A focaccia uniting two worlds

The same preparation, a clear reference to the East and a homage to Massimiliano Alajmo

17-11-2013
Indian steamed focaccia with yellow pumpkin and bl

Indian steamed focaccia with yellow pumpkin and black salt by Simone Salvini, the vegan chef struck by a visit to Le Calandre in Rubano (Padua)

This preparation is an explicit homage to the great Massimiliano Alajmo. Only recently, I ate a steamed focaccia with an extremely soft texture and a very delicate flavour in his restaurant. I added a touch that of India to these characteristics, namely with curry, which gives extra flavour to the focaccia and at the same time, thanks to the presence of cumin and Indian pepper (pippali), favours digestion. The best water to be used in these recipes is spring water, as usual, because it is not contaminated by man and therefore it is rich in ancient memories.

Indian steamed focaccia with yellow pumpkin and black salt

For this recipe I used a metal ring with a diameter of 18 cm and a steam oven *.

INGREDIENTS
for the Indian focaccia
200 g “0” flour
40 g corn flour
120 g water
40 g corn oil
5 g fresh yeast
4 g salt
4 g powdered curry

200 g yellow pumpkin pulp
sesame oil
black salt
spring carrot leaves

Massimiliano Alajmo, a great passion for yeast

Massimiliano Alajmo, a great passion for yeast

METHOD
1) Melt the fresh yeast into the slightly warm water necessary for the recipe. Add the oil and keep to a side. Put the two flours, the salt and the powdered curry into a metal bowl. Finely mix the ingredients; pour the liquid ingredients over them and knead with your hands for a few minutes. Make a ball of dough and cover it with a linen or cotton cloth. Leave it to leaven for at least an hour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough so as to obtain a 1/2 cm thickness. Using a mould, create a round bread cake, transfer it on the baking tin and leave it to rise in this mould, in a temperate room, until it doubles in volume (after about 2 hours).

2) Dice the pumpkin pulp into regular pieces and place them on the baking tin next to the bread cake.

3) Bake the focaccia and the pumpkin together, in the steam oven for 20 minutes at the highest power. Cut the cake into regular slices and serve them in the serving dishes; cover each slice with the pumpkin dices and season with a few drops of sesame oil and some scales of black salt. Finish with the spring carrot leaves. The focaccia needs to be served when it’s still very hot: this way, the texture will be very elastic, just like with Chinese steamed bread.

Curry powder

Curry powder

*steam oven: to bake the bread, instead of the steam oven, you can use a pot with a thick base and some water. In this case, the bread will have to be put into a metal basket with holes, placed so there is no direct contact with the boiling water. The cooking, in this way, will be even more natural. Moreover, you can aromatise the water with some bay leaves or spices. It is important to cover the pot with a hermetic lid during the cooking as the flame should be very high.