Slippers anyone?

You know what I mean!! Ciabatta……The most divine of the Italian breads.

So simple but so delicious…

Be aware you need to start this the day before and you really need to have a mixer.

So delicious….Ciabatta

What will you need???

Patience……………lots of patience 🙂 and don’t be tempted to add more flour:)

This is a very wet dough so be warned and don’t freak out.

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Easy Peasy Pane Tramvai….

If you are like me and LOVE fruit breads, you will love love love love and LOVE this bread!!

Plus it’s not an all day or week bread and it’s not time-consuming……..

And there are so many variations you could do with this recipe which i WILL rattle on about at the end of the post.

I must say, thinking about what we could do with this lovely base recipe is divine..

Of course we would need to rename the bread though…

Soaked Raisins

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Bready for Altamura take two?

Ooooo. I felt from the start this was going to be good. The biga was perfect, and nice and brewey…….yay!!

Day one Altamura

Altamura day one

Brewy and Bubbly after 24 hours!! Ready to use!!

Biga:

  • 1 tsp dried yeast.
  • 1/4 cup warm water.
  • 3/4 cup room temp water.
  • 1 & 3/4 cups durum flour.
  • Stir yeast into the warm water and stand in warm place covered until frothy/creamy.
  • Stir in RT water and flour  to make a dough.
  • Place in lightly oiled bowl, covered with gladwrap, in a cool room temperature for 6-24 hours.
  • The longer left, the more intense the flavour. I usually do the biga at night and do the rest the following day (if i am at home) or the afternoon if I am at work so it gets 12-20 hours to bubble away.
Dough:
  • 1/2 tsp dried yeast.
  • 1/4 cup warm water.
  • 1 & 1/2 cups RT water.
  • 4 cups of Durum flour
  • Pinch of salt
Method:

Dough all ready to be kneaded

  • Stir yeast into warm water and stand until creamy/frothy.
  • Mix the dissolved yeast into the biga (above) and when mixed, add in the RT water.
  • Make sure well mixed and consistency is smooth
  • Mix in the flour and the salt, 1 cup at a time.
  • When dough is formed and all flour/salt mix has been added, turn out on floured area and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Woo!! talk about increase and bubby as needed!!

  • Place dough in the lightly oiled bowl and cover and leave in warm place for first rise for 3 hours or until tripled in size.
  • When dough is ready from first rise, turn out again on floured area and shape the bread into either a round or a flatter oval shape.

    First slash after first rise

  • Slash down the middle of each loaf and place the bread slash side down on a tray well covered with flour or semolina until doubled in size or until big air bubbles are noticeable.
  • 45 minutes before you want to bake this bread, turn on the oven to 225 Celsius and place baking dish at the bottom of the oven.

    Ready to Bake

  • Slash the bread again if the slash has closed over and sprinkle with cornmeal (polenta) .
  • When oven is at correct temperature, place tray in oven and put a few ice cubes in the baking dish at the bottom of the oven.This will help the crust form, yet keep the bread moist.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until dark golden brown ( a little more than i did above)

    MMMMMM

  • Cool and enjoy!!

The first Altamura bread was nice but I could really see the difference from using wholemeal to just durum flour and the weight of the bread itself. Still needs possibly a little more baking time (and i need a new oven) for a little crunchier crust but the crust was lovely and chewy even the next day.

Recipe adapted from Carol Fields “The Italian Baker ‘ 2nd Ed, 2011.

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McDonalds Killer?? Hail the Altamura Pane:

Now this bread has a very interesting tale to tell.

This is what I am aiming for!!

Altamura bread singlehandedly drove McD’s out of its city because the people there are very proud of their regional bread and food.

“What took place was a small war between us and McDonald’s,” said Onofrio Pepe, a retired journalist who founded an association here devoted to local delicacies. “Our bullets were focaccia. And sausage. And bread. It was a peaceful war, without any spilling of blood.”

Mr. Pepe and several like-minded citizens of Altamura, a city of 65,000 residents, made up one wing of the army. They say they fought largely for pride and for their food, which includes a local mushroom called the cardoncello, focaccia, mozzarella and, most of all, a coarse-grain bread famous for millennia around Italy. The bread is protected as unique in European Union regulations, which note that Horace called it, in 37 B.C., “far the best bread to be had, so good that the wise traveler takes a supply of it for his onward journey.”

Thank you to http://www.ilovelucca.co.nz/ for the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/12/international/europe/12italy.html

You know what comes next….Lets get Yeasty!! 🙂

Not a lot of photo’s for this recipe as I got distracted and when I was almost finished , I thought “OMG, no photos!!” Argh…………In this recipe, I used Durum intergrale flour which is more wheaty and not as finely milled as regular durum flour so I got a heavier bread but I am retrying this week with finely milled durum to see the contrast.

Altamura bread:

Altamura biga

Biga:

  • 1 tsp dried yeast.
  • 1/4 cup warm water.
  • 3/4 cup room temp water.
  • 1 & 3/4 cups durum flour.

