As I already told you some time ago, I have the "ear" mania (aka when I read a cook book or a magazine, I dog ear every interesting page), or I write down memos on loose sheets of paper (which inevitably accumulate and mix with other memos scattered around the desk) an endless list of dishes that sooner or later I will definitely have to try in my life. Since I added in Google Reader the feeds of my favorite blogs, I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel … there are more stars (bookmark simbols) in my reader than in the Milky Way.

Among the recipes in my culinary wish list from time out of mind there's the Danubio (Danube), which is everything, except a dish of northern origins (as the name would suggest): in fact, it seems that this name was given in honor of Mario Scaturchio's (a Neapolitan pastry chef) Austrian aunt, inventor of this recipe. There are also two other stories related to this name: the first says that this name came from its shape, similar to a watery surface rippled by the waves (romantic version); the other one sees in this name a reference to the arrival of Viennese cooks in Naples as Bourbons' retinue in the second half of the XVIII century (historic version, a little less charming, but perhaps more accurate). Name aside, this is a great Southern recipe, from Campania, one of those rich, magnificent (do you remember the babà rustico, right?) recipe, completely customizable to your every taste and preference (there's also a sweet Danubio).

But, that's for sure, this dish is perfect for a dinner with friends, where each guest can take his/her roll from the Danubio and eat it with his/her hands (the kind of finger food that everyone loves), drinking some Prosecco, a good beer or what he/she prefers with it. I made the Danubio (indeed, two Danubi) on New Year's Eve, and I must say that he didn't disappoint anyone.. maybe it's because I followed Tery's infallible recipe?!


(Tery's ricetta, from the blog Peperoni e Patate)

Ingredients (for 2 Danubi – 2 baking pan, 24 cm in diameter)

* 150 g milk (you could need 160 or 170 g, depending on the flour you use)
* 10 g fresh brewer's yeast
* 1 teaspoon of honey
* 300 g manitoba flour
* 200 g plain flour
* 1 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks (plus one more to brush on the surface)
* 40 g sugar
* 1 teaspoon of salt (about 8-10 g)
* 80 g lard
* 20 g butter

For the filling

* about 400 g of cold cuts and cheeses. I used salame, provola, prosciutto cotto and fontina (I made one Danubio filled with salame and provola and the other filled with prosciutto cotto and fontina)


I will explain the kneading by hand procedure, 'cause I followed that; but I'll point out to you what to do differently using the food processor (the procedure is the same, really, but it will do all the dirty work).

Warm up the milk and dissolve the yeast in it, along with a tablespoon of honey. Add the milk to the flour and begin kneading. Then add the whole egg, the 2 egg yolks, the sugar and mix until everything is absorbed. Then add the last egg yolk and the salt and knead until you have an homogeneous dough.
Then add lard and butter in 3 times and rub the mixture to make it absorb. To rub it, place the dough on the worktop and,  with the bottom of the palm of your right hand, press the dough and push it forward, as if you have to roll it out; with your left hand hold a hard scoop and, when you rub the dough, use it to gather everything, pulling it toward you. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and continue to rub until you add all the butter and lard. Obviously, if you use the food processor, it will do this work for you.

Now you have to string up the dough (with the food processor, you'll see the dough gradually becoming smooth and shiny, and it will clean up the bowl): to do so, you have to beat the dough on the worktop. Take the dough from one of its edges, beat it on the worktop, so that it will stretch. Then, take the edges of the dough that you have in your hand, fold them on the stretched dough, turn it by 90 degrees, grab the right edge and continue beating. Repeat until the dough begins to shorten up. Then do the veil test: take a small piece of dough and roll it out until you can see through it. If it breaks before you can see through it, you have to continue kneading. When the dough will past the test, make a ball and place it to rise until doubled (about 2 hours).

After this time, deflate the dough and make a sausage with it. Then cut out many pieces, about 30 grams each (I made 26), roll them out them with your hands forming discs and place the filling in their center. Close your discs, sealing them at their bottom, to form a roll. Sealing them, try to stretch the surface of the dough, so that it doesn't have wrinkles on it (it must be smooth). Once you've formed the rolls, grease two 24 cm baking pans and arrange your rolls close one another, but not too tight. Let them rise in a warm oven until doubled (I warmed up the oven a little and then I put my Danubi in it to rise, covered with plastic wrap; it will take about 2 hours).

Brush with milk or beaten egg yolk (I chose the latter) and then bake in a preheated oven (428° F/220° C) for 10 to 15 minutes.

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