Friday, November 20, 2009

pane siciliano - bread baker's apprentice challenge #23

With the recent disaster that was Pain de Campagne, I was really looking forward to Pane Siciliano. Hoping that in the 3 days it takes to complete, I would forget about past mistakes and dream about the future. I didn't know what to expect from the large portion of pre-ferment and semolina flour utilized in this recipe, but if the twitter talk was any indication, it would be fantastic.

Much like the pain de campagne though, the bread took a left turn. It boiled down to me not actually having semolina flour. Foolish right, why attempt to bake a bread that requires 8 ounces of semolina flour, when you don't have any. Exactly my first thought, but I really wanted to bake this. So I made an executive decision to substitute in 8 ounces of fine corn flour. (Hence the yellow hue of the picture above and below)

What's the difference. Well. Semolina is actually the gritty, sandy flour milled from durum. Something that most people would associate with pasta. High in protein, and low in gluten; semolina is definitely not corn flour. However, even with such a big change, the result was surprisingly good.

The corn flour add a bit of sweetness and texture. Maybe not as good after a few days, the fresh bread excitement was brought back by toasting the bread in the morning. I learned early on, from our first bread in fact, that corn meal and corn flour do wonders for toast.

I thought the pane siciliano journey would end there, but was surprised surprised to find a nice semolina flour gift waiting for me a few days later. Making it all over again, correctly this time (see above and below picture), I can't say enough good things about this bread. The semolina does something so fantastic for the taste. Nutty, sweet, all around delicious. This may be sliding into top spot for me.

Got some time to waste? Why not check out the #BBA tag on twitter, and surf around looking at some delicious bread.

4 comments:

H.Peter said...

You keep surprising me. This is a gorgeous bread.

Chris said...

Thanks H.Peter, I appreciate the kind words. If only more people could taste this creations.

misterrios said...

Either way you make it, the bread came out great. Actually, there's a bread in Leader's Local Breads where he makes baguettes using a bit of corn flour. I've been meaning to try this.

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

Your loaves look wonderful either way! I bet the corn flour version tasted great, but I agree that semolina does enhance the flavor and texture of the bread. This is one of my favorites as well. Great job!

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