The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Pane Sicilian

AnnieT's picture

Pane Sicilian

Brotkunst, I am so jealous! I made my second batch of this bread yesterday and it didn't look anything like yours! I used durum flour both times but didn't know about altering the percentage of bread flour. The pate fermentee was softer this time, and the crumb was very yellow and had only small holes. I'm beginning to think I don't proof doughs long enough, but the risen "Ss" were very puffy and when I poked one the dent remained, which is what I think PR says. I charred the first batch I made and really wanted to get it right this time - and then I saw your picture and went into deep depression. Not really, I'm a stubborn old woman and will try again, but I would appreciate any suggestions you could make. I love this site and feel as though I am learning a lot, thanks to all for sharing, A

BROTKUNST's picture

Annie, as I mentioned I used the KAF's Durum flour , not the Bob's Red Mill semolina this time. Since the KAF Durum flour comes less yellow the entire loaf is more white than yellow. Since you mention that your loaf was 'very yellow' I wonder if you are using the Durum or semolina version (semolina is the 'sandy' durum).


From what I have heard there are seberal different presentations of Durum flour and each would be quite different in there interaction with water. I just have experience with the two I mentioned and the KAF Durum appeared to absorb less water.


Also, I for the 'white' flour I used KAF's 'Sir Lancelot' High Gluten flour - Durum is very low in gluten, so the 'Sir Lancelot' makes up for part of the difference.


I proof the loaves overnight in the refridgerator. The Durum Flour (not semolina) appeared to have a more intense fermentation - all other factors being equal. I had to get up a littler earlier and baked the loaves straight from the fridge in the oven. One loaf was at room temperature for about 20 minutes because it proofed in a little cooler section in the fridge.


I pre-heated the baking stone to 500F, steamed and place the sheet on the stone for a total of 25 minutes at 450F. When I leave the door cracked open after 15 minutes I have to watch the loaves a little closer so that they would not get too dark. If you wanted the loaves with a slightly more crunchy crust I'd try 13 minutes at 450F with closed door, and 8-10 minutes with the door cracked open.


BTW ... I spray the loaves with water before baking, add the sesame seeds (plus Amranth seeds if you like) and the spray a coat of extra-virgin olive oil over the loaves.




Note: original thread here

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I had a difficult time getting them to keep their shape and their seeds on until I came up with this method: after shaping the dough, I brush it lightly with beaten eggwhite.  I sprinkle a ton of sesame seeds on a sheet of parchment or non-stick foil (greased regular would work too I think), and then place the bread seam side up (or whatever side I want to be the top of the baked loaf) on the sesame seeds.  When it's proofed, I dust the bread with cornmeal, lightly place my peel on top and flip it over.  Ta-da!  The shape is better (at least for me) and the seeds are more firmly planted into the dough than would otherwise be.  I don't know how pertinent this is to your topic, but I hope it helps someone!

kjknits's picture

Brotkunst, you raise an interesting question--my package of Bob's Red Mill semolina flour says that durum wheat is very high in gluten, and, for that reason, it's used in pasta.  But you mentioned that durum is low in gluten--is there a difference between durum semolina and plain durum?  I'm just trying to learn--I have learned so much in the few weeks that I have participated here.

Have a great day!

Katie in SC 

BROTKUNST's picture

AnnieT, you are right - the Semolina package from Bob's Red Mill makes that claim. My experience in working with Semolina four did not indicate that it would 'exceptionally high in gluten'. Peter Reinhard in his 'Pan Siciliano' and R. Beranbaum in her 'Altamura' formula point out that Semolina flour is high in Protein, however not high at all in gluten. Which makes sense ... not all Protein in flour is gluten of course.


I'd say that Bob Red's Mill got it wrong but then again it's a national brand and I'd be surprised if they write something so fundamentally incorrect on their packaging. P. Reinhard and R. Beranbaum on the other hand do centainly also know what they are talking about.


Maybe when BR'sM refers to 'high' they mean 'high' for pasta making, P.R. and R. L. are refering to 'high' gluten for bread making.


I will have to look into that ....