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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mmmm! Tuscan Rosemary Bread – with salt!! (BBB July 2014)

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BBB: Let's Get BakingPanmarino - rosemary bread summary: recipe for Tuscan Rosemary Bread; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) July 2014

Rosemary… j’adore rosemary!

rosemary

In that blessed climate [of British Columbia] — not unlike its native Provence — rosemary can be left outside year-round. Gardeners in the rest of Canada are not so fortunate and must take their tender rosemary bush indoors when heavy frosts threaten. But the effort is worth it, if for no other reason than the pleasure of running your hand over the needles [...] releasing essence of rosemary into the air. It is an antidote to the weariness with the world.
 
Turid Forsyth and Merilyn Simonds Mohr, “The Harrowsmith Salad Garden”, p. 61

Cathy (Bread Experience) is this month’s host; she has just come back from a wonderful time in Tuscany and decided that we should make Tuscan bread.

I have to admit I was a bit afraid that we were going to have to tackle saltless bread. Thank goodness, no.

Her choice, a variation of a recipe in Carol Field’s “The Italian Baker”, sounded fabulous! Especially that it has a crust that “sparkle[s] with diamonds”. Not to mention the addition of rosemary!

One of my favourite breads that we had when we did a walking tour of Tuscany (in the last century) was a flat crisp rosemary bread. It was the best!

16 Sept 1994, Castello di Vol Paia [...] After the shops closed at 1:00 (In Gaiole, the shops are open 8-1, 4:30-7:30 and closed all day Sunday, Monday and Wednesday afternoons) we went to Ristorante Carloni [...] typical not too expensive rustic food. [...]
      [T]he restaurant is lined with cypress - beautiful grey glue/green colour. Inside it was simple but nice. There was a crucifix over the kitchen door. The proprietress was very pleasant and laughed a lot.
      There were _many_ workmen having lunch. One large red-faced fellow that we saw had half a litre of red wine at his table which he mixed with aqua minerale.
      Our lunch was good [...] [pasta with tomato sauce and] salad followed by lemon sorbet that came in a lemon (same as last night - my peach sorbet came in a peach) There was lots of saltless bread.
 
[...]
 
RUSTI CROCK rosmarino
prodotto artigianale senza conservanti
-flat salty bread that G bought at the supermarket
[...]
[T]he Rosemary flat bread is great!!

 
-me, my voluminuous diary of a trip to Tuscany 12-26 September 1994

It will be really interesting to learn if this new non-flat (I hope I do it right so it IS non-flat) rosemary bread turns into my new favourite Tuscan bread.

rosemary bread

[T]his panmarino comes from Ferrara, the invention of an ebullient, mustachioed baker named Luciano Pancalde, whose surname aptly translates as “hot bread.” Years ago, while reading a biography of the d’Este family who once ruled Ferrara, he discovered that one of the numerous spectacular court banquets featured a rosemary bread with a crust described as sparkling with diamonds. [...] But there’s no need to go to Tiffany’s for any of the ingredients. Just before baking, he slashes the top in the pattern of a star and sprinkles chunky crystals of sea salt into the crevices. The salt really does sparkle like diamonds.
 
-Carol Field, Panmarino – Rosemary Bread, The Italian Baker, p.161

BBB Panmarino diary:

24 June 2014 13:25

Makes: 4 Loaves
 
-BBB Panmarino recipe

The recipe is all in weights and it should be easy to simply divide everything in half. But I LOVE measuring, so let’s see exactly what is what:

The Biga is 85% hydration. So half the flour is 71.5g And 85% of that is 61g for the water. (So is half of 122g…) I’m not exactly sure what half a pinch is though ;-)

The actual dough:
» 100% flour … so half the flour is 442g
» 54% water … half the water: 239g (238.5g if halving from the recipe)
» 5% milk … half the milk: 22g (same if halving the milk measurement from the recipe)
» 30% biga … half the biga:133.6g (132.5g if halving from recipe measurement)
» 2.6% salt … half the salt: 11.5g (same if halving)
» ??% yeast … half a pinch
» 10% olive oil … half the oil: 44g (same if halving)
» 1% fresh rosemary …half the rosemary: 4.4g ( 4.5g if halving)

BUT. The advantage to using the percentage version is that you can calculate how much for the other ingredients if you decide to use an even number of 400g flour for the dough.

