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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BBA#15 Italian Bread

This is the 15th recipe of the BBA2011 Challenge.This recipe has special appeal to me,after leaving NY, and of course ,won't find anything like real Italian bread in the south.I have made Italian bread from other recipes but was not overly happy with the results.The dough did not have the overnight cold ferment that Peter Reinhart utilizes, creating ,in my opinon, great depth of flavors.Having now made this bread, I am over joyed with the rich almost sweet  flavor, texture, crunchy crust of this first real Italian bread I have eaten in 5 long years!! Granted it is not the airy light interior and  crisp crust of NY  Italian Bread Bakeries ,different, a bit denser,but with more flavor and delicious as a real Italian type bread should be.Let's follow the preparation of this delicious bread:
Removed the biga from the fridge after it's overnight cold ferment,cut it up into many small pieces to warm  for 1 hour
Added to mixing bowl with yeast, flour,salt,sugar and water.Mixed with the paddle then kneaded with the dough hook for 10 minutes.The dough was still a little slack,so I hand kneaded adding flour as needed to make a pliable soft slightly tacky dough
The dough was at 78 degreees and past the window pane test,though not shown
Placed into a lightly oiled bowl to rise for about 2 hours or untill double
After 2 hours fully proofed
Cut the dough in half,eye balled it,with my dough scrapper
Shaped into two loaves,they were already full length,so no further shapping needed.Placed on a parchment paper lined sheet pan,which had corn meal sprinkled onto it.Covered with plasic to rise to 1 1/2 times it's size,took an hour.
  Scored the bread with a lame, baked on sheet pan in the 500 degree oven, had my steam pan on top rack ,added 1 cup hot water to it, sprayed water 3 times onto oven bottom and walls at 30 second intervals,then lowered temperature to 400 and baked 32 minutes for a crisper crust.
crumb shot,slightly out of focus,also the actual color of the crumb is a creamy color the lighting makes it appear white.We were very happy with this bread, it didn't make it in time for dinner on sunday,but we ate half the loaf sliced and buttered after dinner, it is delicious,with a hint of sweetness from the overnight proof ,airy crumb and crisp  crust. Definitely a great bread!

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