This is going to be short. I just finished writing this post up (the past hour) and just lost it all. Arrggghhhh…..
Just bake this bread.
Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking from The French Culinary Institute.
The source of the story about the origins of Panmarino is found here
According to Cathy’s research, it originated in the area called Ferrara, near Venice and was created by a baker named Luciano Pancalde.
The idea for Panmarino came about as Luciano was reading the chronicles of the d’Este family who once ruled Ferrara. When he learned about the magnificent court banquets where they served rosemary bread with a crust that “sparkled with diamonds,” it gave him the idea to create his own loaf. He experimented and baked and tested some more until finally, he had the bread he was aiming for, an aromatic, dome-shaped bread that is scored in the pattern of a star and sprinkled with salt crystals.
*A few personal notes:
The recipe calls for 23 grams of salt which works out to be almost 2 tablespoons. I thought it was a typo but no, it is correct. It turns out that the bread did not taste salty at all. Next time though I will decrease the salt by 3/4 teaspoon and use the leftover salt to sprinkle over the tops.
It takes about 14-16 hours to make the biga so plan ahead
I am in New York for the summer, staying at my mom’s house. so I have no baking stone, no couche, no lame. So what.
These were proofed and baked on a regular baking sheet with parchment paper. I spritzed the loaves with water 3 times in the first 5 minutes for steam. The crusts came out beautiful. I’m saying this because there is no excuse not to bake your own bread.
I doubled the amount of rosemary called for in the recipe. I like rosemary.
This recipe yields 4 small loaves, perfect for sharing or freezing, or you could make 2 larger loaves instead.
makes 4 small loaves
- Bread flour 143 grams/5 ounces
- Water 122 grams/4 1/4 ounces
- Pinch of instant yeast
- Bread flour 884 grams/1 pound 15 ounces
- Water 477 grams/1 pound 1 ounce
- Milk 44 grams/1 1/2 ounces
- Biga 265 grams/9 1/3 ounces
- Salt 23 grams/3/4 ounce
- Pinch of instant yeast
- Olive oil 88 grams/3 ounces
- Chopped fresh rosemary 9 grams/1/3 ounce
Prepare the Biga:
Combine the flour, water and yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk until well blended. Scrape down the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest at 75 degrees F. for 14 to 16 hours.
Making the Dough:
Combine the flour, water, milk, and biga in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until blended.
Add the salt and yeast and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for about 7 more minutes, or until the dough is smooth. When the gluten is fully developed, mix in the olive oil and rosemary on low speed.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for 45 minutes.
Remove the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and divide it into four (or two if you halved the recipe) 450-gram /16-ounce pieces. Shape the dough pieces into rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and let them bench rest for 15 minutes.
Place two couches on a separate work surface or bread board and dust them with flour.
Uncover the dough and, if necessary, lightly flour the work surface. Gently press on the dough to degas and carefully shape each piece into a tight and neat rounds. Place one loaf on one side of the couche, fold the couche up to make a double layer of cloth to serve as a divider between the loaves, and place a second loaf next to the fold. Repeat the process with the remaining two loaves and the second couche. Cover with plastic wrap and proof for 1 hour.
About an hour before you plan to bake the loaves, place a baking stone (or tiles) into the oven along with a steam pan (underneath) or iron skillet (on the top rack) and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. See my notes above*
Uncover the dough and score the top of each loaf in a star pattern using a lame or sharp knife.
Optional: sprinkle sea salt into the crevices as the original baker did to make it “sparkle with diamonds.”
Carefully transfer the loaves (on the parchment paper) to the preheated baking stone using a peel or the back of a baking sheet. To make the steam, add 1 cup of ice to the iron skillet or steam pan.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is light brown and crisp and the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Check out how the Real creative Babes handled this bread:
The Bread Baking Babes (current dozen) are:
- Bake My Day – Karen
- blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
- Bread Experience – Cathy
- Feeding my Enthusiasms – Pat/Elle
- girlichef – Heather
- Life’s a Feast – Jamie
- Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
- Lucullian Delights – Ilva
- My Diverse Kitchen – Aparna
- My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
- Notitie Van Lien – Lien
- Thyme for Cooking – Katie (Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire)