The Fresh Loaf

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Italian Bread

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The rolls I made with the Sourdough Italian Bread  dough were so good, I made a bigger batch today. I thought about making them larger than last time, but my wife said she wanted hers smaller. So, I made half of them 4 oz and half 3 oz. I guess you could call them "His and Hers Sourdough Italian Rolls."



 


One of our favorite breads is the Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread from Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice." I don't know why I don't bake it more often. Just "so many breads, so little time," I guess. Anyway, my wife has been lobbying for me to make it for a few weeks. So ...




 


David

xaipete's picture
xaipete

When I saw Sylvia's sandwiches I immediately knew what we were having for Father's Day! I made BBA's Italian Bread. Thanks to information gleaned from David's posts I knew to increase the mixing time. I think it took about 10 minutes on medium speed in my KA to pass the window pane test.



I used a regular biga (is there really any such animal?) that I made the day before and held overnight in the refrigerator. I made one loaf and 4 hoagie-style rolls (each roll weighed about 5 ounces).


Note to self: whenever putting sesame seeds on the outside of loaves, rolls, etc., brush the target with egg white wash or most of them will be on the floor and not in your mouth. I can't tell you how many times I swept the kitchen floor yesterday! Before bagging the breads, Jim said, "Why don't we just scrape the seeds off!" I agreed whole-heartedly!



My meatball recipe is oddly (just kidding) similar to Sylvia's. It comes come foodtv's Ina Garten. You can read it here if you are interested.




I, like Sylvia, really think San Marzano tomatoes are the best and use them in all my special dishes.



The meal was a winner and the bread held up very well to the meatballs and sauce. I dressed the meatball with a semi-firm whole-milk mozzarella and popped them under the broiler for a few minutes.



I wanted my picture to look like just like Sylvia's but was out of parsley, so I had to substitute a sprig of cilantro :-) which I threw away after taking the photo.


Happy Father's Day to all,


--Pamela

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I was refreshing my starter to make pain de campagne when I saw this post. Your Italian bread is beautiful inside and out. I decided to try this and was VERY happy with the results. A really delicious bread, we ate half a loaf already.

 

I doubled the recipe to make four batards. The only thing I did different is I used Barley Malt Syrup instead of the powder because that's what I had. Next time I'd mix it with the water first because it was hard to mix in. I don't have a mixer so I did stretch and folds and a couple of minutes kneading. My crumb is not as open as yours. The first two loaves overproofed a little because my grandkids were getting ready to go home just as the loaves were ready to go in the oven. By the time we said our goodbyes I knew the bread had gone too long. You can see which two they are. The second two had time to sit and ferment while the first two were baking and by the time I formed them they had lots of air bubbles. I formed carefully and only let them proof for a little more then 30 minutes. Absolutely delicious! After all the lean breads a litte bit of sugar and oil were very tasty. I like the lean breads for toast and this Italian will be a favorite sandwich bread. Thanks for the post. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


This bread is based on the Italian Bread formula in Peter Reinhart's “Bread Baker's Apprentice.” I substituted a biga naturale (sourdough starter) for the biga made with instant yeast in Reinhart's formula. I still added the instant yeast to the final dough to provide more predictable fermentation and proofing times.


Reinhart recommends this formula for hoagie rolls. I divided the dough to make 4 rolls scaled to 4 ounces each and shaped the remainder of the dough into one large bâtard.


I also employed the “stretch and knead in the bowl” technique during bulk fermentation, even though I used a KitchenAid mixer for mixing beforehand.




 


Intermediate starter (Biga naturale)


Active starter

3 oz.

Water

9 oz.

KAF Bread flour

12 oz.

 

Final Dough

Biga naturale (Note: save the remaining 6 oz. for another bread.)

18 oz.

KAF Bread flour

11.25 oz.

Salt

0.41 oz. (1-2/3 tsp)

Sugar

0.5 oz. (1 T)

Instant yeast

0.11 oz (1 tsp)

Diastatic barley malt powder

0.17 oz. (1 tsp)

Olive oil

0.5 oz (1 T)

Water at 80F

7 oz (¾ cup)

Sesame seeds for coating.

Semolina to dust the parchment paper.

 

 

Mix and ferment the biga.

Mix the biga naturale the evening before baking. Dissolve the starter in the water in a medium sized bowl, then add the flour and mix thoroughly to hydrate the flour and distribute the starter. Cover the bowl tightly and allow to ferment for 3-6 hours, until it doubles in volume. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the biga from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up for an hour or so. Alternately, mix the biga late at night and ferment at room temperature overnight.

 

Mix the dough

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and malt powder in a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer. Add the biga in pieces, olive oil and ¾ cups of tepid water and mix thoroughly. Adjust the dough consistency by adding small amounts of water or flour as necessary. The dough should be very slack at this point.

I mixed the dough with the dough hook in the KA mixer for 10 minutes then transferred it to an 8 cup/2 liter glass pitcher that had been lightly oiled.

 

Fermentation

I stretched and folded the dough in the pitcher with a rubber spatula then covered it tightly. I repeated the stretch and fold again 20 and 40 minutes later. I then left the dough to ferment until it was double the original volume (45-60 minutes more).

 

Divide and form

Divide into 2 pieces and pre-form as logs. Allow the dough to rest 5 minutes or more, then form into bâtards. To make rolls, divide into 4 ounce pieces and pre-shape into rounds, then shape into torpedos. If desired, spray or brush the loaves with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Prepare a couche – either a floured piece of baker's linen or parchment paper sprinkled with semolina.

Pre-heat the oven to 500F with a baking stone on the middle shelf. Make preparations for steaming the oven.

Place the loaves in the couche, cover with plastic or a towel and allow to proof until 1-1/2 times their original size (about 40 minutes).

 

Baking

Score the loaves and transfer them to the baking stone. Bake with steam, using your favorite method. After loading the loaves and steaming, turn the over down to 450F and bake until done (about 20 minutes for a bâtard, 15 mnutes for rolls.). If you want a thicker crust, use a lower temperature and bake for longer.

 

Cooling

Allow to cool before slicing, if you can.

Sourdough Italian Roll

Sourdough Italian Roll crumb

We had a couple of the rolls for lunch. They were very nice. The crust is chewy, not crunchy, and the crumb is also chewy. This is not your fluffy, cottony roll that seems standard in most sub shops and, unfortunately, most Italian delis.

I am pretty sure this is the roll I would choose for a meatball sandwich, oozing mozzarella and dripping marinara sauce. I don't think this roll would be the usual soggy mess after the first 20 seconds. However, in the interest of Science, I will volunteer to test this hypothesis. Of course, if additional volunteers were to pool their data with mine, we can be more confident of our conclusions.

David

Submitted to Yeast Spotting on Susan FNP's marvelous Wild Yeast blog

 

Kuret's picture
Kuret

This is what I pulled out of my oven today, a good 2kg of dough worth. First a small batch of light rye rolls made somewhat according to the instructions for making sourdough italian bread that was posted here earlier by Dmsnyder i think. The formula does only call for white flour but as I live in sweden I find that breads should contain at least a small portion of rye!

I made the dough with 20% rye flour wich gives you a dough that handles exactly like a wheat dough but with greater taste and also a somewhat drier feel, due to the high ash content of my whole grain rye flour, I also topped them with a mixture of wheat bran and rolled oats so they resemble the kind of "fake healthy" bread you can buy in stores and bakeries here in sweden.

The other breads were two sunflower ryes as per BBA, made with 30%rye starter and really coarse rye meal for the rye content in the dough. Lightly toasted sunflower seeds make for a lovely taste, can´t wait to open these babies! I have started tt get a bit better at shaping since I studied Marks videos, that technique is far superior to my prevoius attempts. Now I only have to make room for the loaves in my freezer! '

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Sourdough Italian Bread

Sourdough Italian Bread

Sourdough Italian Bread crumb

Sourdough Italian Bread crumb

This bread is based on the Italian Bread formula in Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice." The only change I made was to substitute a biga naturale (sourdough starter) for the biga made with instant yeast in Reinhart's formula. I still added the instant yeast to the final dough.

I also employed the "stretch and knead in the bowl" technique during bulk fermentation, even though I used a KitchenAid mixer for mixing beforehand.

Intermediate starter (Biga naturale)

3 oz. Active starter

9 oz. Water

12 oz. KAF Bread flour

Final Dough

18 oz. Biga naturale (Note: save the remaining 6 oz. for another bread.)

11.25 oz. KAF Bread flour

o.41 oz. (1-2/3 tsp) Salt

0.5 oz. (1 T) Sugar

0.11 oz (1 tsp) Instant yeast

0.17 oz. (1 tsp) Diastatic barley malt powder

0.5 oz (1 T) olive oil

7 oz (¾ cup) Water at 80F

Sesame seeds for coating.

Semolina to dust the parchment paper.

Mix and ferment the biga.

Mix the biga naturale the evening before baking. Dissolve the starter in the water in a medium sized bowl, then add the flour and mix thoroughly to hydrate the flour and distribute the starter. Cover the bowl tightly and allow to ferment for 3-6 hours, until it doubles in volume. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the biga from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up for an hour or so.

Mix the dough

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and malt powder in a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer. Add the biga in pieces, olive oil and ¾ cups of tepid water and mix thoroughly. Adjust the dough consistency by adding small amounts of water or flour as necessary. The dough should be very slack at this point.

I mixed the dough with the dough hook in the KA mixer for 10 minutes then transferred it to an 8 cup/2 liter glass pitcher that had been lightly oiled.

Fermentation

I stretched and folded the dough in the pitcher with a rubber spatula then covered it tightly. I repeated the stretch and fold again 20 and 40 minutes later. I then left the dough to ferment until it was double the original volume. This took about 60 minutes. (Approximately 2 hours total bulk fermentation.)

Divide and form

Divide into 2 pieces and pre-form as logs. Allow the dough to rest 5 minutes or more, then form into bâtards. If desired, spray or brush the loaves with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Prepare a couche – either a floured piece of baker's linen or parchment paper sprinkled with semolina.

Pre-heat the oven to 500F with a baking stone on the middle shelf. Make preparations for steaming the oven.

Place the loaves in the couche, cover with plastic or a towel and allow to proof until 1-1/2 times their original size.

Baking

Score the loaves and transfer them to the baking stone. Bake with steam, using your favorite method. After loading the loaves and steaming, turn the over down to 450F and bake until done (about 20 minutes). If you want a thicker crust, use a lower temperature and bake for longer.

Cooling

Allow to cool before slicing, if you can.

Enjoy!

David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

PR Italian
PR Italian

Italian Bruchetta & White Bean Soup
Italian Bruchetta & White Bean Soup

Last night I made a double batch of Peter Reinhart's Italian Bread with Biga. I think I did a review of this bread a short time ago so I won't bother with the formula now.  My daughter told me I had to make this bread every day from now on. She was quite emphatic so I'll have to put it on the short list. This Italian has such a nice flavor it takes you by surprise. I must say the after taste is my favorite in this style.

So what does one do with 4 loaves of delicious Italian bread? Make Bruchetta!! The tomatoes are ripe and plentiful now and all the herbs are in full swing so the time is right for a big batch. I discovered a new (for me) Balsamic vinegar made from figs the other day. I decided to try that instead of the usual dark and heavy variety I otherwise use. The result was a slightly sweet yet tart dressing that we all loved.

A few Months ago JMonkey turned me on to a great soup cookbook by Sally Sampson called Souped Up. He said at the time he thought it was the best in the genre and I have to agree. The White Bean with Basil above was delicious as has been everything I have tried in the book. I have tried maybe a dozen out of 100 very nice recipes. It's on Amazon and inexpensive. I have given 4 copies away so far to family members.

I baked these on a sheet pan without a stone from just barely up to temp. I forgot to turn the heat down for a while so the tops got a little too brown first but they are still fine.

Eric 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pane di Genzano (the real thing)

Pane di Genzano (the real thing)

Pane di Genzano

Pane di Genzano 

Pane di Genzano Crumb

Pane di Genzano Crumb 

In "Local Breads," Daniel Leader has 3 breads from Genzano, a village just outside Rome. Well, 2 breads and a pizza. The 2 breads are an all-white bread (Pane casareccio di Genzano) and one that uses half bread flour and half whole wheat (Pane lariano). Zolablue had written about these breads some time ago. (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4417/genzano-country-bread-local-breads  ) Hers were gorgeous and sounded delicious. But the recipe spooked me at the time. It is a huge loaf and a super-wet dough.  Since then, I had gained some experience with slack doughs and felt up to trying one of the pane di Genzanos.

 

I'm not quite sure what to call the bread I made because I "split the difference" between the breads in the book. I used 25% whole wheat. I also did not follow Leader's instructions for mixing. I wanted to try the Hamelman folding technique on this bread, since I was so happy with how it had worked with my baguettes. I also wanted to try the "double hydration" technique recommended by Suas in "Advanced Bread and Pastry" for improved gluten development in slack doughs. 

 Formula

(I used my regular 75% hydration sourdough starter which is fed with 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% Rye for the biga).

Biga Naturale         368 gms

Water                       405 gms

Bread Flour             375 gms

WW Flour                 125 gms

Instant yeast                7 gms

Sea salt                      14 gms

 Unprocessed bran for sprinkling

 Mixing

In the bowl of my KitchenAid mixer, I mixed 300 gms of water with the biga, then added the flours, yeast and salt and mixed with a rubber spatula until the ingredients were all incorporated in a shaggy mass.

 I then mixed with the dough hook at Speed 4, with occasional bursts to Speed 6, for about 12-14 minutes. At this point, I had some gluten development, and the dough was clearing the sides of the bowl at Speed 4. I began slowly adding the remaining 100 gms of water, probably about 10-15 gms at a time, waiting for each addition to get incorporated before adding the next. I continued to mix at the same speed for another 10 minutes or so.

 (Note: Leader's mixing instructions are to put all the ingredients in the bowl and stir together. Then mix at Speed 8 for 10 minutes or so, then at Speed 10 for another 10 minutes.)

 Fermentation 

I then transferred the dough to a 4 quart glass measuring pitcher.  I had planned on fermenting the dough for 3 hours, doing stretch and folds after 60 and 120 minutes. The dough was overflowing the pitcher after 60 minutes. I transferred it to a 6 quart bowl, did my stretch and folds and covered the bowl. After 120 minutes, the dough had re-doubled and was extremely soft and puffy. The gluten was better developed. I did another series of stretches and folds and fermented another hour. 

 The dough was still extremely sticky. I scraped it onto a large wooden cutting board and attempted to form it. I could fold the edges, but the dough was sticking a lot to the board, my bench knife. I kept my hands wet, which prevented it sticking to me very much.

 Proofing 

I then transferred the dough to a large banneton, dusted with AP and rice flour, then with bran. This was not a pretty sight. The dough was dough but it was so slack, it could not be called a "ball." It was my own proprietary loaf shape. I called in a "glob." The surface was coated with more bran. The banneton was covered with plastic wrap.

 I pre-heated the oven to 450F with a cast iron skillit and a metal loaf pan on the bottom shelf and a large pizza stone on the middle shelf.

 I proofed the glob for 55 minutes. (Leader says to proof for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. I was afraid I would get no oven spring if I proofed it that long.)

 

Baking 

Just before loading the loaf, I put a handful of ice cubes in the heated loaf pan to humidify the oven.

 I transferred the glob from the banneton to a peel, covered with parchment paper dusted with more bran. The glob hit the parchment, spread, but did not overflow the (large pizza) peel.

 I transferred the glob, which had assumed a somewhat pleasing ovoid shape on hitting the peel, to the stone. I poured about a cup of boiling water into the skillet and closed the oven door.

 After 18 minutes, I removed the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven.

 After 30 minutes, I turned the oven down to 400 degrees and baked for 30 minutes more.

 Cooling 

I transferred the bread to a cooling rack. Leader says to cool it for 2 hours before slicing.

 Comments

Well, you win some and you loose some. This bread is delicious. The crust is crunchy. The crumb is tender. You might have noticed that the biga naturale is 74% of the flour weight. The taste is quite sour, especially for a bread with a short fermentation for a sourdough. The whole wheat flavor is there and pleasing. I expect the flavors to change by tomorrow, probably for the better. 

 On the other hand, I'm not sure my deviations from Leader's instructions worked well. The dough was probably gloppier than it is supposed to be. I don't think I got the gluten development it needs. I didn't get much oven spring, and the bread is rather flat. Zolablue got a wonderful boule. Note that she used high gluten flour, and that probably helped. I've got to keep trying, because this bread is really worth the effort.

 Note: It has been noted that this bread is messy to cut. That is an understatement. The bran flies everywhere! I think I ended up with more bran on the counter and cutting board than I had sprinkled on the loaf and in the banneton, and the bread seemed to still have as much as before. The normal laws of physics apparently do not apply to this bread. My advice: Slice it where clean up will be easiest.

 This bread is known in Italy for its keeping quality. It is good when first cooled and stays moist for many days. There are many references to this bread on Italian travel web sites. It is said to make wonderful brushcetta. I have a good supply of delicious tomatoes at the moment. I plan on testing that claim.

 

 David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Italian
Italian

This is my favorite Italian bread formula so far. I have been making this for the last two years ago when ever I need a gift for a lunch or my in-laws who love it. When I started making this mix with the biga, I began to understand how much the 12-14 hour pre ferment time helps the depth of flavor.

The recipe is straight out of th BBA under yeasted breads with a Biga. I adjusted the amounts so I end up with 2 - 1-1/2 Lb loaves after baking. Mr. Reinhart's formula is for 2 - 1 Lb loaves in the book but we like the billowy sandwich size that I can bake on the stone or sheet pan. Two of these is all I can get in my oven. Yesterday I made a 7.4 Lb batch that was double the size of todays and produced 4 similar loaves. Todays mix was done by hand, no mixer needed.

I started at 9PM last evening by mixing the Biga. I have learned from reading BBA that I need to consider a few things before I start. First, do I have 14 hours before I can mix the final dough? Second, what is the ambient temperature where the Biga will ferment? Knowing those two things will tell me how much yeast to use to get the best flavor. In this case, it is a warm day, the air isn't on and I think the 14 hours will stay at around 74-76 F. I decide to use 1 teaspoon of IDY yeast in  478 grams of flour and 340 grams water at room temp. I mix and make sure the biga is well blended before covering with a plastic bag.

This morning at 11AM I mixed all the dry ingredients, biga and milk and oil in a large bowl with a plastic scraper. Once it was barely combined I covered and let it set for 30 minutes to let the liquid absorb. The dough was sticky and slack and I kneaded and folded for a few minutes and let it ferment for an additional 2 hours. During the ferment time I usually fold twice and gently reform as in Marks latest video. That's a great technique to use that helps the dough become a ball without kneading.

Anyway, It doubles in 1-1/2 to 2 hours at which time I divide and shape into a log, place in a banneton for 30-40 minutes. I turn the oven on for this bake when the dough is divided, pre heated to 450F. When the dough is poofy and looks ready, not over 45 minutes, I turn it out on a wood loading peel covered in cornmeal. Spray with water, top with sesame seeds (pat them lightly so they stick), slash and into the oven. Steam as usual and lower the heat to 400F for 25 minutes. I was starting at 500 and lowering to 440 or so as PR suggested but I like the color better at the lower temp. It takes a few minutes longer but for me it looks like Italian.

Here is the recipe sized for 2.5 Lbs of dough. There are many detailed instructions that you can find in the book but if you want to try it this will work. This is one of my favorite yeasted breads.

Sorry about the text formatting. Hope this looks OK.--Enjoy! 

 

Italian Bread-P. Reinhart

Makes 2.5 Pounds of dough   

Biga                             3-1/2 C            18 Oz               510g

318 g flour-226 g water 1/2 teaspoon Instant yeast.

 

Dough

AP Flour                       2-1/2 C           11.25 Oz      319g               

Salt                              1-2/3 t              .41            12g                 

Sugar                           1 T                   .5 Oz          14g                 

Instant Yeast               1 t                    .11Oz          3g                   

Diastatic Malt             1 t                      .17             5g                   

Olive Oil                      1 T                   .5 Oz         14g                 

Warm Milk                  ¾ C plus 2T      7-8 Oz        227g               

Cornmeal for dusting                          TOTAL       1138g  (2.5 Lb)

Method:        

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. Add biga in small pieces, olive oil and ¾ Cup warm milk, mix. Adjust water/flour as needed and rest 15 min.

Knead until starting to develop. Dough temp should be 77-81 F.  Transfer to oiled bowl, cover and ferment 2 hours or double. Fold every 45 minutes during ferment. Watch for double in volume.

Divide in 2. Shape into logs. Gentle handling. Light dusting of flour and rest 5 minutes. Finish shaping. Lightly spray oil and cover, proof for 1 hour or 1.5 increase in volume.

Preheat to 450 F. Score, Steam and lower oven temp to 400 after 2 steams. (400 and longer for crustier). 25 minutes for loaves, 15 minutes for rolls.

 

 

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