The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pane di Genzano

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pane di Genzano

Pane di Genzano (the real thing)

Pane di Genzano (the real thing)

Pane di Genzano

Pane di Genzano 

Pane di Genzano Crumb

Pane di Genzano Crumb 

In "Local Breads," Daniel Leader has 3 breads from Genzano, a village just outside Rome. Well, 2 breads and a pizza. The 2 breads are an all-white bread (Pane casareccio di Genzano) and one that uses half bread flour and half whole wheat (Pane lariano). Zolablue had written about these breads some time ago. (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4417/genzano-country-bread-local-breads  ) Hers were gorgeous and sounded delicious. But the recipe spooked me at the time. It is a huge loaf and a super-wet dough.  Since then, I had gained some experience with slack doughs and felt up to trying one of the pane di Genzanos.

 

I'm not quite sure what to call the bread I made because I "split the difference" between the breads in the book. I used 25% whole wheat. I also did not follow Leader's instructions for mixing. I wanted to try the Hamelman folding technique on this bread, since I was so happy with how it had worked with my baguettes. I also wanted to try the "double hydration" technique recommended by Suas in "Advanced Bread and Pastry" for improved gluten development in slack doughs. 

 Formula

(I used my regular 75% hydration sourdough starter which is fed with 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% Rye for the biga).

Biga Naturale         368 gms

Water                       405 gms

Bread Flour             375 gms

WW Flour                 125 gms

Instant yeast                7 gms

Sea salt                      14 gms

 Unprocessed bran for sprinkling

 Mixing

In the bowl of my KitchenAid mixer, I mixed 300 gms of water with the biga, then added the flours, yeast and salt and mixed with a rubber spatula until the ingredients were all incorporated in a shaggy mass.

 I then mixed with the dough hook at Speed 4, with occasional bursts to Speed 6, for about 12-14 minutes. At this point, I had some gluten development, and the dough was clearing the sides of the bowl at Speed 4. I began slowly adding the remaining 100 gms of water, probably about 10-15 gms at a time, waiting for each addition to get incorporated before adding the next. I continued to mix at the same speed for another 10 minutes or so.

 (Note: Leader's mixing instructions are to put all the ingredients in the bowl and stir together. Then mix at Speed 8 for 10 minutes or so, then at Speed 10 for another 10 minutes.)

 Fermentation 

I then transferred the dough to a 4 quart glass measuring pitcher.  I had planned on fermenting the dough for 3 hours, doing stretch and folds after 60 and 120 minutes. The dough was overflowing the pitcher after 60 minutes. I transferred it to a 6 quart bowl, did my stretch and folds and covered the bowl. After 120 minutes, the dough had re-doubled and was extremely soft and puffy. The gluten was better developed. I did another series of stretches and folds and fermented another hour. 

 The dough was still extremely sticky. I scraped it onto a large wooden cutting board and attempted to form it. I could fold the edges, but the dough was sticking a lot to the board, my bench knife. I kept my hands wet, which prevented it sticking to me very much.

 Proofing 

I then transferred the dough to a large banneton, dusted with AP and rice flour, then with bran. This was not a pretty sight. The dough was dough but it was so slack, it could not be called a "ball." It was my own proprietary loaf shape. I called in a "glob." The surface was coated with more bran. The banneton was covered with plastic wrap.

 I pre-heated the oven to 450F with a cast iron skillit and a metal loaf pan on the bottom shelf and a large pizza stone on the middle shelf.

 I proofed the glob for 55 minutes. (Leader says to proof for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. I was afraid I would get no oven spring if I proofed it that long.)

 

Baking 

Just before loading the loaf, I put a handful of ice cubes in the heated loaf pan to humidify the oven.

 I transferred the glob from the banneton to a peel, covered with parchment paper dusted with more bran. The glob hit the parchment, spread, but did not overflow the (large pizza) peel.

 I transferred the glob, which had assumed a somewhat pleasing ovoid shape on hitting the peel, to the stone. I poured about a cup of boiling water into the skillet and closed the oven door.

 After 18 minutes, I removed the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven.

