Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pane Siciliano

More students are gone! The hallways are eerily quiet and I'm supposed to be packing. I've made a dent, but there's still plenty more to go. Not while my roommate sleeps, though. So I'm catching up on the blog. I should tell you that I'm very closely watching my weight and so I only allow myself bread for Shabbat. This considered, I thought it might be nice to bake my own fresh bread for Shabbat and have that as my treat instead of the commercially baked white rolls that normally grace the table here. Since I still have semolina flour that Im slowly getting rid of, I figured that Pane Siciliano would be a good bread to make. I used the recipe from the Bread Baker's Apprentice. This was a three day affair for me. I made the pate fermentee Wednesday morning and then mixed the dough Wednesday night. I fermented the dough in the refrigerator overnight and then shaped the breads on Thursday. I held them overnight once again and baked them fresh Friday morning. Overall, this was an uncomplicated bread to make- nothing is too complicated, although I must admit that I shaped these incorrectly. They are supposed to be S's but mine are backward. I guess I have some dyslexic tendencies. I wish that I had had sesame seeds on hand to enhance the flavor of these and give them some texture but I suppose that'll do next time. Also, the anemic crust is due to my lack of steaming, something nearly impossible in my toaster oven. The crumb was a golden yellow and unsurprisingly even but the flavor was really delicious. It was enjoyed with tuna fish and cucumbers. Honestly though, it was quite good on its own. Reheat as needed for optimum freshness. I'm sending this over to Yeastspotting. Check it out!

Pane Siciliano
closely adapted from the Bread Baker's Apprentice

Pate Fermentee:
10 ounces all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
6-7 ounces water

All of pate fermentee
8 ounces all purpose flour
8 ounces semolina flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp canola oil
10-12 ounces water
sesame seeds

For the pate fermentee:
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the water,
and mix until a shaggy dough is formed.
Knead until smooth and tacky.
Let rise until doubled in size. Deflate the dough and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. An hour before youre ready to bake, remove the scrap dough from the fridge to dechill. Tear into pieces.
Place the flours, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
Whisk to combine.
Add the oil, water and torn pate fermentee.
Mix to make a shaggy dough.
Knead until a nice, smooth dough forms.
Grease the top of the dough and allow to rise until nicely risen. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
Here's my chilled dough.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a log,
and coil each end, simultaneously rolling them towards the midpoint of the rope to form an S. Or a seahorse.
Place all the breads on a baking sheet.
Proof overnight. The next day turn your oven to 450 and preheat a baking stone. Glaze the breads with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
Bake for fifteen minutes and then rotate the baking sheet. Bake another fifteen minutes or until a thermometer registers 200 degrees. Carefully remove from the oven and cool completely before serving.


Anonymous said...

This recipe always turns out so pretty!

Tzivia said...

Looks delicious: I've been looking for a good semolina bread recipe. Of course, we'll have to buy more semolina, as the mice at the last bag... :-(((
Maybe I'll use this as next Shabbos's "challah"! Meanwhile, I'll keep reading for actual challah recipes.