…getting out my calculator again. click click click... You’ll need 120g biga so that means… click click click click...

Biga:
» 65g flour
» 55g water
» small pinch of yeast

Dough:
» 400g flour
» 216g water
» 20g milk
» 120g biga
» 10g salt
» tiny pinch yeast
» 40g olive oil
» 4g fresh rosemary

Wheeeeee!!!

13:36 It suddenly occurred to me that someone might have actually quantified what a “pinch” is.

Sure enough, someone has!

pinch of yeast—1/32 to 1/16 teaspoon
 
-King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center, yeast dough tips

So. Let’s say that a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon (0.25gm). That means that the percentage of yeast in the biga is 0.17% Therefore, for the above recipe using 400g flour in the dough, you’d need 0.1g yeast for the biga (of course, everyone has a scale that measures in fractions of grams, yes?) :-)

And in the actual dough recipe calling for 400gm flour, you’d need 0.03% yeast, that is: 0.1g

Yes. I am a freak.

26 June 2014 06:46 Lien has been showing off and has already made the bread. She mentioned that the dough seemed dry and that we might want to add more water. When I was fooling around with my calculator, I did think the liquid amounts seemed a little low.

I recalculated using the whole amount of the flour and water to see that the bread is 63% hydration. (Am I foolish to assume that the oil doesn’t really count for the hydration?) Even so, 63% really does seem low.

So I took a look and am surprised to see that it is pretty much right on the money: (still, I think I’m going to add more water. We LIKE big holes in the crumb….)

DOUGH TEXTURE % HYDRATION BREAD TYPE AND CRUMB
Very firm, dry and satiny; not tacky 50 to 57 Yields dense crumb in breads such as bagels, pretzels [...]
Standard:
Tacky but not sticky; supple
57 to 65 Yields a denser, closed crumb, in breads such as sandwich bread, rolls, French and other European breads
 
Many formulas, such as white sandwich bread, French bread, and challah, use around 57 to 65% hydration. [...]
Rustic:
Wet, sticky
65 to 80 or more Yields an airy crumb and large, irregular holes, in breads such as ciabatta, focaccia, pizza
 
[...] These doughs need careful shaping. They might need a bit more bake time than usual prevent the inside from being gummy.

 
NOTE: Different types of flour absorb water differently because of their gluten protein percents. You may need to adjust dough consistencies; hydration with one flour at 75% may need to be adjusted to 73% or 77% when using a different brand or type.
 
-craftybaking.com (formerly baking911), Hydration – Bread Dough

A Range of Ingredient Percentages for Hearth Breads by Weight
 
Flour: 100%
Water: 54.6 to 83.9%
Instant yeast: 0.25 to 1.03%
Salt: 1.5 to 2.6%
 
[...] If you change the balance of different types of flours, the water amount will also need to be changed slightly; i.e., if you use more whole wheat or rye flour, you will need to add a little more water—or, better still, start with a little less flour. If you are using a large amount of freshly ground whole wheat flour rather than an older white wheat, start with a little less water in the recipe.
 
-Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Bread Bible, p. 41, 42

8 July 2014 06:22 Now Heather is showing off by baking early. She mentioned that it is very salty. (Her bread looks beautiful!)

At 2.6% (did I calculate that correctly?), it does seem on the high side. Oh wait… it’s actually 2.2% when calculating in the flour in the biga, so it’s not way higher than normal – although it is near the top of the range noted by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I googled to double-check and came across Susan’s post about salt:

Typically the amount of salt in a dough is between 1.8 and 2 percent of the amount of flour, by weight. If there is a large proportion of other ingredients, such as seeds, for which salt also enhances flavor, the percentage of salt could be a little higher.
 
-Susan, Wild Yeast, Worth Its Salt

Because of Heather’s too much salt problem, I’m going to reduce the salt to 2% and use 1.8% in the dough itself and the other 0.2% for the diamonds. I’ve also decided to make 3 loaves rather than 4. I’m really hoping that they turn out to look half-decent so I can give one to our brilliant neighbours who brought dinner over to us on Sunday night.

In place of the pinch of yeast (I’m ALWAYS nervous that my bread won’t rise), I’ll use 1/16th tsp in the biga and another 1/16th tsp in the dough.

I was going to add more water, but I’ve changed what’s left of my mind. It’s probably enough fooling around to change the salt amount.

