The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pane all'Olio

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pane all'Olio

 



 


 


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

 

 

Comments

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

for "only" 61% hydration.  It does not look at all dry, though I understand what you mean by the comparison to your "other" recent bakes.  Is the hydration at the root of the mild crust color you finished with as well?  I can imagine it as a function of shorter baking time due to that lower moisture content.


I must say, it would be nice to have some of that cinnamon-raisin-walnut loaf with one of your coffees at breakfast!  You wouldn't be thinking of starting a little cafe on the side would you?


Hope you are feeling better David.
OldWoodenSpoon

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The crumb was surprisingly open to me - much more so than the last time I made this bread some 30 years ago. (!) Good gluten development is the key, I think.


The light-colored crust was meant to be. It is due to the lower baking temperature. The baking time was long, for a loaf of this weight.


No cafe plans in my future. That's real work. I'll stick to playing with the other kids for a living, thank you.


David

arlo's picture
arlo

I agree with OWS, the crumb looks very nice for being 61%. And you said that was white bread as well? The crumb does look a bit tinted for white bread. Either way, that looks very, very nice.


The cinnamon-raisin-walnut loaf is exceptional David. A deserving centerpiece for any breakfast table!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The photo does make the crumb look darker than it really is. 


David

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

with coffee in hand....and want to reach into the screen and grab a piece of that walnut loaf...Arlo is right...it is the centerpiece for my breakfast table this morning! (but all i can do is look at it) But i know what you are having for breakfast!


Cheers..getting ready for round 2 ...snow is on it's way!

JoeVa's picture
JoeVa

Take a look at THIS. It's an example of the tipical bread from Mantova city. The receipt uses lard instead of olive oil.


Anyway, it's really common to find (in "pianura padana") bread of "pasta dura" (stiff dough), bread from a stiff laminated dough that includes old dough and fat (vegetables/animals). The dough is really stiff, for our flour 45%-50% hydration. It has a thin crust and a white crumb with small alveoli.


HERE and HERE some photos.


Giovanni

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I had found two of the three links you provided by searching for "pane mantovana." I was surprised by the use of lard, but I wonder if this is more common in Northern Italy, where olives are grown less than in the south. Hazan is from Emilia-Romana. I wonder if she made this bread with olive oil as a concession to American tastes, although she presents it as traditional. 


I saw photos of the laminated-type loaf. I guess this increases the amount of crunchy crust.


The crumb was more open than I recall from when I made this bread with a yeasted biga. Also, I increased the hydration from what the formula called for - 56%, by my calculation (translating volume measurements to weight). Even at 61% hydration, this was a very stiff dough - not even tacky.


Thanks for providing the description.


David

JoeVa's picture
JoeVa

I went to the bakery and ... I bought one Biova "for you"! :-)


This is a pane di pasta dura with oil.





Giovanni

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The shape is visually interesting, and the crumb is much like what I remember when I made the pane all'olio years ago.


My searches indicate that "biova" is, by definition, made with lard. (My own knowledge of Italian bread is very limited.)


David

DonD's picture
DonD

Thanks David, now  you are making me want to bake Italian Breads.


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I loved how your grissini looked.


David

rayel's picture
rayel

Beautiful breads, as usual.  Ray