The Fresh Loaf

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Rolled Italian hearth bread

Loafingaround321's picture
Loafingaround321

Rolled Italian hearth bread

 This is a pick up on several posts made several years ago by another.  A few upstate NY bakeries make a wonderful Italian hearth bread which is great oven spring; a great braid-like spring in he middle which close up is very flaky, almost like a pastry.  The dough is rolled serpentine like (not braided), squeezed together, rolled, then proofed and baked.  (if you google 'the bread rolling challenge"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hRfZJ0MI7g you can see it).  I have seen other picture of it in the oven, there is a deep score down the middle and the bread looks like it separates to each side while the middle sort of "tears" while it fills in creating that braided look.  I read it's is a high gluten flour and only the basic 4 ingredients are used (although interestingly the posted ingredients list include bromated and malted wheat flour, l-cysteine and monocalcium phosphate).  Have tried various protein bread flours up to 14.2% and every hydration (54-68%) and fermentation/proof time and while rolling the dough gives the great crumb texture, cannot duplicate that braided/flaky split.  That leads me to believe the flour may be different?  Since this recipe comes from Italy and possibly Sicily, wondering if there may be a blend of another flour (durum, semolina or farina perhaps?) going on here.  

If anyone has seen this flaky look before any may know what is going on here let me know. Been a fun challenge.

Kistida's picture
Kistida

Thanks for sharing the photo of your project!
I’m a lil confused though. After the dough is rolled serpentine like, squeezed, it’s rolled like a loaf? Is it scored before baking?
I’ve seen pictures of this bread but can’t figure out how they’re made. 

Loafingaround321's picture
Loafingaround321

Did you see the video?  That is the rolled loaf ready for proofing on corn meal, then flipped, scored deep down the middle and baked in a deck oven at 400 degrees for 40 mins.  That's all public information. I've found 5 different ways to pretty much come up with the same crumb and flavor, rolling seems to make all the difference, but what is the challenge is the braided split which has that flaky look.  Get a great ear, but always that "hair like" texture, not the flaky look which splits apart the loaf.  Seeing it in the oven is neat.

If I could figure out how to post more pictures/videos (seems you need to be an IT person to figure it out) as there are a number of pics and videos from 2 different bakeries on the process, but the braided oven split is not.  

Kistida's picture
Kistida

I saw them roll and squeeze the dough from the video. Hence my confusion. :) I thought they’d share the steps prior to baking as well. 
thanks for explaining it.