  • Stir yeast into the warm water and stand in warm place covered until frothy/creamy.
  • Stir in RT water and flour  to make a dough.
  • Place in lightly oiled bowl, covered with gladwrap, in a cool room temperature for 6-24 hours.
  • The longer left, the more intense the flavour. I usually do the biga at night and do the rest the following day (if i am at home) or the afternoon if I am at work so it gets 12-20 hours to bubble away.
Dough:
  • 1/2 tsp dried yeast.
  • 1/4 cup warm water.
  • 1 & 1/2 cups RT water.
  • 4 cups of Durum flour
  • Pinch of salt
Method:
  • Stir yeast into warm water and stand until creamy/frothy.
  • Mix the dissolved yeast into the biga (above) and when mixed, add in the RT water.
  • Make sure well mixed and consistency is smooth
  • Mix in the flour and the salt, 1 cup at a time.
  • When dough is formed and all flour/salt mix has been added, turn out on floured area and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Place dough in the lightly oiled bowl and cover and leave in warm place for first rise for 3 hours or until tripled in size.
  • When dough is ready from first rise, turn out again on floured area and shape the bread into either a round or a flatter oval shape.
  • Slash down the middle of each loaf and place the bread slash side down on a tray well covered with flour or semolina until doubled in size or until big air bubbles are noticeable.
  • 45 minutes before you want to bake this bread, turn on the oven to 225 Celsius and place baking dish at the bottom of the oven.
  • Slash the bread again if the slash has closed over and sprinkle with cornmeal (polenta) .
  • When oven is at correct temperature, place tray in oven and put a few ice cubes in the baking dish at the bottom of the oven.This will help the crust form, yet keep the bread moist.

Altamura


  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until dark golden brown ( a little more than i did above)
  • Cool and enjoy!!
Recipe adapted from Carol Fields “The Italian Baker ‘ 2nd Ed, 2011. 

yum yum fresh bread & avocado

Have a quick squizzy at this Altamura loaf!!

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/28903/altamura-bread

Bready for Italian pane??

I had to repost this as it is wonderful. It is a blog i subscribe to and today’s post was so bready wonderful and relevant to me and breadlovers, i thought, “must share this” !! The pictures though are my touch!!

Enjoy!!

Pane D’italia

Stupendous!! Many thanks to http://blogs.transparent.com/italian/quanti-pani/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=languageblog&utm_content=italian

“Let’s have a look at the names of a few of the different breads that you’ll find at the panettiere (baker’s):

la pagnotta is the most common name for a standard loaf

il filone is a long loaf, similar to the French baguette but much thicker

il filone

With thanks to: http://lacuocafelice.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/le-forme-del-pane.htmlfor the above picture.

la ciabatta (the slipper) is a rectangular, uneven, flat bread, and should look like … an old worn out slipper! It’s very crusty on the outside, with the mollica (the soft inner part of the bread) full of big holes. The Italian ciabatta doesn’t bear any resemblance to the schifezza that we’ve found masquerading under that name in certain supermarkets in England. Their version of ciabatta was a small soft bread with an even mollica, no hard crosta (crust), and some strange looking diagonal burnt stripes on the top, which I suppose were meant to make it look ‘rustic’, you have been warned!

ciabatta

la crescente (literally ‘the growing’, from crescere = to grow) is the name used here in Pontremoli for a very big round flat loaf, about 40 cm in diameter and 1kg in weight. If you turn it upside down, you will often find chestnut leaves stuck on the bottom. This is because in the past it was baked inside il testo, a large cast-iron skillet. The chestnut leafs were used to prevent the bread from sticking to the pan, whilst at the same time giving it a characteristic flavour. Nowadays they’re used mostly for decoration.

la crescente

Alongside the big, traditional pani (loafs of bread), you will normally have a choice of panini (small breads):

 The generic name for a bread roll is un panino (literally: ‘a small bread’), which becomes panini in the plural, a regular masculine noun, so in Italian there isn’t such a thing as paninis (little breadses! a pluralisation of the plural). If you cut un panino in half and stuff some cheese in it, you’ll have un panino al formaggio (a bread roll with cheese), or un panino al prosciutto if you use Parma ham, and so on. Here are some of the local variations on the standard panino:

la frusta (the whip) or lo sfilatino are more or less the equivalent of the French baguette, but perhaps a bit shorter

la rosetta (the little rose), also known as la michetta in some parts of Italy, is a roundish roll composed of a central pentagonal shape surrounded by five more pentagons

la tartaruga (the turtle) is another round roll with a pattern cut on the top that resemble the design of a turtle’s shell. The cuts make it easy to break the bread by hand into small chunks

lo spaccato (the cracked one) is a roll with a hard crust which is split (‘cracked’) lengthwise

La frusta

l’osso (the bone) is a small ciabatta which resembles … a bone!

This is just a small selection of the almost infinite bread names that you’ll encounter in Italy, some of which change not only from town to town, but also from shop to shop. E.g just down the road in Lucca la frusta (the whip) is known as il soldato (the soldier).

I can’t finish without mentioning one of our favourite types of bread, the ubiquitous focaccia,

Focaccia

also known in some regions as pizza bianca (white pizza) or la schiacciata (the squashed one). The standard focaccia is a flat rectangular or round bread, roughly dented on the top, brushed with olive oil and dusted with coarse sea salt, and it can be morbida (soft) or croccante (crunchy). There are many different variations on the basic focaccia, such as the delicious focaccia al rosmarino (focaccia with rosemary), focaccia alle olive (focaccia with olives), alle cipolle (with onions), and ai pomodorini (with small tomatoes). A few days ago, in the pizzeria of our friend Natale Calvo (check it out if you ever visit Aulla in Lunigiana) we sampled some focaccia tipo Recco, Recco style focaccia, which originally comes the town of Recco near Genova in Liguria. It consists of two very thin layers of pastry encasing melted stracchino cheese (a soft fresh cheese with a slightly tangy taste), baked in the forno a legna (wood fired oven) like a pizza. Squisita! “

Grazie and thanks once again to Italian blog ” http://blogs.transparent.com/italian/quanti-pani/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=languageblog&utm_content=italian