The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pane Casareccio di Genzano for a Spring Al Fresco Dinner

DonD's picture
DonD

Pane Casareccio di Genzano for a Spring Al Fresco Dinner

Background:


For the past 15 years, my wife Barbara and I and our best friends Jeff and Barbara have marked our annual rite of Spring with a visit to Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia as guests of Luca Paschina, the General Manager and Winemaker of the Estate which is owned by a consortium of Italian wineries based in Tuscany and headed by Gianni Zonin, the patriarch of the Zonin Family. The vineyards and winery are situated on the grounds surrounding the old estate of Governor Barbour where winemaking was first introduced by Thomas Jefferson. This Celebration of Spring is marked by an annual Morel Dinner that the Winery and its Restaurant 'Palladio' organizes usually the first Saturday in May. As longtime wild mushroom foragers, we are responsible for a morel talk and slide show as an introduction to the all morel dinner paired with various wines from Barboursville Vineyards. But the highlight of the weekend has always been the informal Friday evening before the main event get-together with Luca, his wife Patty and children and assorted friends from near and far.


 Entrance to Barboursville Vineyards


 Barboursville Vineyards


Al Fresco Dinner:


This past Friday, we took off from work early and drove down to Luca's house just in time for an Al Fresco dinner in his backyard with his family, his assistant winemaker Daniele, Domenico Zonin (eldest son of Gianni) and Christophe, a visiting French Wine Consultant. In anticipation of this get-together, the day before, I had baked a Pane Casareccio di Renzano loaf from Daniel Leader's 'Local Bread' to go with a whole Prociutto ham made from the leg of a pig named 'Spike' that was raised for a caterer friend and that I had cured for almost two years. The weather was gorgeous, the fellowship was excellent, the morels were plentiful, the wines were flowing and the prociutto and bread were not bad either.


 Pane di Genzano w/ Prociutto and Tomato


 Fresh Pasta w/ Sauteed Morels 


Pane di Genzano:


I followed Leader's list of ingredients and proportions exactly but downsized the loaf to a manageable 500 gms total of KA Bread Flour. I modified the procedure to include a 30 minute autolyse and a light 4 minute kneading with a dough hook on low speed followed by a 2 1/2 hour fermentation with stretch and fold in the bowl every 30 mins. I shaped the dough into a boule and proofed it in a banneton for 1 hour before scoring and baking. I baked it at 450 degrees F with steam for 1 hour and at 400 degrees on convection without steam for 25 mins. The loaf snapped, crackled and popped when removed from the oven and the crust developed nice cracks and remained crunchy until the next day. The oven spring was tremendous and the crumb was tender and open. The dark crust was nutty and the crumb flavor was sweet and complex with no trace of sourness. I read that this bread would last for several day without staling but I would never find out because the loaf was gone in no time thanks in no small measure to Luca's kids.


 Crackly Crust


 Tender Crumb


The Main Event:


We capped the weekend festivities with the Saturday evening Dinner in the Banquet Room of the Winery. The dinner which is always sold-out was a 5 course dinner featuring Yellow Morels from Michigan and Black Morels from Oregon paired with a selection of wines from Barboursville.


 Frisee and Grilled Asparagus Salad w/ Pancetta and Roasted Morels


 Braised Pork Belly w/ Cauliflower Gratin and Glazed Morels


I cannot wait until next year...


Happy Baking (and Eating)!


Don

Comments

LindyD's picture
LindyD

A most lovely weekend indeed, Don.


Your bread certainly contributed to the perfection of the menu.


I'm glad you're enjoying those morels from our woodlands up here in the north woods of Michigan.  Tis the season for morels....although it seemed more like Christmas Saturday with five inches of snow and cold winds....all melted now, thankfully.

DonD's picture
DonD

Thanks, Lindy. The yellow morels from Michigan were huge, 4-5" tall. My guess is that they come from old apple orchards. This year our local morel season was a disaster. 90+ degreees weather in early April followed by several days of frost killed most of them. The ones we found had frost burns.


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The Genzano boule looks wonderful! Hmmmm ... I don't see any food that doesn't look wonderful.


Alas, Spike doesn't look in any shape to appreciate his place of honor.


David

DonD's picture
DonD

Spike gave his life to a good cause. We enjoyed him earlier in the form of salami, pancetta, bacon, head cheese and cotechino.


Don

arlo's picture
arlo

Happy to hear my state got a seat on your plate with our scrumptious mushrooms!


I hope you had a wonderful time Don.

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Arlo,


I assume you are from Oregon. The black Morels were small but just the perfect size. They were tremendous. From the looks, my guess is that they were picked in previously burned forest areas.


Don

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I loved your photos and everything was picture perfect.  What a beautiful way to spend a weekend.  Your Genzano boule looks so delicious!  Thanks for sharing, Don!


Sylvia


 

DonD's picture
DonD

We had a great time. Also, Saturday morning, we took a drive on the Skyline Drive, hiked a short section of the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah Park and had a wonderful picnic.


Don

wally's picture
wally

Don- What a great weekend you had!  And thanks for sharing it in pictures.  Barboursville has long been recognized as one of Virginia's really showcase vineyards that can hold its own internationally (and domestically against some of California's finest), although I hadn't realized it was owned by Italian wineries.  I've never eaten at their restaurant, but now I see why I should next time I'm close by Charlottesville.


Thanks!


Larry

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Larry,


I highly recommend Palladio Restaurant. Melissa Close, the chef was trained in Italy and they serve a very good lunch at reasonable price.


Don

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Don,


I've been wanting to do this one for ages.


I think you've really done it justice.


I think I'd like to do it in College, and use some high extraction, or some wholemeal flour in the dough; make a really big loaf.


Your attention to detail and dedication to craft come shining through; as with all the bread you make...so what about that rye then?


Very best wishes


Andy

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Andy,


Thanks for your kind words. Daniel Leader has a half whole wheat, half bread flour version so if you use high extraction flour it is probably even better. I do not believe in intensive mix so I deviated from Leader's mixing procedure. In spite of the high hydration, with the gentle mix and stretch and fold, the dough developed beautifully and was easy to shape and held its form nicely. Another surprise was how sweet the bread tasted without any sourness at all. I will try to make it again with a different flour combination. Some rye maybe...


Regards,


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Don.


I've only made the half whole wheat Genzano and didn't like it much, but your taste may differ. I like the idea of using a high extraction flour and, especially, the idea of adding a bit of rye. I may give the bread a try that way myself. Your loaf is certainly inspiring.


David