The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pane siciliano

breitbaker's picture

pane siciliano

gave Reinhart's Pane Siciliano a go yesterday...followed formula pretty much to the letter...I absaloutely LOVED the flavor of this loaf...something about it was remniscent of hot buttered popcorn....of course there was no cornmeal, or butter involved in the formula. So i'm guessing it was the combo of the 3 day fermentation/proofing process and the sesame seeds and semolina, that evoked that flavor........

the crumb was a (i think) a little more closed than what I could see in the picture of BBA...but I baked straight out of the refrigerator on the third morning, and Reinhart mentions that you may have to let the bread proof at room temp for a bit before baking if the bread hasn't fullen risen...however, I am far from being a pro at judging over/under proofing and I tend to err on the side of underproofing....the whole "poke and spring back" thing I "sorta" get...but it seems that each formula responds a bit differently...oh shoot, guess that means i'll just have to bake more bread...awful trial, isn't it? :) :)

oh, and i forgot to mention that the recipe makes 3 loaves...I made 2 loaves in the morning  and stuck the remaining dough back in the fridge...pulled it out before supper and shaped into 2 baguette-style loaves...let them rest while i heated the oven to 500...sprayed loaves with water and slashed...then baked with steam for a total bake of about 20 min. or til nice n brown...After 2 min. in the oven i turned it down to 450 for the remaining bake...served 'em up at supper and they were GONE. Thin crispy outer crust and creamy insides.. Reinhart mentions that this dough makes great breadsticks..which is essentially what this was (albeit a single, long breadstick)..i would definitely make this again and serve them with a good pasta dish!


chouette22's picture

And I agree, this whole assessment of when a loaf has properly proofed is so difficult!

You think you have it, and then the seasons and temperatures change, and everything along with it.

SallyBR's picture

I am making those this weekend, I NEED to remember to start in advance, it does take three days, correct?


Are you doing the BBA Challenge?   If you are, we are more or less together, as I just finished the Pain de Campagne


I am a little afraid of pane siciliano because I've made them before and it was not very good.   Fingers crossed!



breitbaker's picture

although I am familiar with the concept (and have even checked around a bit) I haven't done the BBA Challenge...for right now for me there is so many breads to try (other than just from BBA) that I can't get myself to make that many breads from just one book.  Also, many of the formulas in BBA make more than one loaf, and it would just take too long to get through all that bread!(altho if I was as advanced as many on this forum are, I am sure I could convert the recipes to smaller quantities...however, I haven't been dedicated enough to do the math on each recipe, its easier for me at this point to just make the general amount)    

That said, I find the BBA Challenge a great concept, and a way to spur yourself on to baking a nice array of general artisan breads.  

As for the Pane Siciliano...never fear...the dough was a dream to work easy hydration to handle and the extended fermentations worked like clockwork(other than that i *possibly* should have allowed a bit of time after the dough came out of the fridge on the final proof)  It does take 3 days, but very little hands-on time...1st day pate fermentee, second day mixing, fermentation, and shaping...3rd day scoring and baking.....i loved the crust/crumb of this bread!  Have fun and can't wait to see your results!

SallyBR's picture

Unfortunately, mine did not turn out very good.... :-(


My shaping was pathetic to say the least, and it did not rise that much in the oven. The crumb was a bit on the dry side.  Not sure what exactly went wrong, but me and pane siciliano don't seem to understand each other

In case you want to see the whole soap opera, it is here

SumisuYoshi's picture

Those loaves look great! My girlfriend and I both really loved the flavor of this bread, the semolina and the retarding just seem to really kick the flavor into high gear. Now just wait until you get to the Pugliese, with even more semolina!

mredwood's picture

I have made this bread many times. It is my go to never fail bread. It always comes out remarkable. Always. It tastes wonderful always. Your breads look great.