My wife and I have been taking Italian language lessons in a small group for about 2 years. Our teacher was born in Palermo and trained to be a teacher from 16 years old through University. She has lived in the US for about 15 years, and she misses Sicily a lot, including the bread.
Tomorrow, the class is meeting at some one's home to view an Italian movie and have a potluck. Our teacher has given me a pretty clear idea over the past two years of the kind of bread she likes best, and I've concluded that the miche I learned to make at the SFBI fits the bill. So, that's what I will take, along with one of the Pane Valle del Maggia.
The formula and procedures for the miche can be found here: Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg . The only modification I made is to substitute 20% whole wheat for an equal weight of AP flour in the Final Dough.
This is a 2 kg loaf. It's about 3 times the size of the Pane del Maggia I also baked today. To give you an idea of their relative sizes, here's a side-by-side photo of the bannetons I used for each:
When sliced, the crumb was well-aerated but not very open.
The crust was very crunchy, and the crumb was chewy. The flavor was moderately to severely tangy, like an old-fashioned San Francisco sourdough. I think the whole wheat's main contribution was to increase the acetic acid flavor. I enjoyed the first taste. I sliced the bread and took it to the potluck, when eaten 60 to 90 minutes later, it seemed much less sour. It was very good and was well-received as was the Pane Valle del Maggia that I also brought. (That's code for "Everyone loved them ") One of my classmates wanted to know where in Fresno I found it. The few slices that were not eaten with dinner were distributed by the hostess for others to take home. She assured me she kept enough for her breakfast.