The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Sun Food / pane di sole

breadsong's picture

Sun Food / pane di sole

Hello everyone, 
Continuing to be inspired by Beth Hensperger’s beautiful book, Bread For All Seasons…
the next chapter begins with June and is titled ‘Sun Food’.

I’ve baked three breads of Italian origin over the last while, using ‘yellow-colored’ flours -
thinking about 'sun food' (sun bread), I wanted to call these breads ‘pane di sole’ :^)

Micca di enkir e buratto
A dear friend generously gave me some beautiful softly-yellow-colored Italian einkorn flour:
Searching on TFL yielded Giovanni’s amazing post about his visit to Mulino Marino, and finding einkorn (enkir) flour there.
(loved how Giovanni’s post featured six millers, whose names all began with the letter ‘f’ –
this group of men seemed like a brotherhood, or  fratellanza, to me :^)   )


In place of buratto flour, I used 85% high-extraction flour, as one of Giovanni’s comments noted buratto flour might be comparable to a French T80 which may be a light whole wheat?
The einkorn levain was slower to ferment than the wheat levain, so I placed the einkorn levain in a warm ( 90F or so?) proofer for awhile, to let it catch up – I’m not sure if it was the warmer, wetter levain, or the einkorn flour, or both, but when baked, this bread was the sourest bread I’ve ever tasted – and I’m not complaining! It was amazing to taste - been meaning to bake this bread again, to see if I can re-create that flavor.

The crumb is not as astonishingly beautiful as with Giovanni’s loaf...
  ...but I was happy with the oven spring :^)

This bread was baked back in March, and I’m pretty sure at that time of the year, I was still dreaming of the sun. 
Many thanks to Giovanni, for his inspiring and informative post about these millers and their flours – and for baking that beautiful, perfect ‘micca’ – it was wonderful to see!

Focaccia al pomodori

This focaccia is based on Mr. Leader’s formula for Grape Harvest Focaccia in his lovely book, Local Breads.  
There are so many incredible, captivating photos in Mr. Leader’s book – including his photo of ‘Individual Focaccias with Cherry Tomatoes’ – the breads look like they’ve been wood-fired – gorgeous!
When I saw a colorful mix of hothouse tomatoes at the store – these breads came to mind.
After baking, these tomatoes were sweet and flavorful, almost beyond belief – it’s been many months since I’ve tasted tomatoes like these.
It’s as if they’d been vine-ripened in the sun, but it’s still too early here for that! The flavor was an amazing surprise :^)

In making the focaccia, I pre-fermented 21% of the flour in a 80% hydration sponge (used only all-purpose flour in the sponge), then used 40% all-purpose, 30% soft whole wheat, and 30% extra-fancy durum (nice and yellow) flour in the final dough, with 60% hydration overall.

                                                           ...before baking

Sun shots :^)  

Pane tipo di Altamura

Franko embarked on a journey to bake pane tipo di Altamura last year – I haven’t forgotten the lovely bread he baked!
There have been so many other enticing bakes of this bread by Varda and others. Consistently, these 100% durum breads have had vibrant orange-colored crusts, and yellow crumb...
I was intimidated by this bread, and found the courage to try making a version of it this week, having some extra time and having just seen Jeremy’s post of a beautiful and bright-yellow semola remacinata bread. Jeremy included a link to his friend Ibán Yarza's blog where there was yet another beauty! of a bake.
I'm very grateful for the tips and guidance in these posts, including tips on how to build the levain (thanks!, codruta, for your question – if you see this).  I tried to keep the levain quantity  and hydration, and dough hydration to that recommended by Mr. Yarza, and do a multiple-stage durum levain build at varying hydrations (formula below). Mr. Yarza called the levain masa madre, but I wanted to call this levain pasta madre, in honor of durum flour, and Italy  :^)


I used 100% extra-fancy durum flour for this bake, so this bread might be a pane tipo di Altamura?
Whatever it’s called, it was one of the most delicious breads I’ve ever tasted, with a very moist and almost sweet, crumb –
a complex flavor I won’t forget, just like the image of that first beautiful Altamura bread Franko baked :^)

