The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian Bread

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turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

 


I wanted to share these pictures of the bread being sold in a stand in Dolceaqua, Italy.  It was a small festival displaying the products of Dolceaqua. The size of the bread was amazing. Imagine the size of the ovens. 


 



 


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 



 


 


When I first baked bread back in the late '70's, one of my favorites was the “Pane all'Olio” or “Mantovana Bread” from Marcella Hazan's “More Classic Italian Cooking.” Even then, Hazan referred to this bread as one that “used to be common” in Northern Italy. I have no idea how common it is today. Perhaps Giovanni (JoeV on TFL) can tell us.


The Pane all'Olio is a low-hydration bread. In Hazan's recipe, half the flour is in a biga which has the same hydration as the final dough. I had some biga naturale left over from the Sourdough Italian Bread I made yesterday, so I decided to use it to make a sourdough version of Pane all'Olio. I did boost the hydration from 56% to 61%, to suit my taste. The dough is still very much drier than that of most breads I've been baking recently. Otherwise, I maintained Hazan's ingredient proportions.


The procedure for making this bread is unusual in that, after the biga is added and the dough kneaded, it is allowed to ferment until doubled, then divided and shaped and baked, without proofing. It has a long bake in a relatively cool oven, to give it a thick, crunchy crust.



Biga:

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

314.76

Water

75

236.07

Salt

0

0

Yeast

0

0

Starter

50

157.38

 

 

708.21

The biga can be made the night before the baking day and fermented for 12 hours at room temperature. It can also be made the day before, fermented for 12 hours and then refrigerated overnight. If refrigerated, you should let it warm up for an hour at room temperature before mixing the dough.

 

Final Dough:

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

314.76

Water

47

147.94

Salt

2

12.59

Olive oil

3

18.89

Yeast

0

0

Pre-Ferment

200

550.83

 

 

1045

Note: The original starter is backed out of the biga before mixing with the other Final Dough ingredients.

Note: Recommend reducing the salt to 1.8%.

 

Procedures

  1. The day before baking, mix the biga ingredients and ferment.

  2. On the day of baking, disperse the biga in the Final Dough water.

  3. Add the flour, salt and Olive Oil and mix thoroughly, using the paddle blade on a stand mixer.

  4. Mix at Speed 2 until moderate gluten development.

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and give it a couple stretch and folds.

  6. Form the dough into a ball, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly.

  7. Ferment the dough until doubled in volume. About 3 hours.

  8. About an hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 450ºF with a baking stone and your steaming apparatus in place.

  9. Transfer the dough back to the board, divide it into two equal pieces and form each into a loaf. Hazan describes the loaf as “a thick, cigar-shaped roll, plump at the middle, slightly tapered at the ends, and about 7 to 8 inches long.”

  10. Pre-steam your oven.

  11. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Make a single lengthwise slash along the top of each, about an inch deep.

  12. Transfer the loaves to the baking stone and steam the oven.

  13. Bake for 12 minutes at 450ºF.

  14. After 12 minutes, turn the oven down to 375ºF and bake for 45 minutes more, or until the loaves are done.

  15. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely (at least two hours) before slicing and serving.

 

 

The loaf had a nice crunchy crust. The crumb was tender. The flavor was “good,” but, besides being a bit salty to my taste, it seemed rather dull and uninteresting compared to the breads I've been making and eating of late. (My wife's comment was, “It's good … but ... not like your other bread.”)

Arrrrgh! My palate is ruined for white bread!

Oh, well. One must always have a back-up. Mine actually came out of the oven before the Pane all'Olio was baked.

 

The Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread from BBA is always a palate pleaser at our house. (My wife's comment was, “Did you leave some out for breakfast?”)

David

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm fighting a nasty cold. I don't have the snowstorm excuse to stay shut in and bake bread, so ... whatever. 


I baked the San Francisco Sourdough from Michel Suas' "Advanced Bread & Pastry" again. Delicious, and not at all aggressively sour.




 


I also made Italian Bread with biga naturale - my sourdough version of Peter Reinhart's "Italian Bread" in BBA, which uses a yeasted biga.




I like this bread a lot (my version, not PR's). The formula has been posted in a previous blog entry, Sourdough Italian Bread and Sandwich Rolls. I'd been meaning to make it with some Durum flour after my last bake, and I finally got around to it. I substituted  25% of the total "Bread Flour" with Durum flour. Good choice.


