Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Italian Semolina Twists (Pane Siciliano)

I've got a new bread book, from another master of the bread book field, Peter Reinhart. It's called The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and is a fanatically detailed tome that aims to teach the amateur baker enough to help them feel free experimenting. Reinhart, the author of Crust and Crumb and Whole Grain Breads, has a very different voice than Daniel Leader of Bread Alone. Reinhart is a teacher at Johnson & Wales culinary schools, and his writing is a reflection of what must be his teaching style, adapted for the home baker.

The book is structured by formulas, many of which apply to several varieties of bread up until the last dough mix. For instance, the pate fermentee that I mixed for my first trial of the book could have become a French bread, a Pain de Campagne, or the Pane Siciliano that I finally chose (along with a series of variations).

A large amount of pate fermentee is mixed into the final dough, and nearly half of the remaining flour added is fine semolina. Because my semolina is fine but not really a bread grind, I used a little less than the suggested amount.

The bread is sweet and uncomplicated, it's been on your dinner table in hundreds of restaurants (if you're the type to visit hundreds of restaurants), and it's just as good as it looks right here. The characteristic shape is achieved by rolling the dough into a baguette shape and then rolling the log right up to the middle from either end, on opposite sides.

1 comment:

Ramona said...

ooh, semolina bread is my _favorite_
and i'm not just biased because i'm sicilian