Tag: sandwich

A Ladin Sandwich with Spices and Tyrolean Prosciutto

Tyrolean Sandwich

I used to eat this sandwich whenever I arrived in Corvara, I went straight to the bakery to get some local flatbread and then to the butcher for prosciutto. Outside the shop, I prepared my sandwich, sat on a bench in the snow and enjoyed the start of my holiday.

Last week I read about this bread, the bread of my mountain village of choice. It is a flatbread made with rye flour mixed with coriander, fennel and aniseed. It’s a speciality in the Ladinia region around the Sella mountains in the Italian Dolomite Alps. In Italian this area is called Val Badia and the Ladin name (which is an autonomous language) is Alta Badia.

There are two ways to prepare this bread, one is more flat, it becomes dry, hard and brittle after baking. It’s very thin and you “shake” the dough to loosen it up which gives it its name, “Schuettelbrot” (shaken bread). This method was used to preserve the bread for the long and lonely time in the mountain huts where the supply of fresh bread and food was an unfrequent and laborious task. It keeps for months, the texture is hard but it retains its strong taste of spices.

The second one is thicker and this is the one I choose to make, at it’s best when fresh and warm. Although it’s not as light and fluffy as a flatbread made with wheat flour, it’s denser and more complex in taste. Traditionally you eat this bread together with Tyrolean Prosciutto at Vesper time, in the afternoon or evening when you feel like a little snack. My mother sent me a nice piece of prosciutto from San Cassiano, so I use this special occasion for this week’s Sandwich Wednesday.

Tyrolean Sandwich

A Ladin Sandwich with Spice Flatbread and Tyrolean Prosciutto

I spread some cream cheese on the flatbread, traditionally it’s made without, but I was in the mood for it.

For 8 little flatbreads you need

rye flour 180g / 6.5 ounces
spelt flour 180g / 6.5 ounces
dry yeast 1 package for 500g / 1 pound of flour
water, lukewarm,  125ml
milk, lukewarm,  50ml
coriander seeds, ground, 1 teaspoon
fennel seeds, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
aniseed, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
caraway seeds, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
salt 1/2 teaspoon

olive oil to grease the baking sheet

For the topping

Tyrolean Prosciutto 3 slices for each flatbread
cream cheese (optional)
crushed black pepper

Combine the flour with the spices, yeast and salt, add the lukewarm water and the milk, slowly, not all at once (you might not need all of it). Mix with your dough hooks for a few minutes. The dough should be more on the dry side. Continue kneading and punching with your hands until you have an elastic dough ball, not sticky at all. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it rise in the warm oven (35°C / 95°F) for 45 minutes. This works really well but make sure that your oven is set to top/ bottom heat and not to fan.

Take the dough out and punch it down. Divide it into 8 pieces and roll them out into discs (on a floured working surface, between 1 – 1 1/2 cm /  around 1/2″ thick). Cover with a tea towel and let them rise for another 25 minutes.

Set your oven to 250°C / 480°F. My oven has a special pizza setting which I use for this recipe but you can use top / bottom heat as well. Grease your baking sheet with some olive oil.

Put your flatbreads on the baking sheet and bake them on the lowest level for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Take them out and let them cool for 2 minutes. Cut a bread in half, spread with cream cheese and cover with a few slices of the prosciutto. You can sprinkle some crushed black pepper over it too.

Tyrolean Sandwich


Tyrolean Sandwich

Pear and Stilton – the perfect Sandwich Combination

Stilton + Pear Sandwich

Ripe Stilton and crisp Abate pear are the perfect match for my sandwich. I layer thin slices of the juicy fruit and crumbs of the blue cheese on thick white bread and put it in under the grill, just until the cheese starts to bubble and the bread is slightly roasted. The spiciness of the creamy English cheese and the sweetness of the pear are a heavenly combination.

I once used this duo as a topping for my Quiche and everybody loved it but I must say, it’s just as good on my sandwich and quicker to prepare. All you need is a loaf of white bread (I use fresh spelt Ciabatta), a crisp pear like Abate and around 100g / 3.5 ounces of ripe, spicy Stilton (or any other blue cheese). Prepare your sandwich, finish under the grill and sprinkle with some walnuts and black pepper. You can treat 2-4 people to this wonderful snack, at lunch or as a starter at a dinner party and you can be sure you will make them very happy!