Here are some crumb shots (slices from the loaf on the right, the loaf on the left was given as a gift)


My adaptation of Mr. Yarza's formula:

Baker's %'s:

Just one last link - can't help thinking about Sofie’s absolutely beautiful ‘ray of sunshine’ French Country Bread!  :^)

 Wishing everyone a happy, and sunny!, month of June -
                                                                                  :^) breadsong

Submitted to Susan @ YeastSpotting


dabrownman's picture

all such lovely breads.  The focaccia  (The idot spell checker says to replace focaccia with cowcatcher) had to be stupendously fresh and delicious.  If that isn't summer then what is?  The Pane tipo di Altamura is about as good as bread can get!  Crust, scoring, bloom, color and crumb are spot on.  Your baking rules!

breadsong's picture

Hi dabrownman,
We were lucky to enjoy eating that focaccia outside, on a sunny day :^)
Thanks so much, and I'm glad you liked the Altamura, too.
I was on cloud 9 when I tasted this durum bread, and couldn't help thinking of David's SFSD #4 - also made with a multiple-levain build with varying hydration, and fridge time. David's bread had incredible flavor, too, and I was really happy with how this durum bread tasted!
Thanks again - I really appreciate your kind words about these breads!
:^) breadsong

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Beautiful bake, breadsong! A pleasure for the eye. And so mouthwatering.

I like the red and yellow mosaic on the focaccia. Nice idea.


breadsong's picture

Hi Juergen,
Very good fortune here to find 'perfect' tomatoes and be able to use them for Mr. Leader's bread.
Thank you for your compliments and I am glad you liked these breads!
:^) breadsong

ananda's picture

Hello Breadsong,

Beautiful breads you have posted here; all of them are worthy to be called "100% extra fancy"!

All good wishes


breadsong's picture

Andy, thank you so much!
:^) breadsong

varda's picture

Hi Breadsong,   It seems I always have the same comment for you - beautiful breads!   But I mean it every time.    Lovely scoring on the einkorn bread, and I'm totally blown away by the splendor of your focaccia.    Amazing.    -Varda

Update:   Oops -- I commented before I even got to your tipo Altamura.     So many fabulous breads in one post.  

breadsong's picture

Hi Varda, and thank you  :^)
You made so many wonderful loaves with whole durum - I was thinking about that as I was starting this durum bread.
I was totally blown away by the splendor of Mr. Leader's focaccia, and I guess that's why the image of the photo in his book stayed with me!
Thank you so much for your nice comment.
:^) breadsong

PiPs's picture

Wow breadsong,

This is a stunning post ... my jaw dropped at the first bread pic ... the scoring is to die for! ... and then it just got better and better!

The crumb shots shots of the  Pane tipo di Altamura tell a wondeful story. What a gringe! The levain builds are quite fascinating too ...

Thanks so much for posting this and brightening my rainy day.


breadsong's picture

Hi Phil,
It's a drizzly day here, too, and our month of June is often a wet one.
So I guess this post is a bit of wishful thinking on my part :^)
I am very grateful the levain built up for this bake performed the way I hoped it would
(the payoff in flavor is so worth it, imho!).
Phil, it's so lovely to receive these compliments from you - thank you so much!
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture

Hi breadsong,

We could use a little more sunshine over here on Vancouver Island right now, but your sunny post is a great substitute in the meantime. Simply beautiful breads, each and every one, but the Altamura and it's crumb are amazing! It's so open and airy looking for an all durum mix, I'm quite sure it's the one of, if not the best I've ever seen for this bread. Would you say the leaven was fairly acidic by the time it was added to the final mix? I'm guessing it was, considering the build times. I ask because I know from my own experiences with this bread the best results always came when my levain was fairly sour, the acidity helping to strengthen the poorer quality gluten of durum, something Suas notes in AB&P regarding durum flour as well. Whatever the case, these Altamura loaves of yours are a knockout breadsong, splendid baking!

