Italian bread - does anyone have a recipe?

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Joined Mar 4, 2010
Hi

Here in Brazil we may found a bread called "Italian Bread". It´s a bit sour and heavy! The good ones are always the heaviest!! The crust is hard but the inside is soft.... Similar to french baguette but with much more paste.. heavier as I said.
Very good with butter!!
But it is really hard to find the recipe.. I heard that it´s done with yogurt or left to rest for days before baking....

Does anyone knows of any bread like this?? Italian or not??

Thanks
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
In Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno's book, Bread, there's a recipe that sounds like just what you're looking for. Called "Pane Casalingo (Italian Household Bread," it uses a slightly soured starter to provide the taste you're describing.

It's rather long, so see if you can track it down. If not, I'll type it out.
 
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The recipe fronm the link KY posted uses a type of preferment (the writer called it a "starter") called a poolish which is very common in French baking, and the recipe itself, no matter what it's called in Sao Paolo, Brazil, is simply pain au poolish in St. Paul, Minnesota -- not to mention the rest of the world. 

While using a poolish is much the way I go about making these types of bread, I'm a little non-plussed.  With Italian breads you usually see a drier preferment called a biga, rather than a poolish.  Not that it makes much difference.

I think of the use of preferments in artisinal loaves as intermediate or at least advanced-beginner baking.  It takes a lot of "touch" to get a good texture.  If you do look at KY's link, you can see that the bread there has too dense a crumb.   It really should have been more open.

BDL
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2010
If you could see my happiness when I read your comments!!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
Thanks a million, I will try it out!
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
If you do look at KY's link, you can see that the bread there has too dense a crumb. 

I thought the same thing, BDL. But the original poster asked about a dense bread.   Specifically, what was asked for was a bread that is "sour and heavy." And this one meets those requirements.

I'm glad to see you finally concede that bigas and poolishes are not synonyms, but refer to preferments that have different levels of hydration.

The problem with both those words is that there are technical definitions for them, but many preferments are more or less like one or the other, but not exactly so. The "starter" in this bread, for instance, is actually about halfway between a true poolish and a biga. So, because it's more poolish-like than biga-like, calling it a poolish is OK in practical terms.

But, as you note, the name doesn't really matter all that much.

Sirlene: If you try this recipe, and it's not sour enough for you, let the preferment sit longer. You can leave it at room temperature for up to 36 hours. If you want it even more sour, you'll have to feed it.

But don't assume that longer is better. Try it with 12 hours first. If that's not sour enough, go 24 hours. Etc.
 
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I´m really not a bread expert but just by seeing the photos I would say it´s the right one but not "heavy" enough.. The inside it´s a bit "open". You don´t see them so "earated". Normally that means that the bread raised more than it should. However, the recipe is really what I was expecting (I have just looked for the extrat of malte in internet, I must buy it). I´ll try it during the weekend (I have a wood oven besides the one you can see on my profile photo!! I´m so proud of them!!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/blushing.gif
Thanks for your sour-timing tips!!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

Sirlene
 
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Hi,

I tried out the recipe you sent me. The result is shown in the above photo. Although it´s not so beautiful as in original recipe, it was really tasty!! I didn´t find the extrat of malt, I used the same amount of sugar, I read it replaces it somehow.
The crust was just like the italian breads we find here! I would just use less salt and make just one bread not 2 with as I did.
So really good suggestion which I have already forwarded to my friends who liked it!!

Thanks!
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Ya gotta love it when a plan comes together. Glad it worked out for you.

Next time you might try subbing honey for the malt, and see how that works out for you.
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
I have been using the recipe that is included in this article, "Bread Baking With Sponges."

It has worked perfect for me everytime with a 9 to 10 hours preferment here in Ohio, USA. You in South America would probably need a shorter time.
 
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