Bready for some crocodile bread?

I kid you not. Romanesque Coccodrillo !! A Baker from Rome called Gianfranco Anelli is the creator of this bread 🙂

Starting the Biga for Coccodrillo Pane

I was very worried when I got to the final stages of this bread as it was 3 days in the making and it was very very wet. In hindsight, I will use a loaf tin or mould………..It looked like this big flat greyish blob. I thought bloody hell, will need to redo but after looking at some other piccies of it and more importantly the texture, it is ok, not great but for a first go at this bread, not bad. I used mostly durum integrale rather than plain durum flour as I realised at the last-minute that I had no durum flour so I will redo the bread again in a week or so………..It tastes really nice and is holey as expected but maybe a little longer proving and cooking for slightly darker crust. Argh, you live and learn!! Not every loaf will be fabulous the first time:)I think with the durum flour and not integrale which is heavy, it will make a world of difference.

NB: You need 3-4 days for this bread.

First BIGA (starter)

  • 1/2 tsp of Dried Yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup Durum flour
  • 3/4 cup stone ground flour
  • Add sugar to warm water, stir till dissolved & add dried yeast.
  • Cover and place in warm place until creamy/frothy.
  • Add flours and stir for a few minutes until well mixed.
  • Cover with gladwrap and leave in RT room for 12-24 hours.
  • Day Two:

Day Two Biga

2nd Starter:
  • 1 & 1/4 dried yeast.
  • 1/4 cup warm water.
  • 1 &1/4 RT water.
  • 1/2 cup Durum flour.
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Stone ground flour.
  • Mix the yeast into the warm water and leave until creamy/frothy.
  • Add RT water and flours to yeast mix and stir well.
  • Add above mix to the 1st starter and combine well.
  • Cover with gladwrap and leave for 12-24 hours at RT.

Day three

  • Day Three:
  • 1/4 cup of Durum flour
  • 1 & 1/4 Stone ground flour
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • Add flours and salt to the starter. 
  • You need to mix this on a low-speed for 20 minutes or mix by hand for 20 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a large bowl, giving the bread room “to breathe” Cover very loosely with a damp tea towel.
  • Leave to rise for 5 hours. You need to rotate the dough every hour in the bowl.

Bit of a worry!!

2nd Rise & shaping :
  • Pour dough (it will be very wet) onto a floured area.
  • Have plenty of flour on hand.
  • You will not be able to work it much but just fold and tuck edges under the bread.

Maybe be ok?

  • Place on well floured and papered baking tray.I sprinkle cornmeal down as well.
  • Cover with damp tea towel and let rise for 60-90 mins until full of air bubbles.

    Hmmm ok?

Preheat oven to 245 Celsius:
  • Just before placing bread in the oven, cut dough with dough scraper down the middle of the dough and part the bread slightly.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes .

No so bad, inner texture ok but more proving and cooking and a different flour!!

Recipe adapted from Carol Field’s “Italian Baker” 2ed, 2011 and various tips from the every wonderful and inspiring bakers from

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!! Still tasted yummy.