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Bakery

Biscuttelli
Country of Origin: Malta Name: Biscuttelli

You can use this recipe to make a tasty bread by omiting the final baking

2 kg plain flour (plus 1/2 kg plain flour extra for yeast)
2 kg self raising flour
1 kg sugar
1 1/2 tspn bi-carb soda (plus 1 tspn extra for yeast)
500 g margarine
100 g yeast
1 tbspn salt (plus 1 tspn extra for yeast)
50 g caraway seeds
500 g sesame seed
1 1/2 litres water (plus 2 cups luke warm water for yeast)
Put the yeast in a plastic bowl, add the luke warm water and stir until the yeast melts then add the other yeast ingredients and mix into a very soft dough (like cake mix). Put in a warm place and cover with a cloth until the yeast rises.

In a large bowl put the rest of the flour, bi-carb soda and salt. Mix well and then add the margarine in work in well until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the caraway seed, sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add 1 litre of water bit by bit while working into a dough. Make a well in the centre and this time add the yeast mixture and the rest of the water working it into the dough. Split the mixture into 2 and place in 2 plastic bowls, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place.

Once the dough has risen cut dough lot into 6 pieces and form into a long sausage by rolling gently. Roll in the sesame seed and put on a tray and flatten down a little. Allow the dough to rise on the trays and when approximately double in size bake in a 200oC oven until browned on the outside Remove from the oven and let cool.

To make the biscuttelli take the cold loaves and cut into thick slices (1.5 cm) and bake flat at 225oC browning both sides. When cool the biscuttelli can be stored for many months.

Easter Figure Biscuits
Country of Origin: Malta Name: Figolli

These biscuits are traditionally made as gifts for Easter as an alternative to the traditional Choclate

Dough
450 g Self Raising Flour
225 g Sugar
Vanilla Essence
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
225 g Margarine
3 eggs
milk

Rub the margarine into the flour. Beat the eggs well and mix with the sugar then add to the flour mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and work into a dough. Roll the pastry to a thickness of 1.5 cm and cut into various shapes. The most commonly used shapes are Horses, boats, ducks etc. You will need 2 identical shapes for each figolla.

Marzipan Filling
225 g ground almonds
Almond Essence
120 g sugar
Water to bind

Mix the sugar with the water and bring to the boil. Add the essence. When the mixture 'threads' add the ground almonds. Stir well and when done remove from the heat and stand to cool.

Spread the Marzipan filling on one of the 2 identical figolla shapes and press the shapes together. Place on a greased and floured shallow tray and bake. When baked let cool, then cover the top only with coloured icing in a decorative way to suit the shape. Pipe with the required fancy piping and add silver balls or other decorative confection. While the icing is soft add a halved easter egg in the centre of the figolla.
Treacle Rings
Country of Origin: Malta Name: Qaghaq tal-ghasel

Filling
900 g treacle
Equal amount of water
200 g sugar
zest of tangerine, orange and lemon
small amount of candied peel
pinch of ground cloves
2 tbsp jam
400 g semolina

Place all the ingredients except the semolina into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Thicken with the semolina adding a bit at a time. When semolina has all been added cook for a few minutes and set aside.

Pastry
800 g flour
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp butter
enough water to bind

Sieve the flour then rub in the butter till bread crumb texture achieved. Bind with the egg yolks and water. Note: pastry will keep for a few days in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Divide the pastry into six pieces and roll out one piece at a time. Shape into a rectangle and out of this cut individual rectangles 100 mm X 180mm. Take a dessertspoonful of the filling and shape it into a sausage shape as thick as your thumb and as long as the pastry rectangle. Use semolina sprinkled on a board to help shape it. Put the treacle sausage in the centre of one of the rectangles and fold over the edges.

Bring the two ends of the pastry together to form a ring. Sprinkle baking trays with semolina and place the completed rings on the trays. Take a sharp knife and place 6 diagonal slashes on each completed ring and lift the cut edges slightly to expose the treacle mix underneath.

Bake in a moderate oven for about 20 min or until the pastry is barely coloured. The almost white pastry makes a striking contrast with the dark treacle inside.