The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My First Scali Bread

bottleny's picture

My First Scali Bread

I have been baking every Saturday since last December. While browsing in The Fresh Loaf, I noticed SylviaH's posts about Scali bread and decided that this would be this weekend's task.

The recipe is from King Arthur (here is their blog post). I didn't follow the exact recipe because I prefer leaner bread.


  • AP flour 120.5g
  • Water 75 g
  • 1/4 tsp yeast (1)

Mix to form a ball, refrigerate over 24 hr and then continue at room temperature for 9 hr.

Final dough:

  • All biga
  • AP flour 241 g
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • Milk 153 g (2)
  • 1/2 Tb Olive oil (3)

Mix to form a ball. Following Sylvia's method, I did S&F three times with 30-40min apart. Shape. Rest for 1.5 hr. In the last 30 min, I brushed the egg wash (egg white + 1Tb water). Then baked at 425F, first 15 min with cover and another 15 min without.


(1) KA recipe said "pinch". I didn't know how much the pinch is. I then checked The Artisan's Bread Page and went for 1/4 tsp. breadcetera used 1/8 tsp and 12 hr. Next time I'll use 1/8 tsp

(2) I didn't have dry milk powder so I used 1% milk instead. KA's recipe calls for 157.3 g. I used less because breadcetera used only 145 g. However, after this trial, I would increase the water a little bit, maybe 160g.

(3) KA recipe uses 2 Tb, which would be too much for me. Initially just wanted to use 1 Tb but forgot the correct amount. Next time I'll use 1 Tb.

Before baking


It's darker than what I expected. So was the bottom. My bread didn't have smooth skin... (was like that before baking :-( )

However, the crumbs looked good. I wasn't confident in kneading. But this time it wasn't too bad.


This time it took much longer than my previous baking. Therefore by the time when the bread was ready for my lunch, it's already nearly 1pm! I did my best to be patient! My bread has thicker crust than the ones you find in the supermarket, but it's not too bad. The crumbs were soft but also quite elastic. The leaner taste suited me well.

Every time my bread comes out with a dark bottom. Next time I would reduce the baking temperature by 25F.

By the way, I often see this kind of bread in the supermarket. I thoght it's called Italian Bread. Are they the same?

PS: The remaining egg wash and egg york became scrambled egg with tomato and onion for my dinner, accompanied with this bread.


SylviaH's picture

The loaf is a nice mahagony color and the crumb looks very nice.  

The yeast measure...1/4 tsp. 'teaspoon' is to much when a pinch is asked for in the Biga, about an 1/8 tsp would be closer.  Also I'm wondering about your yeast amount in the final dough.  It should be 2 tsp. 'teaspoons'.  You used 1 'TBsp' Tablespoons?  1 TBsp. 'Tablespoon' is equal to 3 tsp. 'teaspoons'.  The wet egg wash works nicely to hold on the sesame seeds and does keep the dough moist before baking.  I've had good success without using any extra steaming..just placed on parchment on a cookie sheet.  


bottleny's picture

I used 1/4 teaspoon of yeast in biga and 2 teaspoons in the final dough. Ya, I agree that 1/4 tsp is a little bit too much in the biga of this size. I will use 1/8 next time.

For 1Tb, I meant the oil. The original recipe calls for 2Tb of oil but I prefer less amount. This time I used only 1/2 Tb, but I think 1Tb would be better.

What's the hydration in your Scali dough?

SylviaH's picture

I used the recipe from KAF so my hydration was apx. 58%, depending upon how hydrated my starter and final dough appeared, I might have added a little more water.

It appears you have changed the flour and liquid amounts from the original recipe converting to grams from the ounces in KA recipe. 


EvaB's picture

A pinch is as much as your thumb and forefinger pinched together will hold, I actually found a set of measuring spoons, for a pinch, a smidgen and a dash all of which are smaller than the 1/8 tsp measure on the ring. But my mother always said just what you can pinch up and hold from slipping out of the pinch is what is meant by a pinch. A dash was a two fingered pinch and the smidgen or in her parlance a smidge, was a pinch, with half of it or maybe a bit more let go before dropping into the bowl.