This bread is similar to Maggie Glazer's Sourdough Challah in that it combines a slightly sweet dough with a mild sourdough tang. I definitely like this combination of flavors.


I mixed the biga last night and let it ferment over-night. I mixed the dough this morning after I got "activated' ... 10:30 am? It was baked, cooled and ready for dinner at 7:30 pm.


My formula for Sunday-morning-with-a-cold activation:



It took two this morning.


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh


My Olive Bread....I think this time I got it right in terms of the proofing.  I used the finger test as per the advices by some.  Well,  it was really really useful.  Thank you so much for the video link that shows it.


 



The fluff inside seems quite even,  except that my olives are not evenly spread out......things to improve the next time.  The taste was great...love the olive smell....


 


More details attached:http://sites.google.com/site/jlohcook/home/breadmaking/olive-bread


 

jgrill's picture
jgrill


Friday was my first bake of the new year, and I tried my hand a BBA's Italian bread.


 


I mixed the biga Thursday afternoon, before heading of to the South Alabama basketball game (we lost, by 3, in OT), and put into the fridge during halftime in the BCS championship game ("Bama won, if you hadn't heard—Roll, Tide, Roll).


 

Friday morning I took the biga out of the fridge, cut it into 10 pieces, and let it warm up while I had coffee, and read the paper.

 

 

I mixed the flour, yeast, malt, sugar, and salt in the bowl of my KA mixer, immediately after cutting the biga into pieces.

 

 

 

When the biga was about room temp, I completed mixing—adding the biga pieces to the bowl, adding the olive oil, and some of the water. and began mixing on first speed with the paddle, adding more water gradually until the dough came together in a ball. I then switched to the dough hook, and kneaded at 2nd speed for about eight minutes, and put the dough in an oiled plastic bowl with a lid, for a two hour rise. 

I gently removed the dough to the counter and divided it into two more or less equal pieces (one was 19.3 oz., the other 19.6 oz), and shaped each piece into a bâtard.

 

 

 

I put a sheet of parchment on my wooden Super Peel (without the cloth gizmo) and dusted it with cornmeal, and then gently placed the bâtards on the dusted parchment to rise, for about an hour.

 

My oven is not as wonderful as I would like it to be, and it doesn't reach temperature when it claims to reach temp. So, even though I set it for 500°, it finally reached 475° after about 40 minutes. By the time I added water to the pan on the bottom rack for steam, and then slid the bâtards (still on the parchment) onto the stone, the temp had dropped to just over 400°.

I baked the loaves for about 13 minutes, and then turned them, and baked them for about 8 minutes more, tenting with aluminum foil for the last 5 minutes because they were getting darker than I had expected.

 

I took the bâtards out of the oven and placed them on wire racks to cool.

 

 

 

I think I'm getting better at scoring loaves, but I still need more practice. For this I used a single-edged razor blade, and I seem to do better with that then with either of my lames.

If anyone can offer advice on scoring, I will welcome your wisdom.

I used KAF unbleached bread flour, SAF Instant yeast, Morton Coarse Kosher salt, KAF diastatic malt powder, and Carbonnell extra virgin olive oil.

The loaves turned out well, with fairly tight crumb, nice flavor, and a chewy crust.

I've sent this along to Susan for possible inclusion in Yeast Spotting at her great blog, Wild Yeast.

 

Here's the recipe for BBA's Italian Bread.

 

Biga

21⁄2 cups      (11.25 oz.)      unbleached bread flour

1⁄2 tsp.         (.055 oz.)        instant yeast

3⁄4 C + 2 TB

to 1 C           (7 to 8 oz.)      water at room temp.

 

1. Stir together flour and yeast in 4-qt. bowl or bowl of a mixer. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 TB water, and stir or mix at low speed with paddle attachment until everything comes together in a coarse ball. Adjust flour and water as needed so that dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff.

2. Sprinkle some flour on counter and transfer dough to counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or use dough hook and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes).

3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. cover bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temp for 2 to 4 hours, until dough nearly doubles in size.

4. Remove dough from bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. According to BBA, you can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.