Stilton + Pear Sandwich


Stilton + Pear Sandwich

Umbrian Torta al Testo with Rucola and Mozzarella

Torta al Testo

This week’s sandwich is my version of Torta al Testo – the Umbrian flatbread – stuffed with rucola and mozzarella together with a dressing of olive oil and balsamico. Originally, this bread is unleavened, just made with flour, salt and water. I add some dry yeast, some use baking soda or sourdough. The name Torta al Testo comes from the fact that, traditionally, it is cooked on a hot disc of clay or metal – al testo – over the open fire, as I don’t have that I use a skillet on a normal cooker.

Torta al Testo has everything a good sandwich needs: amazing bread and a tasty filling. What I also like about it, is the way it’s cooked. It’s fun to see the flat disc of dough rising and cooking in the hot pan within a couple minutes. It’s very entertaining! I recently had friends over for dinner and Torta al Testo was the starter. We gathered in the kitchen, crowded as always, I cooked the bread and we all watched it rise. The kitchen was packed with people and food, I cooked one batch of flatbread after the other (I had to make quite a few of them) and the room got more and more smokey from the hot pan. Thankfully no one left, even though you could barely see anymore after I had left one in too long. We were all kind of mesmerized by the rising bread but don’t worry, if you watch your bread it will be fine, no need for a fire alarm!

Torta al Testo

Torta al Testo with Rucola and Mozzarella

For 6 Torta al Testo you need

plain flour 250g / 9 ounces plus more for mixing
(I use spelt flour type 630 but you can use any other flour)
dry yeast 1 1/2 teaspoons
water, lukewarm, 140ml
salt 1/4 teaspoon
for the filling:
mozzarella, cut into cubes, 125g / 4.5 ounces
rucola around 100g / 3.5 ounces
olive oil (6 tablespoons) mixed with balsamico vinegar (3 tablespoons) and seasoned with salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the dough with the hooks of your mixer. Add some more flour if the mixture is too sticky. After 5 minutes continue mixing with your hands for a couple minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm place or the warm oven (35°C / 95°F, top/ bottom heat, no fan) for 40 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a well floured working surface, roll each one out into a flat disc. Leave the discs on the floured  surface, cover with a tea towel and let them rise for another 20 minutes.

Heat a large skillet on highest temperature (no oil!). Cook the bread on one side for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes, turn and cook on the other side for another minute, at that point it will start to rise rapidly. You might have to cook it for a few seconds more or less – but keep an eye on it so as not to burn it.

Take the bread out and let it cool for a minute. Cut your flatbread in half and fill with the mozzarella and rucola. Drizzle some dressing on top and close your Torta al Testo.

Torta al Testo


Torta al Testo

A Greedy New Year’s Sandwich

Roast Pork, Apple + Onion Sandwich

Happy New Year!

The timing couldn’t be better: it’s eat in my kitchen‘s Sandwich Wednesday and I really need one. There is no better food after a long night with Champagne and wine than a sandwich. My body wants some real food, hearty and rich! When I lived in Whitby in England a few years ago I used to go to a takeaway called “The Greedy Pig”. The food was amazing, fresh and soft buns stuffed with slices of roast pork, apples and gravy. I miss this place!

This week’s sandwich is dedicated to “The Greedy Pig”. You just need a soft bun or thick slices of white bread (I warm up my mountain buns which were still in the freezer) and stuff it with a few slices of roast pork from the butcher. Fry thin slices of an onion in butter until golden brown. Peel and cut an apple in thick slices. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and add a tablespoon of sugar, let it get golden brown. Lay your apple slices in the sugary butter, fry from both sides until golden and deglaze with brandy. Cut your bun in half, put a few slices of roast pork on one side, add the onion and apple with the brandy sirup. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary, close the bun and enjoy your Greedy New Year’s Sandwich!

Roast Pork, Apple + Onion Sandwich

A Mountain Bun

Mountain Buns

When I was a child we used to go to the Italian Dolomite Alps. Every year, in December, we stayed in a beautiful village in the Alta Badia region called Corvara. I loved being there as it looked like a wintery fairy tale (I always had a weak spot for places like this). Old wooden houses, trees packed with thick snow and the most amazing Tyrolean food – my childhood heaven. Yesterday I thought about how much I would love to be in the mountains again, in a wooden hut with an open fire and lots of snow outside. I would sit at a rustic old wooden table and eat rustic food.

