Coccodrillo

Or is it spelled “cocodrillo”?

After hearing at least three people in the newsgroup alt.bread.recipes absolutely rave about “Pane Coccodrillo” in Carol Field’s wonderful book, The Italian Baker, I decided to try it out. Here is Field’s description of the bread: “The result is an extremely light bread with a crunchy dark-speckled crust and a very chewy interior.” I made it and DRAT!!! it wasn’t the fabulous bread I was expecting. Way too much salt! And not at all light (not exactly brick-like either but disappointingly heavy) The interior was more pudding like than chewy – and yes, it was definitely done. It had a nice hollow sound when I knocked on the bottom. (I reported the “way too much salt” to the newsgroup people and only then did they all agree that they used half the amount of salt she says….)

I was so mad that I considered giving the rest to the birds. But instead, we cubed up what was left (all but two slices) and made the most brilliant Stovetop Stuffing (cut back on the salt because the bread was so-o-o-o salty). We had it with pot roast, green beans and mashed potatoes and an inexpensive French merlot. Delicious!

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