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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Although pine nuts are not indigenous to California, they grow well in the Southwest, and Californians have taken advantage of their proximity. The pairing of dry white wine with fruity olive oil gives this unusual bread its distinctive rich flavor. Rolling the loaf in chopped pine nuts adds a nutritious sweetness and a slightly crunchy crust. I was introduced to this version at Green’s restaurant, in San Francisco, where it was served with wine before the meal. It also makes an excellent companion to Corn, Red Pepper, and Leek Soup or to a Lamb Stew with Rosemary.
1. Sprinkle dry yeast or crumble fresh yeast over lukewarm water in a cup or small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes and stir to dissolve yeast. Add wine and oil.
2. In a bowl, mix all 3 types of flour together with the salt. Place all except 1 cup of the flour mixture in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Pour in the liquid yeast mixture slowly while mixer is on low; mix, using dough hook.
3. Gradually stir in remaining 1 cup combined flours. Wait until each batch of flour is absorbed before adding more. Knead in mixer on low speed about 8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
4. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and knead by hand a few minutes. If dough is dry, knead in 1 tablespoon water; if dough is very sticky, knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and turn dough over to oil its entire surface. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place overnight, or at least 3 hours.
5. Punch down dough and knead again on lightly floured surface. Shape with hands into smooth, round loaf about 6 inches in diameter.
6. For glaze: Beat egg yolk with cream and brush allover loaf Roll loaf in chopped pine nuts spread on a flat surface. Grease a baking sheet and set loaf on center of it. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place about 1½ hours, or until nearly doubled in volume.
7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a pan of water on bottom rack of oven while preheating, to provide steam.
8. With a very sharp knife, slash an X across top of loaf. Bake for about 45 minutes. When you tap bottom of loaf with your fist, loaf should sound hollow. Let cool on rack. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
Follow recipe through Step 4. Roll dough into flat disk about 14 inches in diameter by ¼ inch thick. For smaller breads, roll dough about 7 inches in diameter and 0 inch thick. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Poke holes in dough with tip of a sharp knife or with your fingertips and insert either of the following for different loaves: One small yellow onion, sliced thinly, then cut in half, inserted into holes. Press lightly into dough, brush with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon coarse salt. Two cloves garlic, thinly sliced, and sprigs of fresh rosemary, inserted into slashes in dough. Brush with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper.
Let rise 20 minutes. If disk is ¼ inch thick, bake for 15 minutes; if ½ inch thick, bake for 30 minutes. Let cool on rack. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
Do not freeze or refrigerate dough before baking.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.
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