The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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mse1152's picture
mse1152

Greetings, bakers,


Tonight for dinner we had salad and the 'Rosettes of Venice' rolls from Carol Field's The Italian Baker.  I don't know why I never tried them before, but they were fabulous!  The recipe wants 500g of biga, and I had 486g of biga in the freezer, so I declared that was enough biga to attempt these.  They take about 5-ish hours from start to finish.  They look like hole-less bagels or kaiser rolls, but are much softer than either of those...maybe the 1/2 cup of olive oil had something to do with it.  The recipe said you should get 12 to 14 rolls, but I made only 8.  At that size, they'd make wonderful sandwich rolls, which I intend to verify tomorrow.


 



 


Soft and tasty, with just enough sugar to notice.  They're glazed with egg white, and I decided they also would benefit from a sprinkle of sesame or poppy seeds, and just enough kosher salt to give them a little bite.


 



 


To make the biga:


Mix by hand, mixer, or food processor:


1/4 tsp. active dry yeast


1/4 cup warm water


3/4 cup plus 1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. room temp. water (weird measurement, I agree)


330g unbleached all-purpose flour


Let the yeast stand in the warm water about 10 minutes.  Add remaining water, then the flour, a cup at a time.  Rise the biga in a covered bowl at room temp. for 6 to 24 hours.  Then you can refigerate or freeze it till you need it, or you could use it immediately after it's risen, I suppose.


 


To make the rosettes:


1 tsp. active dry yeast


2 Tb. warm water


1/2 cup olive oil (the recipe wants 1/4 cup lard and 1/4 cup olive oil)


3 Tb. sugar


500g biga


300g unbleached all-purpose flour


5g salt


1 beaten egg white for glazing


Combine yeast and 2 Tb. water in a large bowl.  Let stand about 10 minutes.  Add oil, sugar, and biga.  Mix by hand or in a mixer till biga and liquids are fairly well blended.  Add flour and salt and mix or knead until dough comes together.  Knead by hand (8-10 minutes) or mixer (3-4 minutes on low speed) until dough is moist and elastic.  I used a Bosch mixer, and on low speed, the dough really didn't come together well.  After a couple of minutes, I finished kneading it by hand.


Put the dough in a bowl rise, covered with plastic or whatever.  Let rise about 2 hours, at approx. 75 degrees F.


 


Shaping:


Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and pat or roll to 3/4 inch thick (mine were thinner, maybe 1/2 inch).  Use whatever you have to cut out a circle of dough, about 3-5 inches in diameter, depending on whether you want small rolls or sandwich buns.  Here's the tricky part, so read it a few times:


Assuming you're right handed, place your left thumb at the 9 o'clock position of the dough circle, with the end of the thumb in the middle of the circle.  Use the other hand to roll the dough from the 12 o'clock position down to the thumb.  Rotate the dough clockwise until the left 'point' of the roll that you just made is at the 12 o'clock position.  Place your left thumb again at 9 o'clock and roll that section of the dough down again toward your thumb.  Rotate and repeat the rolling until you have a sort of kaiser-type of roll shape, with leaves or petals of dough on top of the roll, or whatever you can describe them as.  Press down the middle of the roll to ensure the 'leaves' stay put.  I decided that as long as the rolls weren't flat, I was in the ballpark.  I didn't take photos of this step, since, not knowing how yummy they'd be, I had no idea I'd be posting anything!


Place the rolls on a lightly oiled or parchment covered baking sheet.  Cover with plastic or a towel, and let rise till doubled, approx. 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.  In the last 15-20 minutes of the rise, turn the oven on to 400F.  When the oven is ready, brush the rolls with beaten egg white.  Add any toppings you desire.  Bake about 20 minutes.  I rotated the pan halfway through baking.  Mmmmmmmmmm!!!


Sue


 


 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

My wife's christmas present was a baking course at the Lighthouse Bakery, a small bakery focussing on teaching and some wholesale.


We were 4 participants and made some wonderful breads out of 5 different doughs using biga, rye sourdough, sponge, poolish and pate fermentee.


The most surprising and spectacular of the breads we made was the pugliese, which is also the "signature" loaf of the Lighthouse Bakery.


Liz and Rachel, who run the bakery, are happy for the formula to be shared, so here it is:


finished loaf


This bread is made with strong flour, water, salt and yeast, and yet has a sweetish, creamy crumb. It keeps well and is still excellent as toast 4 days after baking (given it survives that long).


Here is the formula:


Biga


The biga can be stored in the fridge and keeps for a week.


Ingredient Weight(g) Percent
Strong White Flour 500 100
Water 350 70
Fresh yeast 4 0.8

Mix and ferment at room temperature for at least 1 hour (until the yeast gets going), then put it into the fridge overnight. It will expand further, so choose an appropriate bowl.

Here a picture of the biga after 1 night in the fridge (the surface scraped off):

biga

 

Dough

The given amounts make 1 loaf.

Ingredient Weight(g) Percent
Strong White Flour 500 100
Water 340 68
Biga 100 20
Salt 10 2
Fresh yeast 4.5 0.9

Mix and work the dough.

Our teachers recommend to use a mixer: 5min on medium speed and 5min on high speed.

I have no mixer; but I got great results with Bertinet's slap and fold technique.

Bulk ferment for about 3 hours (until trebled in size).

Preheat oven to 220C.

Shape into boule, be careful not to handle the dough too hard, it's quite sloppy at this stage.

Avoid using flour on the worktop.

Put the dough onto a baking parchament for the final proof (about 1 hour, check with the finger test).

Here a picture of the boule after final proof, it spreads a bit, which is not a bad thing:

proofed

Then dust it with flour and dimple it with your fingertips - a bit like captain Nemo playing the organ in his submarine.

Here is the result, ready to go into the oven:

dimpled

Rather flat.

But the oven spring is quite amazing, and on the course when the oven door opened there was an astonished Ooooh in unison.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 220C without steam.

The result is the first picture in this post, here a shot of the crumb:

crumb

It needs to rest a couple of hours after baking, the taste improves a lot and you are rewarded for your patience.

I hope you enjoy making this bread as much as I do,

Juergen

 

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread


I’d been wondering lately what to do with a small amount of chestnut flour that was languishing in a bowl in the cupboard when I saw this thread started by dorothydean (Thank you Dorothy!) after she’d read about Casola Marocca on the Slow Food Foundation website.


Chestnut Flour


I brought back around a kilo of chestnut flour from a holiday in Tuscany last October. The holiday had been organised by The Handmade Bakery, the UK’s first Community Supported Bakery (CSB), and included three mornings of baking classes (which turned into more like 3 full days!). We were staying in a villa in Ponte a Moriano, near Lucca, in the foothills of the Alpi Apuane in the north west of Tuscany (Garfagnana region).


October sees the start of the chestnut harvest in the mountains (the chestnut trees only grow above a certain altitude, above the level of the olive groves & vineyards) and on the first day of our holiday we visited the mountain village of Colognora where a chestnut festival was being held. The weather was atrocious, and by the time we arrived (after getting a little lost) the torrential rain had caused the smattering of small food & craft stalls that had been erected amidst the narrow, steep & stony streets, to start packing up. A few hardy souls continued to roast chestnuts, distributing them gratis in soggy paper bags. We were treated to a tour of the Chestnut Museum by the museum’s director, who unfortunately spoke no English. With long fluid sentences & elaborate hand gestures (translated into curt one-liners by our Australian guide!), he explained the innumerable applications of the sweet chestnut; we’d run out of time before we even got to the culinary uses, but there’s a useful summary here.


In order to make flour, chestnuts are dried over smouldering chestnut wood & old husks, in specially built smokehouses, before being shelled & stone-ground.


There seems to be some dispute over it’s keeping qualities, with some sources saying it keeps well year round, whilst others say it needs to be kept in the freezer. This might be affected by production methods which I believe also vary. Mine has kept perfectly well in the cupboard since October.


In the UK, Shipton Mill produce a flour from ‘chestnuts [that] are sourced directly from a small hill farmer, Patrice Duplan, who gathers them from the hills in the Ardeche region of Southern France', according to the blurb. In Tuscany we were told that the French use a different method of drying the chestnuts (I forget how - I've got a vague memory it involved paraffin?! – although I'd be surprised if this was the case with the Shipton.


Other UK sources (thanks zeb) include http://www.luigismailorder.com/ & http://www.flourbin.com/


I have also seen it stocked in wholefood shops.


In the US, Dorothy found this online supplier: http://www.chestnutsonline.com/ & breadsong found it here.


The flour seems very expensive in relation to bread flours, but when compared with other nuts, ground or otherwise, it is very reasonable.


Recipe


The recipe that mrfrost dug up was a hybrid whilst Daisy_A found a pure sourdough version.


(Thank you both!)


Both recipes were in Italian but had been google translated. I started the mrfrost recipe before seeing Daisy_A’s post but had decided to leave out the commercial yeast anyway.


I didn't have as much chestnut flour as the mrfrost recipe called for, so made up the amount with extra white bread flour. After all the additions, the dough was still dry & crumbly, so I added the potato I had left over & extra milk to make a stiff, sticky but workable dough.


So my modified recipe was as follows:


290g  chestnut flour


210g  strong white flour (Doves Farm)


10g    salt


150gr  sourdough


100g   milk


80g   water


20g   oil


110g   mashed potato


Method


I only kneaded it briefly after mixing as I figured there wasn’t much gluten to develop. I gave it a ‘fold’ after the first hour - a bit of an exaggeration: the dough had lost a little of its stickiness but was still stiff, so all I did really was to form a slightly smoother, taughter ball than before.



After another hour, the dough had some spring & had lost it’s stickiness. I just tightened up the ball, being careful not to tear the surface, and put it into a floured banneton. I’m not sure what my reasoning was for doing this, it was more an instinctive act! I guess I felt that the dough wouldn’t benefit structurally from any more folds. If I do this again, I might knead just a little longer after mixing until the stickiness is gone & then put it straight in a banneton.



Another 2.5 hours later, the dough had risen only slightly, almost imperceptibly. I was faced with a choice (since I had to go out an hour later): I could either bake it, leave it on the counter for another 4 or so hours, or refrigerate it (if I could find the space, which was doubtful). I decided to bake. I turned out the loaf and scored it with a deep cross, as mentioned in Daisy_A’s post.




I baked in the same way as I usually bake my sourdough wheat breads: on a preheated kiln shelf, starting high (250-60c) with steam (boiling water in tray below) for 15mins, then down to 200c. I checked internal temp after 30 mins (c.60c) & 40 mins (c.75c). After 55 mins, the internal temp was 92c but the bread still felt very heavy & moist. I needed to leave, so I turned the oven off but left the loaf in.


Results


The dough was obviously underproofed & the bake a bit high, but the result was very visually appealing. I don't think the picture gets the colour very accurately: the crumb was quite purple when first sliced (think darker & more purple than walnut bread), with a purple-red-brown crust, which darkened & mellowed overnight to a chestnut brown (go figure!); the crumb colour too was less pronounced a day later.


When I sliced the loaf in half, I was worried that it wasn't quite done & would be gummy like rye can be, but not at all. Although visually, the crumb texture resembles a rye bread, it feels very different to the touch & in the mouth: it's much drier for a start; this might be due in part to the manner of baking, but I also think that the chestnut flour retains less water than rye. I imagine that one reason for adding the potato is to preserve moisture.



The high bake led to a crunchy crust, like a sweet nutty biscuit (I think the milk contributed to this), which is a great contrast to the close textured, almost meaty, crumb. The sweet smoky flavour is terrific & I’ve had some rapturous responses from some friends who tried it.


I had it first with some Manchego, & the following day with a very similar, but more authentic(!), Pecorino Toscano, both hard ewe’s milk cheeses: a wonderful combination. I also made a mushroom soup, using fresh mushrooms & dried porcini, which was also a good accompaniment.


Other suggestions are soft goat’s cheese & (chestnut) honey, and lardo di Colonnata, or any other salty Tuscan (or other) cured meat.


Why not give it a go!

dorothydean's picture

Recipe for or thoughts on Italian chestnut flour and potato bread (Casola Marocca)?

February 9, 2011 - 8:37pm -- dorothydean

I'm searching for a recipe for a bread described on the "Ark of Taste" section of the Slow Food web site--an amazing-sounding bread made with chestnut flour, wheat flour, and a little bit of potato, with milk and olive oil. The bread is called Casola Marocca. I've also seen it online as Marocca di Casole.


http://www.slowfoodfoundation.org/eng/arca/dettaglio.lasso?cod=496&prs=PR_037

jim baugh's picture

Muffuletta Bread and olive salad recipe

December 8, 2010 - 8:56am -- jim baugh

We just made some Muffuletta bread for our olive salad turned out great. Baked in cast iron skillets to get those nice round loafs. First try on this one, but, turned out really good.


Recipe and info at our blog


http://jimsgalley.blogspot.com/2010/12/muffuletta-jbs-recipe-and-muff-tips.html


 


Have a great day!!


Jim Baugh


JBO TV

DeeElle's picture

Sfoiatelle Italian Pastry Search

August 4, 2010 - 6:58am -- DeeElle

Hello, Everyone,


There is a wonderful Italian pastry called sfoiatelle that is not commonly available, though it is sometimes found in bakeries with Italian specialties.  Having had no success in locating a recipe in my cookbook collection, or with google, I thought I'd ask the knowledgeable folks at The Fresh Loaf if they had information on sfoaitelle. 


Thanks and Happy Baking!


DeeElle

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


A Christmas double chocolate biscotti takes center stage on our Christmas biscotti tray. It is an old family recipe that is made only for holidays and special events. I could not imagine Christmas with out pizzette, it would be a very sad family gathering. The only problem is stopping everyone from eating them before our family dinner of speghetti with anchovy sauce and mixed fried fish.


Pizzetts are a double chocolate biscotti, scented with spices, roasted almonds, orange zest, coffee and chocolate chips. They are one of the biscotti attractions on our cookie trays for Christmas and every special event. You can make these cookies in advance and freeze them for up to 2 months unfrosted.



 



 


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com

 

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


Chestnut fettuccine with toasted pignoli nuts and sage bring out the pasta’s smoky and rustic flavor. Chestnut fettuccine compliments grilled venison and turkey and adds a new dish to your holiday dinner.


Chestnut flour has a very strong flavor and you may want to experiment with different amounts of flour.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/hunting-season-begins-in-switzerland-and-venison-is-on-the-menu/ 



 



 



 

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