 After 30 minutes, I turned the oven down to 400 degrees and baked for 30 minutes more.

 Cooling 

I transferred the bread to a cooling rack. Leader says to cool it for 2 hours before slicing.

 Comments

Well, you win some and you loose some. This bread is delicious. The crust is crunchy. The crumb is tender. You might have noticed that the biga naturale is 74% of the flour weight. The taste is quite sour, especially for a bread with a short fermentation for a sourdough. The whole wheat flavor is there and pleasing. I expect the flavors to change by tomorrow, probably for the better. 

 On the other hand, I'm not sure my deviations from Leader's instructions worked well. The dough was probably gloppier than it is supposed to be. I don't think I got the gluten development it needs. I didn't get much oven spring, and the bread is rather flat. Zolablue got a wonderful boule. Note that she used high gluten flour, and that probably helped. I've got to keep trying, because this bread is really worth the effort.

 Note: It has been noted that this bread is messy to cut. That is an understatement. The bran flies everywhere! I think I ended up with more bran on the counter and cutting board than I had sprinkled on the loaf and in the banneton, and the bread seemed to still have as much as before. The normal laws of physics apparently do not apply to this bread. My advice: Slice it where clean up will be easiest.

 This bread is known in Italy for its keeping quality. It is good when first cooled and stays moist for many days. There are many references to this bread on Italian travel web sites. It is said to make wonderful brushcetta. I have a good supply of delicious tomatoes at the moment. I plan on testing that claim.

 

 David

Comments

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,

I want to clarify a couple things on this.

You used your 75% starter for the entire biga? So you made a 368 g batch of starter , let it ripen and added it to the dough?

Are there any other substitutions you made? ZB used high extraction, any other changes?

She certainly got a nice boule. Yours looks nice but a little slack as you say.
I'm guessing that this lasts so well because of the sd starter and high temp crust. 

I can see why you were drawn to the recipe. It is nice looking.

Eric 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.

Re. starter: Right. I built my stock starter to 368 gms and used it in the recipe.

Re. Substitutions: The formula I used is that described above. I used KAF bread flour and KAF Organic Whole Wheat. I could have used a high extraction flour and may try that in the future. However, zolablue did not use high extraction flour. She used KAF Sir Lancelot, high gluten flour. Why her crumb looks the color it does in her photo, I don't know. If you read the entire thread, she remarked on the crumb color too.

Note that zolablue followed Leader's mixing instructions. I did not. That, along with the higher gluten flour, probably accounts for her better boule shape.

Well, another learning experience.


David

MTulloss's picture
MTulloss

Followed the instructions rigidly (other than retarding the dough for 24 hours with three hourly stretch and folds in the last 3 hours followed by shaping and three hours of proofing in abanneton) - got the delightful glob (and bran all over the kitchen) that you describe, but the oven spring was terrifying (really, I thought it might explode.) the finished loaf was nice, properly round at the edges, but overall shaped like vesuvius, and other than generally being conical and some tunneling just about perfect. 

Not leaving well enough alone I'm doing some of what you did, using a blended starter for the biga to which I added equal parts of rye, strong bread (dove's organic) and whole wheat (al baker chapati atta flour, a high gluten whole wheat) .  Instead of increasing the proportion of the total flour in the biga, I kept the biga in the same weight as Leader's but upped the overall flour content to 700g, followed by a four hour bulk ferment at cool room temperature (62 degrees) with one stretch and fold at three hours, followed by shaping and 'nesting' in a banneton full of bran.  I just put that in the fridge till tomorrow night when I will take it out for a couple of hours until it seems properly proofed (hard to tell, this dough seems to have the same spring back when poked no matter how much it has risen) and I will bake.  I will let you know how it goes.

But this is a really fun dough.  By the way, I left the last one, sliced, out on the counter overnight in a very dry kitchen- not the least bit stale!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Rodinka47's picture
Rodinka47

If you look at the google photos all the loaves look like something only a baker could love, but I bet they are divine! I'm too new to all the lingo so I am list with all the math and metrics and percentages! Would love to try it!