Friday, August 6, 2010

Gozitan Ftira (my way)

My ftira with all the ingredients except the potatoes

Whenever we go for a summer holiday to our sister island of Gozo we always make sure to order the scrumptious ftira (a round flat bread) from Tal-Maxokk Bakery. I know it's full of carbohydrates but I cannot help indulging in its exquisite flavours. This summer we had to give Gozo a miss since I'm reaching the end of my pregnancy. So to make up for it, last week, I decided to try making a 'gozitan' ftira of my own. I cheated a bit because I used a ready-made ftira but anyway the result was simply gorgeous. Here's my version:

First I divided the ftira in two halves and drizzled the bread with a good dollop of olive oil.

For the topping, I used:

Thinly sliced potatoes, as many as you need to cover the ftira base
Sliced red tomatoes, and / or sundried tomatoes
Sliced onion
sliced olives
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Rough Sea Salt
freshly ground black pepper,
sliced Maltese sausage (or tuna if you prefer a fishy flavour)
fresh basil leaves

I started by boiling two small potatoes for just 10 mins. In the meantime I lay the tomato slices on the bread. I added the sliced onion, capers, sliced olives, sliced maltese sausage and some fresh basil. I thinly sliced the potatoes as if I was going to prepare crips and lay the almost semi-transparent slices on the bread. Season with salt and pepper.

I drizzled some more olive oil on the toppings and baked for about 15 minutes until the potatoes turned golden and crunchy!

The end result: my ftira covered with thinly sliced potatoes (not baked)

Side note: Gozo bakeries cook the Ftira dough either closed or open. The closed Gozo ftira enclosed a filling and was intended to serve as a workman's lunch. Toppings and fillings usually have potatoes and /or cheeselets for example: cheeselets, eggs and grated cheese; potatoes, tomato, anchovies and olive; or ricotta topped with slices of potato; or sliced potato, Maltese Sausage, cheeselets and rosemary. Among many others!
And for all my foreign bloggy friends who have asked me about the ftira recipe I'm including a recipe which I found on the internet. To be honest with you, I haven't yet tried it out but will do so soon.
Ftira recipe
For the dough, 400g of plain white flour
100ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt/Water, as required
To make the dough, sieve the flour and put it into a food processor with the salt and the olive oil. Blend the mixture, slowly adding water until the dough forms into a ball. Put the dough into a plastic bag or bowl and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 200 deg. C. Spread the dough as thinly as possible so that it is at least 5cm wider than the baking dish. Add the ingredients as above. Fold the edges of the dough inwards, drizzle some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Fold the edges of the dough inwards, drizzle some more oil over the top and bake the ftira for 15 minutes, or until the dough is just starting to turn golden.
Apart from that I found out about a Maltese club in Uk which promotes Maltese food. It's called Maltese Culture Movement. I got to know that they can take orders for and supply the following at reasonable prices: galletti, gbejniet, ftira, pastizzi, imqaret,Kinnie, Cisk, Hopleaf, Blue Label. Any body interested can contact them at the above link.


Sue said...

Zen, awwww that's mouth-watering!
It looks soooooo appetizing!
Thanks for the recipe... now what can I use instead of Ftira? I don't find that in Italy!
Maybe the Italian focaccia could replace it, I must try it. Thanks!

Doreen said...

Hi Zen thanks for sharing such a scrumptious be honest I don't think I've ever tried this whenever we visited Gozo which hasn't happened for a while. But I will surely be on the look out for it next time or better still I should try your recipe : )
Seeing as you are so close to the end of your pregnancy, may I wish you a happy and safe delivery.

David P. Cilia said...

Looks good! Tal-Maxokk indeed do produce some great meals.

Loree said...

You're making me hungry :) Nothing beats good old ftira. I love it.

The Fish said...

Sounds yummy..think i may give it a go! Good Luck with the birthm hope all goes well, keep us posted! :)

Sue said...

Zen THANK YOU for the dough recipe you sent me. It is still very hot here to use the oven but as soon as Fall is here I will certainly try it, thank you.
I too would like to wish you a happy and safe delivery like Doreen did seeing that the closing date is so close. God Bless you and Baby!
By the way I am coming to Malta in September, just wanted to let you know.

Joey said...

It looks so GOOD !!

Where would I get ftira in the U.S. do you think?


Now.... what do you think about renaming Grace? She's a bit saucy for that name. What do you suggest. I'm open for something fun!


Juniper said...

Well done on creating your own Gozitan ftira!!! Tal Maxlokk is our favourite ftira place in Gozo- you can't beat it and yes their potato one is always a standby!
Hope the heat is not getting to much for you, pregnancy in summer is not easy!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Is ftira the same base as a pizza? We don't have ftiras in the UK and if I ordered from Tal Maxxok Bakery no doubt they'll be cold by the time they arrive here.

Best wishes to you and the baby.

God bless.

Suki said...

Thanks for all your best wishes people. According to my gynae delivery may be any time soon next week. Hope it's a fast and safe delivery.

Joey said...

Thank you...

Rosanne Dingli said...

The closest you can get if you are not in malta is to buy an Italian ciabatta that's quite flat, and cut it open into two halves. There is some Portuguese bread that is similar: it's made of sour dough and is full of air bubbles inside. Dark chewy crust and almost nothing on the inside - perfect.