I was just looking in Carol Field’s Italian Baker and see that her recipe for Panmarino is in the ‘New Breads’ section of the book. Her version is a same day bread and calls for equal parts milk and water (at only 53% hydration!!) and she calls for the same high percentage of salt (2.2%, plus another 0.8%-1% of coarse seasalt for the diamonds in the crust!)

She wrote:
I make this bread all the time, not only because it is so easy and takes relatively little time from beginning to end, but also because it goes well with so many foods. [...] Be sure not to let the dough fully double in its second rise or it won’t spring to its full height in the oven. And there’s no sense in not having a spectacular-looking bread to bring to the table.
 
-Carol Field, The Italian Baker, p 161

8 July 2014 10:02 I completely forgot to make the biga last night. But we really wanted to have this bread tomorrow. So I just mixed the biga and plan to mix the dough after dinner tonight, hope it will be a nice slow riser, and shape and bake it tomorrow morning.

17:23 Of course I have no idea what 6 gm rosemary looks like. I went out to look at our measly little rosemary plant and took 3 decent sized stems, hoping that would be enough.

Ha. Of course not. It was only 2 gm. So I went and stole as much as I dared to get 5 gm (sorry little rosemary plant!!) …close enough.

Doesn’t rosemary smell fabulous?

23:14 Dough mixed and in the oven without the light turned on. I’m hoping that it won’t be too warm overnight and that it will be perfectly risen tomorrow morning.

Hmmm, I confess that I didn’t actually read the mixing instructions. Perhaps I’ll do that now to see how far off I was. :lalala:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread flour, water, milk, and biga. [...]
 
Add the salt and yeast and mix [...] until the dough is smooth. When the gluten is fully developed, mix in the olive oil and rosemary on low speed.
 
Lightly oil a large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
 
-BBB Panmarino recipe

Oh oh. I’ve made so many errors so far!

  1. I did everything by hand.
  2. I added everything but the biga and rosemary before mixing with a wooden spoon.
  3. I kneaded in the bowl and neither washed (see how the other BBBabes have led me astray?) nor oiled the rising bowl.
  4. I covered the bowl with a plate.

But it gets worse!

Let the dough ferment for 45 minutes.
 
-BBB Panmarino recipe

What???!

Excuse me while I pop down to the kitchen to put the dough in the fridge til tomorrow. (One of these days, I might learn how to read ahead. Maybe… :stomp: :stomp:)

9 July 2014 07:31 Why oh why oh why did I think it was a good idea to put the dough in the fridge?! Of course it hasn’t budged. Back it goes into the oven with only the light turned on.

10:47 It still hasn’t budged. :stomp:

16:02 Finally. The stupid thing is rising. It might even be ready to shape in half an hour or so. Yay!

17:18 Shaped into three rounds. They’re small! I hope they rise nicely….

18:43 I’m not positive that they were ready to slash but I really wanted to have them baked before we made dinner. I sprayed them liberally with water, slashed them (my heart always starts to pound when I’m slashing… I just know something bad is going to happen!), and then wondered which of the various coarse salts I should use. For one of the loaves, I thought it would be fun to have it shining like black diamonds and used the sel aux aromates given to us one year for Christmas. (I have no idea what kind of aromatics are in it – it smells vaguely herbal but mostly simply like seasalt.) For the other two loaves, I chose English Sea Salt (too bad we don’t have any coarsely ground Italian Sea Salt – only fine). I’m afraid I didn’t measure the salt and just scattered it on.

Then into the oven they went!

19:15 They look beautiful! But what a shame that the slashes disappeared entirely. Hmmm… what does that mean? Did I slash too soon? Too deep??

Ah, who cares? The loaves are nicely coloured and they smell fantastic.

Rosemary Bread The bread was still warm when we cut into it. Even so, it tasted quite good and the crumb was nicely formed. But there wasn’t even a trace of the rosemary flavour or aroma. It needs WAY more rosemary.

We feasted on stir-fried beet greens and garlic scapes, barbecued pork butt garnished with herbs from the garden and big slices of the bread, dipping it in olive oil or wiping the meat and/or beet green juices from our plates.

We decided to send one of the little loaves to our friends next door for them to try for breakfast the next day. I handed it over and J said, “You weren’t kidding when you said it was little!” Then he pressed it up against his nose and inhaled, murmuring happily, “It smells SO good….”

