One of the memories I have of my dad, who died a few months later when I was five, is of him taking me to Farm Shop on the Silas Dean Highway in Wethersfield to buy me an ice cream cone. “This is my chance,” I thought, “Today is the day.
I am going to try a new flavor of ice cream.”
I was locked into buttercrunch like a long term marriage and I was worried there was a world of wonderful out there that was passing me by. I asked him to lift me up so I could see through the glass. The cherry vanilla looked okay . I didn’t mind maple pecan so much, and I wouldn’t turn down strawberry if that was the only thing going but who was I kidding? I ordered the buttercrunch. My heart rate returned to normal and I put my feet back on the floor. I loved buttercrunch. Nothing could deliver like buttercrunch.
In a world that spins without stopping it can be worth it to order your regular. Italy has made a science of it.
They would pull the shade down if you ordered a goat cheese with fennel and toasted walnuts in Naples. And there is no such thing as tofu lasagna (thank God) in Tuscany. I have never even seen a red pepper lasagna. They may have heard about it, but they’re not going to make it. Lasagna is bechamel, meat sauce, mozzarella, parmasen and pasta. That’s it.
Every time we go to the Bonci family you can count on Silvio making exactly the same focaccia like you can count your toes. Why change when there are earthquakes? This makes 4 half sheet pans (which would be 4 cookie sheets.) You can easily freeze half of the dough, or cut the recipe in half. You are going to need a scale for this that has metric measurements.
1.5 kilos of flour. Silvio uses half “00” and half “0”. You can use all purpose with good results, or half pastry flour and half all purpose. Just be sure your flour is not self-rising.
.85 liters of water
180 grams of olive oil (or 100 grams of lardo and 80 grams of olive oil)
30 grams of salt
50 grams of sugar
100 grams of powdered yeast

Make a ring on your board with the flour, sort of like a moat. Pour the water in slowly with one hand and mix with the other, then use two hands to mix in the flour, pulling the dough together, and then banging on it like a chord on a piano with all ten fingers. When the flour and water are mixed together, add the oil, incorporate, and then salt and sugar, and continue to knead. Divide into two balls and knead each for about 5 minutes. It is best if you can allow it to rise in the fridge overnight; otherwise, allow to rise for about an hour. Let it come to room temp, or roll it out to fit the pans (oil the pans first). Cover w/chopped onions or halved cherry tomatoes and pitted black olives (no salt yet). Let the pans rest for about half an hour, then season w/salt and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.

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