling through the last posts is a written confirmation that the past year basically did not happen and that it just passed by waaay too fast. Wasn’t it Christmas only yesterday? So much has happened this past year. Besides having moved to another place for half a year and finally rounding off my studies (not a school kid anymore, unbelievable), I decided to stay in Amsterdam on a more permanent basis. It feels so good to know that it actually makes sense to buy furniture that you really like – no need to resell them again after a few months’ time. Anyway, here we are again, hesitantly starting to listen to Christmas playlists, officially opening the “scarf-season” and writing that note to ourselves that we better won’t forget to leave the house with a pair of gloves the next day. The worst on a bike.
But before I’m going to soak up all that Christmas craziness in the coming weeks, here’s a recipe that for some reason awakes the memories of summer and connects them to these cozy, warming late fall evenings. This Mediterranean Tortano bread reminds me of mild summer nights spent in Italy last summer, but due to its very hearty taste, I personally think it is the perfect companion for a soup. I made it a few weeks ago and we had pumpkin soup with it, but honestly I can imagine it goes just as well with carrot, sweet pumpkin or paprika soup.
As my dear friend Hannah from Kuechenrebellin (thank you for the inspiration!) already mentioned, the good thing about this stuffed Tortano bread is that it allows your creativity full bent. You can adapt it how you like, just make sure that the fillings won’t be too moist. I believe the canned paprika I bought were preserved in oil, garlic and herbs, so if you want some additional aroma, I suggest you also add a clove of garlic. Enough said, here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Mediterranean Tortano bread400 g flour 1 pack (7 g) dry yeast 1 tsp salt 3 tbsp olive oil about 250 ml water 1 jar pesto 1 jar olives 1 jar grilled paprika 1 pack feta cheese and/or grated gouda 1. Start by preparing the dough. Therefore, mix the flour, dry yeast and salt. Then add the oil and water step-by-step. Knead the dough (either with a mixer or by hand) until everything is well incorporated. Let it rise for about 45 minutes. I always preheat the oven (only 80 °C) for a few minutes, then turn it off and place the mixing bowl inside. 2. In the meantime, wash and drain the vegetables and cut them into small cubes. The draining part is really important, otherwise the bread gets too soaky. Also cut or grate the cheeses. Mix all vegetables and cheeses in a large bowl. 3. Now it’s time to have a look for the dough. If it has doubled its size, its time to roll it out into a rectangle. 4. Preheat the oven to about 175 °C. 4. Spread the pesto on the dough, then add the veggie-cheese mixture. Make sure that it is evenly distributed and it’s not too much filling (otherwise it will break in the oven and leak). Leave about 2 cm on all sides free. 5. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to spread some water on all sides of the rectangle. 6. Then roll up the dough, starting from the long side, form a circle and connect and squeeze the endings together. Coat the Tortano with some olive oil and flour. 7. Move to the baking try and bake it in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
Hope you’ll enjoy it. Did you bake the Tortano yourself? Let me know in the comments how you filled it!