Although I will not be visiting Corvara this winter, at least I have the wooden table and the hearty food. Therefore, my Wednesday Sandwich has to be a mountain sandwich – kind of – rich, with ham and cheese, homemade plum chutney and ground pepper. This morning, I baked my own buns with coriander and aniseed and I got some nice ham and cheese.  I made a plum chutney with lots of spices a couple months ago which is great together with cold cuts and mountain cheese. You could also use any other chutney or even plum butter, you just need something that adds a bit of fruity sweetness to this sandwich.

Mountain Buns

A Mountain Bun

For 2 sandwiches you need:

2 buns or 4 thick slices of bread, 2 slices of ham, 6 thin slices of strong mountain cheese like Swiss Appenzeller, plum chutney, a few leaves of lettuce (I used field salad as I had some left) and some crushed pepper.

Set your oven to grill (highest temperature).

Cut the bun in half, spread the chutney thinly on one half and put a slice of ham on top. Cover with 3 slices of cheese and put in the oven until the cheese starts to melt. Take the bun out, sprinkle with pepper, add some lettuce and put the other half of your bun on top.

I know it’s a bit of work, but baking your own bread or buns is definitely worth the effort and I’m sure you will agree after your first bite of the warm and fluffy buns. I prepared mine last night and let the dough rise overnight. Then you just have to put the buns into shape the next morning, let them rise for 40 minutes and bake them. If you want them plain just leave out the coriander and aniseed, they are still delicious!


This recipe makes 12 fabulous buns or milk rolls:

plain four 550g / 1.1 pound
dry yeast 1 package for 500g / 1 pound of flour
milk, lukewarm,  300ml
butter, melted, 50g / 2 ounces
organic egg 1
sugar 1 teaspoon
salt 1 1/2 teaspoon
coriander, crushed, 1 teaspoon
aniseed, for the topping, 1 teaspoon

Combine the flour with the yeast, coriander, sugar and salt. Mix the milk with the melted butter and the egg. Mind the temperature as the mixture should be lukewarm. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour and start mixing with your dough hooks for around 10 minutes until you have an elastic dough ball. Put the dough on a floured working surface and continue kneading with your hands for a couple minutes.

When I prepare the dough in the evening I place it in a clean, buttered and covered bowl in the fridge and let it rise overnight. You will have to take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you can continue with the next steps.

In case I want to bake my buns the same day, I put the dough in a clean and buttered bowl, cover it with a tea towel and let it rise in the 35°C / 95°F warm oven for 60 minutes. This works really well but make sure that your oven is set to top/ bottom heat and not to fan.

Set your oven to 220°C / 430°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

When the dough is bigger and puffy punch it down and knead for 1-2 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces and roll them in your hands into a round shape. Place the buns on your baking sheet, sprinkle with anisseed and give them another 40 minutes in a warm place to rise again (covered with a tea towel).

Bake the buns for 6 minutes, take the temperature down to 200°C / 390°F and bake them for another 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for a couple minutes.

Mountain Buns

My Pastrami, Turnip and Winter Purslane Sandwich

Sandwich with Pastrami

It’s Wednesday again, time for another sandwich!

At the moment I am really hooked on roots so my sandwich today can’t do without them. My choice is a German turnip called “Teltower Rübchen”. It tastes similar to horseradish, just a bit softer. I also have some winter purslane (sometimes known as miner’s lettuce), its flavor is quite mild and sits well with the turnip. I must admit that I chose the winter purslane because it looks really cute. The centre piece of this sandwich is Pastrami but I wouldn’t dare calling it a “Pastrami Sandwich” as, traditionally, this sandwich is literally piled up with slices of meat which is too much for me. This is lighter, on ciabatta bread, with a bit of olive oil, crushed pepper – delicious.

Sandwich with Pastrami

A Sandwich with Pastrami, Turnip and Winter Purslane

For 2 people you need

a small loaf of ciabatta
Pastrami, 6-8 slices
Teltower Rübchen, thinly sliced
horseradish, grated
winter purslane, a handful
(or rucola/ rocket, a few leaves)
olive oil
crushed pepper

Cut your bread and slice it in half. Drizzle some olive oil on the inside, line with the pastrami and put either the turnip slices or a bit of grated horseradish on top. Garnish with a few leaves of winter purslane or rucola and enjoy a big bite!