Here is the BBB July 2014 Rosemary Bread recipe. And here is what I did to it:

BBB Panmarino (Rosemary Bread)
based on the recipe for Panmarino in “The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking” by the French Culinary Institute

Biga

  • 100 gm unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 85 gm water at ~96F ¹
  • 1/16 tsp (0.25gm) active dry yeast ²

Dough

  • 344 gm water
  • 31 gm milk
  • pinch yeast (1/16th tsp)
  • 63 gm olive oil
  • 625 gm bread flour ³
       »500 gm unbleached all-purpose flour
       »100 gm whole wheat flour
       »20 gm vital wheat gluten
       »5 gm flax seed, finely ground
  • 13 gm fine seasalt
  • all the biga
  • 6 gm rosemary 4
  • 1 gm some (enough) coarse salt for the “diamonds” in the crust
  1. biga: In the evening of the day before you plan to bake the bread, pour the warm water into a medium sized bowl (please heat cold water in a kettle or microwave until it is the right temperature). Whisk in the yeast to dissolve it. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour and mix well to form a ball. Use your hands if you want. Cover with a plate and leave in a draft-free spot on the counter overnight. (I did this step early in the morning of the day before, imagining that the dough was going to need a long time to rise. Don’t make the same mistake that I did.)
  2. dough: In the morning of the day you are baking the bread, pour the warm water into a large bowl. Whisk in the yeast to dissolve it. Stir in milk.
  3. Add oil, flours, ground flax seed, fine salt and using a wooden spoon stir to encorporate all the flour. It will be rough.
  4. Kneading Put the biga and rosemary on top of the dough. Using one hand to turn the bowl around, plunge the other against the side of the bowl and fold the dough in half from the bottom of the bowl to the top. Turn the bowl and keep repeating until the dough is smooth.
  5. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow it to rise at room temperature (out of drafts) for about an hour or so until it has basically doubled. (Because of my error, the dough took ages to rise because it was so cold.)
  6. Shaping Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Divide it into three even pieces. Shape each one into a tight round and place seam-side down on the board (it might be a good idea to put each one onto a square of parchment paper to make it easier to get them into the oven). Cover the rounds with a clean tea towel followed by a large plastic grocery bag and put in the oven with only the light turned on to rise until almost double (about an hour). Be wary of over-rising!
  7. Scoring and Salting 5 When the shaped loaves are almost doubled. Place a baking stone on the middle shelf of the oven and turn it to 400F. Liberally spray each loaf with water. Using a very sharp knife, holding the blade at right angles to the ground, quickly slash a large asterisk on top of each loaf. Try not to go too deep. Scatter the coarsely ground salt on top to create the “diamonds”.
  8. baking: Use a peel to put the loaves into the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the loaves around once half way through baking, to account for uneven oven heat. They’re done when they are a dark golden brown and sound hollow when knocked on the bottom. If it seems like they’re getting too dark before they sound hollow, turn the oven down 25F degrees.
  9. Put the baked loaves on a footed rack to allow them to cool completely before breaking them apart or cutting into them. They’re still baking inside! (Even if you’ve ignored the instructions about using hot water from the tap, please do not ignore this step.) 6

Notes:

1.) Water: You probably know what I’m going to say. But I can’t stop myself. Please, do not use water from the hot water tap. (How old are your pipes? How old is the solder? When is the last time you flushed the sediment from the hot water tank? Do you really want those in your bread?) Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave. If you are allergic to using a thermometer to check that the temperature is 96F (roughly body temperature), put a few drops of water onto your wrist; if it feels like nothing then it’s fine. Please note that before the yeast is added, the water temperature must be BELOW 120F (49C) because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

2.) Yeast The BBB recipe calls for a pinch of instant yeast in the biga and another pinch of instant yeast in the dough. We never have instant yeast in the house (unless by mistake) so I used active dry yeast. I’m always a little nervous that bread won’t rise, so I used 1/16 tsp rather that a pinch (what IS a pinch, anyway??) I could have measured the weight but my little scale that measures in fractions of grams isn’t very happy measuring anything under one gram.

3.) Bread flour The BBB recipe calls for bread flour. We can’t get unbleached bread flour here (or rather, I haven’t found it). A reasonable substitute for 1 cup bread flour can be made by using 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon wheat gluten. Or Susan’s (Wild Yeast) formula works too: 3% high-gluten flour + 97% unbleached all purpose. Or you can go with Natashya’s (Living in the Kitchen with Puppies) method:

I have [a] book that says 5% for vital wheat gluten, about 2.5 tsp per cup. To tell you the truth, I eyeball it.
 
