The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pane Siciiliano

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sewcial's picture

Pane Siciiliano


This is my latest bread -- Pane Siciliano from BBA. It was fun to make the S shaped loaves and it is delicious with a moist tender crumb and a rich flavor. It is 40% durum flour, hence the creamy yellow color. I put it in the oven early this morning and we just had it for our late Sunday breakfast with eggs and cocoa. The two of us ate half a loaf and I could go on eating slice after slice. I LOVE GOOD BREAD!


I made it almost just like the recipe. Just for fun, I pinched off a little piece of my (recently fed) stiff dough starter and added it to the pate fermente. So that had almost 2 days rest in the fridge. Then the shaped loaves had an evening and night long ferment in the fridge. Wonderful flavor. I think they might have risen a little fatter than they should with the extra yeasties.


This maes a great bread for breakfast or dinner. I think it would be fun to make it in little S shaped rolls too. A loaf would probably make about 6 rolls. I had fun making this and I'm eager to make it again and serve it for breakfast during the holidays. Two of our children will be coming with their families in Dec. and I'm making a list of all the breads I want to show off while they are here. Wish they could stay a month. We will have a lot of bread to go through.


Pane Siciliano


Crider's picture

So it was all refrigerated fermenting with only the proofing at room temperature?

sewcial's picture

Ooops. I guess I need to learn to use the terms correctly.

The pate fermente stayed in the fridge almost 2 days. I'm not sure what that process is called.

The dough was fermented at room temp a couple hours till it was double in bulk. Then it was shaped and put on the pans, covered with a large plastic bag and put in the fridge. I guess the right term fo that is retarded,not fermented. The shaped loaves went into the fridge late in the afternoon. I got up early this the morning (around 5 a.m.), left them out about an hour and a half, till they warmed up a little and were soft enough to show my fingerprint. Then they baked. Steam was used, but no stone was needed.

Also I said I  made them like the recipe, but I forgot, I did change the technique. Reinhart says to knead the dough a fairly long time. Instead, I  mixed and gently kneaded just until it had enough flour. From there I did the fold/rest 4 times at 30 minute intervals till it was doubled. That took around 2 1/2 - 3 hours. 3 folds might have been enough, but I wasn't sure it was double yet. My kitchen has been fairly cold lately, so rising takes longer.

I'm really getting to like fold and rest. It just seems to give the dough so much structure and I can leave it a bit wetter than with regular kneading. 


deblacksmith's picture

This is a great bread, I even make it in loaf pans -- makes good sandwiches and great toast.  I love the deep flavor.


Boboshempy's picture

Wow, this looks great!  This has been on my list to make from BBA.  I am deffinately making it this weekend.

Thanks for posting a picture.


sewcial's picture

Thanks, Nick. Just remember that Reinhart suggests you plan 3 days to get the full flavor. I mixed the pate fermente Thursday and put it in the fridge while I made a different bread. Then, Saturday around noonish, I took it out and let it warm up, made the dough and, once it was shaped, I put the shaped loaves into the fridge again till early Sunday morning. You can start later in the say if you aren't getting up so early. Mine were in the fridge about 12 hours. When I took them out, they were risen enough that I probably could have baked them cold, but, since this is the first time I've done the long cold retardation, I wanted them a little closer to room temp before going into the oven. 

It is so delicious and I can't wait to see how my grandchildren react to the cool shape.


tao_of_dough's picture

How would you rate the difficulty in tackling this bread?  If pain a l'ancienne is a 10 out of 10, say, where would this bread rate on that scale?

sewcial's picture

That's hard to say. I didn't think it was difficult at all. It just took a lot of waiting and patience when I was eager to taste it. 

I haven't made pain l'ancienne yet, but I just looked at the directions and it doesn't look difficult to me. It looks like they are just cutting long strips of dough and letting them be rustic shapes, but everyone has her/his own concept of what is difficult. For me making bread is relaxing and I have never thought of it as difficult. Trying to fix a broken web site is difficult--for me (That task has been bothering me for months). Whenever I feel discouraged about the web problem, I just go and start another batch of bread. It's good therapy.

Shaping the S loaves was just making long baguette shapes, then rolling them up from both ends simultaneously to form the curly S. Some people might find this challenging, but it's really easy once you do it. His photos are so explanatory.

There was no difficulty about the mixing. The pate fermente was made the day (or 2) before and I used fold and rest for kneading the main dough. I suppose I would rate it about a 4 based on the length of time you need to stay around to see it to completion. 

Give it a try. You'll love it and it looks much more difficult than it is.


SylviaH's picture

of Pain Siciliano!  They have me wanting to try PR recipe.  Breads made with duram flour and the pasta grade semolina are among my very favorite.  Did you use the duram flour or semolina pasta grind in the recipe?   I have made Dan T. DeMuzio's formula from his new book bread baking An Artisan's Perspective I shaped it into scrolls and one in a uses the duram flour.  I have been wanting to make PR because I wanted to try it with the semolina grind.  Beautiful!


sewcial's picture

Thank you, Sylvia,

I used the fine grind durum flour. I haven't bought any of the coarser semolina yet, but I thought the fine grind would be better for bread. If you try with the semolina, I'd like to hear how it tastes. PR says you can use either so I used the fine and it was lovely.

For dusting the parchment under pizza and some other breads, etc. I use stone ground cornmeal whenever semolina is suggested. I just have so much cornmeal I need to use some of it up.