All the best,


breadsong's picture

Hi Franko :^)
Thank you so much for originally baking, and posting about the Altamura bread - can't tell you how much I enjoyed making and tasting this one (also how relieved I was to get a nice bake and not waste any of that precious flour)!
The crumb was not what I was expecting, compared to bread I typically bake; the 76% water was helping out :^)
In alternating the hydration of the levain builds, I purposefully made the last and largest one a stiff levain,
hoping that would increase acidity and strengthen the dough.
Thank you Franko - I am grateful for your kind words!
:^) breadsong

Mebake's picture

Wow, Breadsong, beautifull breads!!

You are so talented in scoring! All your breads look outstanding! The oven spring is such treat to see. I haven't baked a focaccia, yet, but yours looks beautiful and inviting!
As to the gorgeous durum loaf, this is one of the best durum loaves i've ever seen! Top notch, all the way.

Thanks for the inspiration!

breadsong's picture

Hello Khalid,
Thank you so much!
Thinking about oven spring - I think this loaf of yours was the grand-daddy of them all, for oven spring! :^)
I really appreciate your sweet comments (and hope you are feeling better soon!).
Best wishes,
:^) from breadsong


Ruralidle's picture

Hi Breadsong

What lovely breads (I have only just seen your post as I am catching up on my daily TFL emails but I'm still 2 days behind). 

Now I see why ananda referred to my formula as simple :) when I only used a biga compared to your 4 stage levains .  It is some coincidence that we both posted about the same bread (pane tipo di altamura) on the same day but I think that yours is somwhat better than mine!  Well done.  What the breads seem to have in common is a good flavour and that lovely yellow crumb.  Thanks for posting about your great baking.

breadsong's picture

Thanks so much for posting your version of Altamura - your bread had an amazing crumb! – and glad you enjoyed the flavor of your loaf and I did mine.
It was the simplicity of the method mentioned in Jeremy’s post (quoted below) that made me think this bread
might be ‘do-able’, and gave me the motivation to try :^) …
“Autolysed water+flour +1 h.; mix w SD (nearly 30%), wait 30 m.; salt+knead; rest + 1h. 22º;15h fridge; 2 h 23º; Bake!”

Working out the multiple builds and resulting hydration of levain and dough to try to get to Mr. Yarza’s figures resulted in a spreadsheet that didn’t end up looking anywhere near as concise as Jeremy’s instructions – but I was grateful for the flavor yielded by the levain builds and time involved in the process.

I love the fact that you made such a great-looking and great-tasting loaf, and it didn’t require days of planning ahead :^)
It was really good to read about how you made your bread, and I’d like to try making it as you did.
The timing of the levain builds for my bread was such that I think I could fit them into my work week, to be able to bake on the weekend, but that would mean I’d have to be organized and that isn’t always the case!

Thanks so much for your kind comments here, and for your post – very much appreciated!
:^) breadsong

Ruralidle's picture

Hello Breadsong

I usually use my 100% hydration sourdough starter to produce the biga and then add commercial yeast to the final dough but my eldest daughter is home for the Diamond Jubilee weekend and whilst she likes artisan style bread with good flavour she isn't keen on a sourdough tang.  That pushed me towards using just commercial yeast - not my usual preference but it produced a loaf where the dominant flavour was that of the durum wheat flour and I must admit that I like it a lot.  I also have to admit to a degree of impatience and I like to go as quickly as possible from dough to plate - provided that I can get a decent loaf out of it :) .

I've baked 3 baguettes and a focaccia for the party that we are having in our little community who live in this development of converted farm buildings and have used commercial yeast again in case anyone doesn't like sourdough but, to get some real flavour into the bread I made a poolish for the baguettes and a biga for the focaccia.  I also used about 30g of the durum wheat flour in the focaccia just the add flavour and a bit of colour to the crumb and I will have to wait until this afternoon to see if I achieved what I was aiming for - oh, the tension :).

Thanks for your kind comments about my baking. 

Best Wishes Ruralidle


breadsong's picture

Hope everyone loved your breads - all sound very lovely and perfect to share at a party!
:^) breadsong