The Fresh Loaf

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Leader's Pane alla Ricotta

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staff of life's picture
staff of life

Leader's Pane alla Ricotta

I've made the pane alla ricotta several times now from Leader's new book.  I find that it's unworkable as is--there is way too much yeast in there.  I cut it down to 1 1/4 t from 1 T.  I proof it in a lined banneton til it's nearly overproofed, slash it and bake it on a baking sheet--on the stone directly and it's very very likely to burst.  Does anyone else have trouble with this one?

SOL

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I made this bread only once and I loved it, in fact, I have some whole ricotta I've been planning to use for this again. I had no problems with the formula however I didn't think the instructions about flipping it over were a great idea.

 

I proofed my loaves on parchment per the instructions and my loaves rose nicely. My problem was probably not flouring the parchment enough. I'm typically not a big fan of using floured parchment because I think it sometimes prevents the bottom of loaves from browning properly. Anyway, then he calls for flipping those loaves over directly onto the baking stone and I believe I flipped them onto another piece of parchment thinking I'd have a mess if I tried to flip onto the stone. They were very puffy and soft loaves.

 

Of course, once flipped they deflated. It just seemed so odd I'm sure I read those instructions multiple times thinking I was reading wrong. I didn't even try to slash them since he doesn't call for that but I thought it was strange. They came out of the oven looking quite lovely and the flavor was outstanding. They actually rose nicely but I have nothing to compare them to as in loaves that did not deflate. I made a note NOT to flip them over next time and to slash them.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

is part of the recipe I didn't read!  I need to learn to read more closely.   I wonder if it would work out that way.  To me, the amount of yeast is so much that no amount of proofing will keep it from bursting in the oven.  It gives it too much ovenspring.

SOL

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

changing the amount of yeast in any dough will affect the ferment time BUT the amount of yeast is the cause of a bread bursting in the overn

does this bread call for steam in the oven

many times when a bread busrts out the sides it means that the bread was baked to hot or did not get enough steam causing the bread to dry to fast and once the crust forms there is no place for the bread to go. 

if the bread is still jumping on the inside pressure will build and the crust will burst at the weakest point

lower the temp or try to USE more steam.

bursting bread is also a sign the bread was under proofed an under proof bread will spring more and also cause the bursting effect (called a cripple)

Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret

staff of life's picture
staff of life

Like I said in my previous post, by the time this bread goes in the oven, it feels nearly overproofed--if I proofed another boule to this extent it would deflate and not recover when slashed--but even with that extent of proofing, it still is inclined to burst in the oven.  When I decreased the amount of yeast, the it was far less likely to burst.  That's interesting about the oven being too hot; I'd never heard that.  I suppose when I bake the bread on sheet pans on the stone instead of directly on the stone the effect to the bread is that the oven is a bit cooler: there's less oven spring.  As for steaming, I don't believe this recipe calls for it, as it's Italian and most Italian breads aren't steamed.

SOL

zolablue's picture
zolablue

SOL - Now I'm wondering if my loaves did not burst because they slightly deflated. Hmmm. :o) Leader does not address this and as you know these very soft, puffy loaves when proofed just seem impossible to flip upside down. I mean, how in the heck would one every do that without deflating them!

 

Yes, the instructions say to steam. I wonder what the difference would be if you proof them just sitting on parchment the way Leader says to and not in a banneton...? It is another very interesting recipe from Leader and well worth the effort. Leader doesn't really say much about it though so without a photo it is hard to know how the finished loaves should look. Fun to compare how everyone's comes out. Super bread!

 

I think next time I make it I'll flip one loaf and slash another. Btw, I always heat my oven to 500 degrees F and then turn down to the temp called for so I had a really hot oven to shove these into.

 

Windischgirl's picture
Windischgirl

I love the flavor of this bread, but I had a bit of trouble in the making too.  I wonder if this recipe is the victim of a few typos.

I thought the amount of yeast was definitely off...I attempted to weigh it on my digital scale and the weight listed is WAY over 1 Tbs.  I was concerned about a yeasty taste, so I cut it down to 1 1/2 tsp.  I have had no trouble in the rising time...it was doubled in less than an hour (then again, it's been warm here).

I also had trouble with the hydration both times I've tried the recipe.  The dough was much too soft to knead by hand...I ended up adding 4-6 Tbs. additional AP flour and the dough was still soft but kneadable.

Wondering if anyone else has had this problem, or am I working with a more watery ricotta? 

No problem with bursting.  Nice oven rise.  Even my cheese hater loved it. 

Paula F

Philadelphia PA

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I've adjusted the recipe a bit, but if the dough is too wet, then no matter how long I bake it, it will have what seems to be an unbaked cheese layer down on the bottom.  I just use the Polly-O Ricotta at Costco.  I cut the yeast amount down to 1 t, myself.  I think part of the problem with it bursting was the excess of yeast, and my tendency to make an overly strong dough, and to underproof loaves too.  I constantly have to remind myself to leave it a little more slack and let it proof a bit longer.

SOL

fsu1mikeg's picture
fsu1mikeg

I made this bread a couple of months ago but I really don't remember much about the process.  I wasn't really that intrigued by the recipe, but there was some leftover ricotta in the fridge so I put it to good use.  I vaguely remember the flipping part being tricky.  But it rose nicely in the oven and ended up looking pretty good actually.  The taste was very mild and not exceptional.  The crumb was nice--moist and creamy from the ricotta.  I used just Sargento or whatever supermarket brand of whole milk ricotta.  That probably had a lot to do with the taste being unremarkable.  It made pretty good toast, but the wife is from Germany and likes darker, more substantial breads more.  I make Leader's Dreikornbrot pretty much every week. plus a couple of his Czech/Polish breads and the Quintessential French Sourdough (usually with sesame or sunflower seeds and in boule form).