Wednesday, 13 March 2013
'Mpille - Puglian Olive and Chilli Bread
The return of these Siberian conditions has made me dream longingly of warm breezes, turquoise waters, the feeling of sun on bare skin so I find myself turning again to the quintessentially Mediterranean cuisine of Puglia. I've written before (here if you're interested) about the fantastic vegetables that form the basis of Puglian gastronomy and these take centre stage once more in this recipe.
'Mpille' can only be found in the Salento area of Puglia which is as far south as you can go down the heel of Italy's boot and not even in all places there. Originally from the small village of Sannicola where GL's mum grew up, you can also find them in Lecce, the beautiful Baroque provincial capital but there they go under the name of 'Pizzi' and don't include courgettes. If you are lucky enough to find a good bakery that makes their own, try and arrive when the mpille are just coming out of the oven - the smell of the baking bread mixed with the lightly cooked vegetables is simply mouthwatering and it's virtually impossible not to eat them straightaway, warm, crunchy on the outside, soft inside and bursting with Mediterranean flavours.
I have to describe them as bread rolls, the dough being mixed with lightly sauteed olives, onions, tomatoes, courgettes and chilli but this is woefully inadequate. You really just have to try them. Hopefully they'll bring a little Mediterranean warmth to brighten up these chilly days.
As you can see from the logo, the March One Ingredient challenge is Chilli so my post is on its way over to this month's host Laura from How to Cook Good Food co-hosted with Nazima at Franglais Kitchen. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's ideas for this challenge.
I'm also sending it to Javelin Warrior's wonderful weekly challenge which encourages everyone to cook from scratch, Made with Love Mondays.
For the dough
450g strong white bread flour, plus more for kneading
7g (1 sachet) easy blend yeast
1 teaspoon salt
approximately 200-300 ml warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil