The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pane Siciliano

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Pane Siciliano

Has anyone made this bread from the BBA? I was so thrilled with the dough which was easy to handle and shape, and they went into the refrigerator overnight. I was totally amazed when I pulled them out this morning because they were what I imagine was overproofed. I am so used to chilled sourdough breads being rock hard. I tried to gently move the loaves apart and one began to deflate, horrors. So I went ahead and baked them and followed PR's instruction to gently part the loaves halfway through the bake time - and the dent had filled out. They looked great and this time I didn't scorch the sesame seeds, but the crumb is a total disappointment. Instead of big holes it is almost tender and fluffy. Good flavor but not what I was hoping for. So am I correct in thinking they were overproofed? If so I will have to make them later in the day or get up earlier! Any comments and suggestions welcomed, A.

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi Annie, 

I was watching to see if anyone with more experience of this bread than I would respond. Since they haven't ...  

I did make this bread once, and it was over a year ago. As I recall, the crumb on my Pane Siciliano was pretty much as you describe it. However, I don't particularly recall the loaves overproofing in the cold retardation. 

Might you have added too much yeast? Or proofed the loaves part way before refrigerating them? If you got very little oven spring, that would support the over-proofing hypothesis. If you got good oven spring, you may have made them as PR intended.  

If you want a semolina bread with a more open crumb, try Hamelman's formula in "Bread." It has no added yeast and produces a very nice, chewy bread. You talked about baking that bread a couple of weeks ago. Did you end up making it?

David

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi David, I first made this bread when I first got my copy of the BBA, and being old I can't recall when that was except it was just when I dicovered TFL. I don't think I added too much yeast, but I did think that the pate fermentee rose more this time than the first attempt. I used Bob's Red Mill semolina flour both times. My refrigerator is set at just under 40* and I was totally amazed to find the loaves so risen - and no, come to think of it, there wasn't much oven spring. I don't remember which bread I talked about baking a couple of weeks ago - I have mostly been baking Susan's sourdough under the stainless steel bowl. Now JMonkey has reminded me of Mike Avery's sourdough version of Pane Siciliano and I know I will have to try it. My neighbors will be happy. Thanks for your suggestions, A.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I hope Mike won't mind, but he's got a great write-up of his experience making PR's Pane Siciliano at his site. Here's a link to his Pane Siciliano bread. Of course, since it's Mike, he sourdough-ized it ... which is usually a good thing ....

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

JMonkey, thanks for the link, and I do remember reading it ages ago. From what I could see the crumb looked much like mine and not what PR shows in the BBA. I used Bob's Red Mill semolina flour, not the coarse grind, but I doubt that would make much difference. It does make very handsome loaves. Darn it, now I guess I'll have to try the sourdough version! A.

sitzhaki's picture
sitzhaki

Hi Annie,

 

I have baked this bread twice. I can't recall too much oven spring on the first time, but It was better on the second time. I recall it was a pretty tasty loaf that my kids just loved. The crumb was very good, and I think it was related to the hearth baking conditions. The best 2 cents piece of advise I can give you, is the re-bake it.

I have noticed that it takes time to get to know the recipe and learn the behavior of a certain type of bread. Don't give up on it. 

 

 Shai

hullaf's picture
hullaf

 Annie, I also have made this bread two or three times before and surprisingly have a pate fermentee in the refrig now for making it in a couple of days. The first time I made it the spring was just so-so. The second time it was great and the crumb just right. I wonder if this was due to the fact that I had put the formed loaves on the top shelf in the refrig instead of lower? (Less cold higher up. My temperature setting is 37-40 degrees) 

Anyway, keep trying - husbands and girlfriends eat my experiments and don't complain! 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

hullaf, I had placed my loaves on the floor of the refrigerator and that was why I was so surprised at them overproofing there. Did you have any problems with overproofing? When you say the crumb was just right do you mean that it was "holey" like the picture in the BBA? I love the flavor and will make it again, but I was expecting the crumb to be different. Never any problem getting people to eat whatever I bake, but my family do wonder about my sanity, A.

hullaf's picture
hullaf

AnnieT, sorry to reply so late, where did the last month go? I just found your blog (still getting used to TFL.) I didn't have any problems with overproofing this pane siciliano. Since then have made this bread with the same results . . . they aren't "holey" like the pictures in Hamelman's book but do look size-wise like the BBA pictures and the crumb was close. I love that semolina bread taste. I am waiting for delivery of the Hamelman book and will try his recipe and let you know how it went. Anet  (so many breads, so little time) 

sitzhaki's picture
sitzhaki

Hi Annie,

 

I had no problems with overproofing, but I guess it really depends on the temperature inside your refrigerator. As of the crumb, my second time was a little "holey", and I think it is related to how active the yeast are and if the process was slow enough. I have seen it happen in slow fermentations. I don't know if you cover the loaves or not, but I would imagine that if the outside of the loaves get too dry during the proofing stage, the crumb will not become holey. You should usually get many holes in slow proofing.

Can't say I was good as BBA, but I was close.... :-)

Good Luck,

Shai