- Natashya , BBB email, 8 September 2010

4.) Rosemary I didn’t have 6 gm rosemary but only 5. Next time, I’ll add at least half as much more. We love the taste of rosemary and it was just a little too faint.

5.) Scoring Do as I say, not as I do and try not to score too deeply so the stars don’t disappear. In response to a question about why the slashes disappear, David Snyder (The Fresh Loaf) wrote the following:

Cutting too deep is a more likely a cause of this than not cutting deeply enough. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but that’s what I’ve read.
 
- David Snyder, Bread Scoring Tutorial – updated, The Fresh Loaf

6.) But I LIKE warm bread just out of the oven!! N.B. Of course you will want to serve warm bread. Reheat it after it has cooled completely. (It is still baking when it first comes out of the oven!) To reheat any UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 450F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

Water-Proofed Bread

We had the other little round for breakfast the next day, finally tasting it as it should be because it had completely cooled.

Of course, we reheated it and served it warm! Who wouldn’t?

And we proved that it really is a good idea to let the bread cool completely before cutting into it. The partially cooled bread we had last night was good, but the crumb was a little light and fluffy – not even vaguely elastic – and lacking in depth of flavour. And there was no taste of rosemary at all.

But this re-warmed bread was fabulous. The crumb was markedly different – much more flavour and while it was nicely soft, it was also toothsome. (I hope that’s the right word.) An added bonus was getting a lovely taste of rosemary from time to time.

The next day, we lightly toasted thin slices and ate them with butter and honey. That was equally delicious.

Thank you Cathy, for choosing this bread. It’s delicious! As soon as our rosemary plant recovers, I’ll make it again to see if I can get ears on the bread the way Johnny at the Sourdough Companion did.

 

Bread Baking Babes

Cathy (Bread Experience) chose July 2014′s Bread Baking Babes’ challenge. She wrote:

I’ve been in a Tuscany state-of-mind. They have a different view of time over there. I’m still easing back into the fast lane.

Panmarino, also known as Italian Rosemary Bread, is a fairly easy bread to make. It takes about 20 hours, but most of that time is spent on the overnight biga. I haven’t made it yet, but it includes olive oil and rosemary so it must be good. I’ll post some photos as soon as I get the chance to make it.

The recipe is from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking from The French Culinary Institute. They have easy-to-follow formulas and instructions, but they don’t provide much, if any, background on the breads.

I googled Panmarino and found this reference and a photo of the bread: The story of Panmarino as told by Carol [Field] is that this bread recipe comes from a place called Ferrara near Venice and is the invention of a baker named Luciano Pancalde. [...] He came across descriptions of the spectacular court banquets, which featured rosemary bread with a crust that “sparkled with diamonds”.
 
-The Sourdough Companion

We know you’ll want to make rosemary bread too! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make water-proofed bread (dredge yur tea towel!!) in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 July 2014. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ July bread:

YeastSpotting
Yeastspotting - every Friday (wordle.net image)

Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

Bake Your Own Bread (BYOB)
BYOB is a monthly event that was hosted by Heather (girlichef) and has now been taken over by Carola (Sweet and That’s It)

[BYOB] encourages you to start (or continue) getting comfortable baking bread in your own kitchen. Anything from simple quick breads to conquering that fear of yeast to making and nurturing your own sourdough starter. All levels of bakers are welcome to participate.

And Carola wrote:

Homemade bread is healthy! As healthy as you decide: choose the best ingredients (if you can afford it, organic and GMO free) and you’ll be surrounded by the most delicious scent and fascinated by the most delicious taste.

Let the adventure continue!

Sweet and That's it - BYOB For more information about BYOB, please read the following:

 

Water-Proofed Bread

It was very windy, sometimes a bit rainy. We passed lots of olive groves and there was dill, rosemary and fig trees growing wild by the sides of the narrow dirt road. The fresh figs had an amazing taste mixed with the heady aroma of the rosemary and dill we had bruised with our trodding feet as we snagged the lucious fruit.
 
As we crossed the highway we looked back at Florence in the distance to see the big dome of the cathedral being deluged with rain. In the distance, we heard thunder. We continued on in the gusty wind watching the occasional giant rain drop scatter the dust on the dirt road in front of our feet.
 
