The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge #23: Pane Siciliano
Pane Siciliano is tasty and has a fantastic aroma coming out of the oven. Its slightly sweet soft yet chewy crumb is open with irregular large and medium holes similar to French bread. The golden brown crust is just thin enough to get a good crunch when toasted. I like it a lot.
Although this is a 3-day bread, it's very easy to make as most of the time spent is for fermention/refrigeration. I shaped a third of the dough into the S pictured in the book and the rest I plopped into a loaf pan. After an overnight stay in the refrigerator, they were made to rest for half an hour before baking and had good oven spring. The only thing I didn't like is the sesame seed topping. I love sesame seeds, they add a wonderful flavor to this bread but they fly all over the kitchen when slicing and more than half of the seeds just go to waste. This bread is a keeper and I won't mind baking it again, perhaps I'll use a bit of sourdough starter next time and shape them into baguettes.
So far, 3 Italian breads are in my favorites list, including this one. The next two recipes are also Italian, Panettone which I occasionally bought a long time ago during the Christmas season, and Pizza Napoletana. Will they become favorites too? Stay tuned.;-)
a bit "plump-in-the-middle" S bread
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
performance 5worth 5