 

Italian Bread

Makes 2 one-pound loaves or 9 torpedo (hoagie) rolls

 

3 1⁄2 Cups      (18 oz.)      biga (see previous recipe—use the entire recipe

2 1⁄2 Cups      (11.25 oz.) unbleached bread flour

1 2⁄3 tsp.        (.41 oz.)     salt

1 TB               (.5 oz.)     sugar

1 tsp               (.11 oz.)    instant yeast

1 tsp               (.17 oz.)    diastatic barley malt powder (optional)

1 TB               (.5 oz.)     olive oil, vegetable oil or shortening

3⁄4 cup to

3⁄4 cup+2 TB   (7 to 8 oz.) water (or milk, if making rolls) , lukewarm (90° to 100° F)

 

1. Remove biga from refrigerator 1 hour before making dough. Cut biga into about 10 pieces, with a pastry scraper. cover pieces with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour to take chill off.

 

2. Stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast , and malt powder in a 4-qt. bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the biga pieces, the olive oil, and 3⁄4 cup of water and stir together (or mix on low speed with paddle attachment) until a ball forms, adjusting water or flour as needed. The dough should be slightly sticky and soft.

 

3. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter and knead (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook) Knead for about 10 minutes (I mixed for about 8 minutes with dough hook at speed tow or three on my KA six-qt. mixer), adding flour as needed. Dough should pass the window pane test, and be tacky but not sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to it, rolling it around to coat all surfaces. cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

 

4. Ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

 

5. Gently divide the dough into two equal pieces of about 18 oz. each, or into 9 pieces of about 4 oz. each for torpedo rolls. Carefully form the dough pieces into bâtards or or rolls, degassing the dough as little as possible.  Lightly dust with a sprinkle of flour, cove with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rest for 5 minutes (a step I neglected). then complete the shaping extending the loaves to about 12 inches or shaping the torpedo rolls. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment (I placed the parchment on a large wooden peel) and dust with semolina flour or cornmeal. Place the loaves on the dusted parchment and lightly mist with spray oil. Cover loaves loosely with plastic wrap.

 

6. Proof at room temp. for about 1 hour or until loaves have grown to about 11⁄2 times their original size.

 

7. Prepare oven for hearth baking. Place baking stone on middle rack, remove racks above that rack. Place pan for water for steam on bottom rack or floor of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Score the breads with 2 parallel diagonal slashes or one long slash.

 

8. Rolls can be baked directly on the sheet pan. For loaves, generously dust a peel or back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal and very gently transfer the loaves to the peel or pan. Transfer the loaves to the stone (or bake on the sheet pan). Pour one cup of hot water into the steam pan and close the door. Lower oven temp. to 450°F and bake for about 20 minutes, or lower temp to 400°F and bake a bit longer. rotate loaves 180° if necessary for even baking. Rolls should bake for about 15 minutes.

Note: BBA suggests spraying the walls of the oven twice at 30 second intervals and then lowering the temp. to 450°, but I don't do this because I've fond that so much opening and closing the oven door causes too great a loss of heat at a time when I want maximum heat.

 

9. Transfer loaves or rolls to a cooling rack for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

 

I think it's now time to slice and taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SumisuYoshi's picture
SumisuYoshi

Portuguese Sweet Bread Loaf


I titled this post Bake Home as sort of a portmanteau of back and bake, as I am back home from Alaska and this is the first chance I've had to bake! My girlfriend and I had a little tradition going, I'd head down to her house and make bread on sunday to share with her and her sister's dog. Well, she's gone up in Alaska now, but I headed down to bake (and make sure her/her sister's dog got some bread too).


Today was a triple threat from Bread Baker's Apprentice, Italian Bread 2 ways (commercial yeast and sourdough) and Portuguese Sweet Bread.


I spaced out a bit when I was making the commercial yeast Italian Bread and added an extra cup of water (the recipe calls for 3/4 cup to 3/4 + 6 tablespoons... OOOPS). I didn't realize this until much later, so I added more flour in while mixing it, but I didn't want to add too much because I'd be WAY off the recipe (oh if I only knew...). So I tried to give it a number of folds hoping that'd make it pull together, it did a bit but it was still a very wet dough. I proofed the loaves using parchment as a couche (as well as a new brotform I got for my birthday!). Turned out I didn't flour the parchment quite enough so when I turned them over onto another parchment on the peel... they stuck. Was no big deal, I was able to pull it off without too much trouble, but it was becoming really obvious the hydration on the dough was higher than it should've been.

