This bread was made using based on the recipe entitled 'Pan Bigio' in The Italian Baker by Carol Field. I added a bit of rye flour to the whole-wheat and unbleached all-purpose called for in the recipe.
Our copy of Carol Field's The Italian Baker is in rather sorry condition. But we daren't replace it because we'd have to rewrite all our margin notes! It was given to me for Christmas 2000 and is my first "serious" bread book. In spite of the poor binding, it's a great book! The 'rustic breads' section alone makes it worth having.
The stars were made by putting cookie cutters on top of the shaped loaves, liberally flouring overtop and leaving the cutters in place as the bread rose. They were removed just before baking.