The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian Baker

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Over a year ago I received my copy of Carol Field's "The Italian Baker". 

Until today I only used the recipes for Pugliese and the Chocolate And Milk Bread, both being among our favourite breads.

I wanted to explore this great book more in depth for a while, and took y first step today - making the white Pane Di Como, and the 50% rye Pane Nero Di Bolzano.

Both came out very nice, the Pane Nero with an amazing and surprising note of almond.

Both are highly recommended.

Here some photos:

Here the crumb (along with two breads baked earlier):

Pane Nero and Pane Di Como are in the middle; the left slices are from a Whole-Wheat Levain (from Hamelman's "Bread"), the slices to the right are from my Russian Rye.





Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


I've made the Pane alla Cioccolata fron Carol Field's Italian Baker many times with great success, and I always wanted to try the Pane al Latte e Cioccolata, which brings milk bread and chocolate together.

However, I have some problems with the milk dough recipe from the first edition of the book.

/* UPDATE */

After input from lvbaker I recalculated the formula, and now I have a milk dough with the same hydration level as the chocolate dough. A charm to work with. My adjusted percentages are given below, here some new photos:

The bread on the rise:

The whole loaf:

Detail shot:

Pane alla Cioccolata:

"Sponge": Water 15%, Sugar 0.7%, Instant Yeast 1%

Dough: all of the "Sponge", Flour 100%, Water 47%, Egg Yolk 3%, Butter 3.8% Sugar 20%, Cocoa Powder 5%, Chocolate Chips 25%, Salt 1.6%, Total 222.1%

Pane al Latte

Sponge: Flour 25%, Milk 25%, Sugar 3%, Instant Yeast 0.6%

Dough: All of the sponge, Flour 75%, Milk 25%, Rum 3%, Egg 12%, Butter 10%, Salt 1%, Total 179.6%

/* OLD POST */

But first some photos of this spectacular bread:

The shaped loaves, resting:

After the bake:

Crumb of a third loaf, a braid:

This is very tasty, as you can imagine.

Now to my problem:

The recipe gives for the sponge of the milk dough the following quantities:

1 3/4 teaspoon dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 cup less 1 tablespoon (135g) flour

Now, this is not enough liquid to hydrate the dough, and it definitely doesn't make the batter it should.

I am kind-of improvising,

but has anyone got the second edition of the Italian Baker? What quantities (% or g) are being used there?

Thanks a lot,




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