-me, my voluminuous diary of a trip to Tuscany 12-26 September 1994, between Florence and VolPaia

Tuscany 1994

 

7 Comments for Mmmm! Tuscan Rosemary Bread – with salt!! (BBB July 2014)” »

  1. Comment by MyKitchenInHalfCups — 16 July 2014 @ 20:10 EDT

    Wrong? you did something wrong? If you did something wrong then I can’t imagine where that puts me. I changed so many ingredients and then put it in the fridge and I kept putting my hands into water to add a little more and more and more … well perhaps we’ve just proved once again that bread baking isn’t rocket science.

    We really did love the taste of this! I love rosemary and used the full amount.

    Your loaves are stunningly gorgeous and the black salt is dreamy.

    Thank you for making me feel better, Tanna! I love the picture in my mind of you dipping your hands in water to keep adding more and more (how clever you are; when I decide to add more water, I usually pour a good slosh in and it takes ages to incorporate it). -Elizabeth

  2. Comment by Elle — 17 July 2014 @ 01:09 EDT

    Love everything you did Elizabeth…and the gorgeous results. More rosemary! More rosemary bread. I love how much thought and science you put into your baking. So, will this beomce your go-to Tuscan bread? Looks like it might merit that honor.

    Thank you, Elle! Yes, definitely. More rosemary! May I have your climate please so I can have a large rosemary shrub in the garden too? -Elizabeth

  3. Comment by Ilva — 17 July 2014 @ 01:50 EDT

    See how different it is in our kitchen on different continents: i had to add more flour because the dough was so sloppy and I used half the amount of rosemary and I found that gave my bread a perfect rosemary flavour! But we both unite in loving the bread!

    The dough was too sloppy for you, Ilva? Go figure! It must be the combination of different humidity and different flour. I wonder if your rosemary is more intensely rosemary because it’s outdoors in its native area. How I would love to have rosemary that was so intense, I could only use half! Then my pathetic little plant wouldn’t suffer so much from being clipped so radically. -Elizabeth

  4. Comment by Lien — 17 July 2014 @ 04:07 EDT

    I was happy too that it wasn’t saltless bread. We went to the baker here (yes Tuscany) and bought bread. Yuk when we ate it it turned out to be saltless (of course we bought it 10 min. for closing time and that was all there was left). Love your loaves, they’re sparkling with diamonds for sure!

    It’s not that I dislike saltless bread, Lien. I just know that the salt in the dough helps to arrest the yeast activity. I’m lazy and don’t want to have to deal with yet one more difficulty.
     
    Ha! How funny that saltless bread was all that was left at the bakery. Clearly, Tuscans prefer bread with salt too. :lalala:
     
    -Elizabeth

  5. Comment by Cathy (breadexperience) — 17 July 2014 @ 20:11 EDT

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this bread. Your loaves look great! I must say that you are more of a bread geek than I am when it comes to weighing the ingredients. When I get questions about the measurements, I’m going to refer them to this post.

    We did really like the bread! Thank you again, Cathy. Now if only I can learn how to score it so the star is visible after baking. And yes. I am a freak. And I’m thrilled and honoured that you’ll send people to look at my ravings when they ask about measurements. -Elizabeth

  6. Comment by Katie — 18 July 2014 @ 03:40 EDT

    Why do I want to start singing ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’? In a husky voice, of course. Saltless bread? Isn’t that a crime punishable by lashes with a wet (saltless) noodle?

    It looks lovely.

    Yes, Katie, that song always must be sung in a husky voice, of course!! As for saltless bread, I kind of like it, as long as it’s served with a really rich ragout or strong salty cheese. But I just don’t want to make saltless bread. Too hard…. -Elizabeth

  7. Comment by Jamie — 27 July 2014 @ 09:46 EDT

    Between me and you, we proved at how sturdy this bread is… my biga was in and out of the fridge coming to room temp then rechilling several times over 2 days and I also did it all by hand and ours both came out wonderful! Yours surely is! BTW I used your calculations for 2 loaves when I made mine and perfect! But my mistake was making only 2…

    No, no, Jamie; I blame myself for the calculation mistake. It was wrong of me to work out how much for 2 loaves rather than 4. :lalala: -Elizabeth
     
    (It sure is good bread, isn’t it?)

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