Yay! Another fun bread shape—Pane Siciliano, a three day, enriched bread made with half bread flour and half semolina flour, a bit of olive oil and a touch of honey. It's as good as it sounds!
I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with 200+ other amateur bakers. Want to join in the madness, or just learn more about this semi-crazy undertaking? Check out the following links:
- Pinch My Salt BBA Challenge page—master resource for the challenge
- Buy the Book Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
- List of Breads See what's coming up.
- Blogroll See who's baking. Great list of some amazing foodie (and not-necessarily-foodie) blogs.
- Flickr Group Photos, photos and more photos!
- Twitter Search for #BBA to find challenge tweets.
Here's a look at the process:
No pics of Day One. This is the middle of Day Two. Day One is mixing up pate fermentée, a pre-ferment of all-pourpose and bread flours, yeast, salt and water. It hangs out in the fridge overnight. Day Two combines the pate fermentée with more bread flour, semolina flour, salt, yeast, some olive oil, a touch of honey and lukewarm water. That ferments for about 2 hours until doubled. Next comes shaping.
First, divide the dough into three equal pieces.
Each piece is shaped into a 24-inch baguette.
Then rolled in opposite directions from both ends, meeting at the center.
While I was shaping these, I realized that I must have made the dough too slack. That or I let it rise too long on the ferment. It didn't want to hold the baguette shape and kind of mushed together when I rolled it instead of looking like a rope. But there wasn't anything I could do about it then, so I just kept going. I knew all 3 wouldn't fit on one pan, so the third went on it's own. Practice didn't make perfect, but it did help, since the third loaf looked a lot better than the first two.
The loaves are misted with water, sprinkled with sesame seeds, then covered and put in the fridge overnight.
I baked this almost a month ago, so I'm having a hard time remember the whole time-line, but I do know that I shaped these on Sunday evening, knowing I wouldn't get to bake them until the following evening. So after 24 hours, they got pretty big!
These "hearth bake" which usually means me setting off the smoke alarm. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to set up a fan before the smoke had a chance to make it to the alarm, so they baked alarm free and hit the requisite internal temperature after about 30 minutes.
The parchment paper box says it's oven safe up to 420°F. Uhhh, it's acutally good until about 500°F, thank goodness!
The semolina flour used to dust the parchment turned to charcoal!
Aren't they pretty! I love this shape, and they seemed to hold up nicely, despite the imperfect shaping and extra long refrigerator stay.
One of the things I was really happy with was the lovely crust. In the intro to the recipe, PR mentions the "beautiful blistered crust" and I was thrilled to see that on mine.
And the crumb was great. Not quite what is shown in the book, but still nice!
And the most important thing — it tasted wonderful. The semolina flour was a nice change of taste and texture. Soft without being gummy, flavorful crust that didn't turn tough or rock hard. A lovely looking bread that delivers on taste. A win-win.
p.s. The crumb shot was taken as the sun was almost completely set. The focus assist light on my camera had a heck of a time, but I wanted to used natural light, as little as there was. And this was pre-daylight savings. Thank goodness for tripods, RAW format and Photoshop. I think the exposure was about 5 seconds!