I tried with a bit of success to slash the loaves, and went to put them in the oven. This is when bad thing #2 struck, one of the two loaves had oozed a bit off the parchment onto the peel, and while a portion of it left the peel... not all of it did. Unfortunately, enough was left on the peel that I couldn't just pull the peel out, it would've pulled the whole loaf out. So I hurriedly scraped the dough off the peel (getting a little burn on my arm in the process), and found myself looking at some sort of strange mutant loaf. The loaf in the brotform was far less exciting, although it did take a bit longer to release than normal. I was surprised for all the horrible abuse in trying to seperate the parchment paper, get them slashed, and get them in the oven; these loaves came out with a fairly nice crumb!

Italian Bread Italian Bread Italian Bread Italian Bread

 

The sourdough version of the Italian bread had no excitement, made a sourdough biga the night beforehand, made the dough today, fermented, shaped, fermented, baked ta da. No burns, no spacing out on recipe quantities. I used my other new brotform for one of these loaves. I need to experiment with that one for a really nifty way to slash it.

Sourdough Italian Bread Sourdough Italian Bread Sourdough Italian Bread

And finally, Portuguese Sweet Bread, again relatively uneventful. I needed sandwich bread for lunch at work so I decided to make them as sandwich loaves rathern than in a pie tin as in the recipe. These two loaves made the house smell just wonderful as they were baking.

Portuguese Sweet Bread Loaves Portuguese Sweet Bread Loaves Portuguese Sweet Bread Loaves Portuguese Sweet Bread Loaf

And my assistant in all of this (be nice to him, he got an unintentional shaving (big misunderstanding with the groomer)

Bread, for me? Yay, for me!

(crumb photos for the sourdough will be coming later when I cut into it!)

SallyBR's picture

Italian Bread, from BBA Challenge

August 30, 2009 - 4:53am -- SallyBR

Since I posted last week an inquiry about how to change recipes from kneading to folding, I would like to show you my results with the


Italian Bread from BBA Challenge. I liked the results much better, and of course, it is much nicer to handle the dough than use the Kitchen Aid...


 


Very good bread! 


http://bewitchingkitchen.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/bba15-italian-bread/


 


 

ItalianHomeBaker's picture

Italian Bread / Soft Bread

August 5, 2009 - 1:00pm -- ItalianHomeBaker
Forums: 

I loved the first loaf if Italian Bread I baked.  My Mom commented that she recalled my grandmother's bread being softer (less dense, having more large holes in a slice).  She also mentioned that she didn't recall grandma doing the punch down after the 1st rising.  She just let it rise once and then formed her loaves to rise before baking.  Do you think this would make more holes in the loaf and/or achieve a softer loaf?  It's not that the twice kneaded loaves I baked were hard.  But my bread thus far is uniform with small holes, so it's more chewy although moist.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

My third Scali

I'm adding this to my blog. It's also in Sylvia's post for Scali bread.

 I'm very happy with this bread. Yesterday I made a double batch and made 7 rolls and one braid. I didn't take a photo of the braid but the rolls are shown below. They were delicious with that stretchy pull apart crumb that I like in Italian breads. To make yesterdays batch I made the starter as given in the KAF recipe very early in the morning, let it sit 7 hours, mixed the dough, let it rise 90 min., deflated it and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning it was risen about half way, I divided it, let it rest for an hour then shaped, let rise and baked. The flavor was delicious in the rolls and like I said a nice stretchy holey crumb. I didn't taste the braid, it was a gift. I did not make the strips 24" long like the recipe called for. I only made them about 17". The loaf was much higher and I liked it that way.

 

Last night I made up another starter and today made the recipe as written but made batons instead of the braid and used poppy seeds because I had used up all my sesame seeds. It probably can't be called a Scali anymore :o)  I was surprised with the high rise of todays loaves. They were a good 3 1/2"-3 3/4". Todays bread tastes very good but not as delicious as yesterdays and I'm wondering if it's because today I used the dry milk called for instead of using the whole milk I used yesterday or because the dough for the rolls was retarded overnight. Still very good but not quite up to the other. Todays crumb is not as open either.

 

Anyway, thanks again for introducing us to this KAF recipe. It's become a favorite. Wish I had some of that cherry jam! A friend gave me 5 lbs of the huge dark sweet cherries. I couldn't get out to her place to get them right away so she froze them for me. Do you think I could still make cherry jam with them?

 

weavershouse

The rolls shown below were made with the Scali dough


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