Citizens, I the dazzling urban warrior who alone is TFD!, today would like to share a recipe from the great city of New York, by way of Naples and the Italian immigrants who came to this mighty metropolis! Lard bread includes meat, cheese and seasonings, all nobly enrobed by a delicious bread ring!
Neapolitan cuisine has ancient historical roots that date back to the Greco-Roman period, which was enriched over the centuries by the influence of the different cultures that controlled Naples and its kingdoms, such as that of Aragon and France.
Since Naples was the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, its cuisine took much from the culinary traditions of all the Campania region, reaching a balance between dishes based on rural ingredients (pasta, vegetables, cheese) and seafood dishes (fish, crustaceans, mollusks).
A vast variety of recipes is influenced by the local aristocratic cuisine, such as timballo and the sartù di riso (it), pasta or rice dishes with very elaborate preparation, and dishes from popular traditions prepared with inexpensive but nutritionally healthy ingredients, like pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans) and other pasta dishes with vegetables.
Naples has a history that goes back many centuries: the city itself predates many others in that area of the world, including Rome. It has endured the Greeks, Romans, the Plague, and dozens of successions of kings from France and Spain and each culture left a mark on the way food is prepared in Naples and Campania itself.
Finding the connections between modern and Greco-Roman culinary traditions is not always easy. Among the traces of classical culinary tastes, plates from the period of Greek rule found in Magna Graecia (southern Italy) depict fishes and mollusks, an indication that seafood was appreciated during that period. Frescoes from Pompeii depict fruit baskets filled with (figs and pomegranates). An excavation at Oplontis in the Villa Poppaea shows a fresco of a cake, the ingredients of which are not yet known.
The Roman garum is the ancient sauce most similar to that used for the modern Colatura di Alici, typical of Cetara. It can be traced back to the sweet-sour taste typical of the Roman cooking described by Apicius, along with the use of raisins in salty dishes, like the pizza di scarola (endive pie), or the braciole al ragù (meat rolls in ragù sauce).
The use of wheat in the modern pastiera cake, typical of Easter, could have had originally a symbolic meaning, related to cults of Artemis, Cybele and Ceres and pagan rituals of fertility, celebrated around the Spring equinox. The name struffoli, a Christmas cake, comes from the Greek word στρόγγυλος (stróngylos, meaning “round-shaped”).
The Spanish and French sovereignty in Naples initiated the difference between the cuisine of the aristocrats and that of the poorer classes. The former was characterized by elaborate, more cosmopolitan, dishes, and a greater number of expensive ingredients, including meat. The poor used foods that were cheaper and could be grown locally (that is, cereals and vegetables).
These were embellished over the centuries and came into contact with the influence of the aristocratic cuisine, so that today traditional recipes of the poorer classes have often acquired great quality and taste, while preserving the original simple ingredients.
The nutritional value of the napolitan cuisine was discovered by the American epidemiologist Ancel Keys in the 1950, being later often mentioned by epidemiologists as one of the best examples of the Mediterranean diet.
Tòrtano Napoletano is a bread that can be made year round and has become a beloved Italian and Italian-American treat. My version is especially luxurious with its use of four different cured meats, four different cheeses and utilizing the colors of the Italian flag – red-colored lardo, green colored lardo and white bread! This is a dish of nostalgia and is even better reheated the next day, Citizens! Don’t skip the bread enhancer, it really makes a difference!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon ‘Italian Flag’ Lard Bread – Tòrtano Napoletano
- Add Enough Water to the pan drippings after frying the guanciale and speck to equal 1 Cup + 3 Tablespoons of liquid and let cool
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
- 3 1/4 cups of Bread Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Dough Enhancer – recipe follows or buy it online
- 4 1/2 Tsps Gluten
- 1 Tsp smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbsp of Coarsely Ground Fresh Black Pepper
- 2 3/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
- For the filling:
- Calabrian sea salt, black pepper, fennel pollen and tomato paste mixed in 1 ounce of cold Lard in a food processor
- Pitted Castelvetrano olives, fresh Oregano and Basil Pesto mixed in with 1 ounce of cold lard in a food processor or use your favorite mix of greens and/or other types of pesto
- About 4 ounces mixed ‘nduja (a spicy, spreadable salmi from Naples), salami, speck and guanciale – speck and guanciale lightly rendered but not browned or use your favorite mix of Italian cold cuts or just diced bacon
- About 4 ounces of mixed cheeses: TFD prefers broken up Moiltarno truffled sheep cheese (optional but recommended) + grated peccorino romano + grated Parmigiano + cubed smoked provolone or instead use your favorite mix of grated and diced Italian cheeses
- For the dough enhancer:
- 1 cup wheat gluten
- 2 tablespoons lecithin granules
- 1 teaspoon ascorbic acid crystals
- 2 tablespoons powdered pectin
- 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- As noted on http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/how-to-make-homemade-dough-enhancer/ where I got this recipe:
- What goes into a dough enhancer? I use a combination of wheat gluten, lecithin, ascorbic acid crystals, pectin, gelatin, nonfat dry milk, and ginger.
- Wheat gluten improves the texture and rise of bread. Lecithin teams up with the gluten to make bread lighter. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) helps the yeast work better. Pectin adds moisture, as does the gelatin. The dry milk helps the dough relax (man, who needs uptight dough?), and the ginger is another yeast booster (you won’t taste it in the finished product).
- Most of these are also preservatives, so they help keep your bread fresh longer, and they are all natural.
- Mix together dough enhancer ingredients and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For 100% whole grain breads, use 3 tablespoons per loaf. Add to your recipe along with the flour in the proper amount specified.
- For the bread dough:
- Put liquid + salt into bread maker first, then add the following ingredients in the order listed:
- 3 ¼ Cups Bread Flour
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 ½ Tsp Dough Enhancer
- 4 ½ Tsp Gluten
- 1 Tsp smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbsp of Coarsely Ground Fresh Black Pepper
- 2 ¾ Tsp Active Dry Yeast
- Make a small well In the flour using your fist and place the yeast in it. Then process dough in a bread machine or a stand mixer with a dough hook for about 10 minutes.
- Place it into a bowl previously sprinkled with flour, cover with a woolen cloth and leave it to raise in a lukewarm place.
- After about 1 ½ hours, when the dough has leavened, place it on a pastry board, punch it with your hands to stop it swelling and flatten it out in a ⅓-inch-high rectangle shape. Grease it with red lard, add the diced meats and sprinkle with a little pepper and the cheeses.
- Fold the dough in two, grease the top with some more green lard, and sprinkle with grated peccorino cheese and pepper. Fold in two again, flatten out and grease some more. Repeat until you have used up the remaining 2 ounces of lard.
- Grease a round baking pan with a hole in the middle (8 to 12-inches diameter). Place the dough stick inside it joining the ends and squeezing them so they adhere well to each other. Put the dough away to leaven for another 3 hours.
- Put it in an almost cold oven and bake over a medium heat (350°F | 175°C) for about one hour. When it has turned an even color, take it out of the oven and let it cool before serving.
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