• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 1 Servings

Pane Di Como Antico (Como Bread of the Past)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Breads

 Ingredients List

  • 3/4 c Biga; (180 G)
  • 1 1/2 c Water; At Room Temperature
  • 1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour; (65
  • -Grams)
  • 3 c All-Purpose Flour; To 3 3/4
  • -C,
  • ; Unbleached, (435 G)
  • 2 ts Salt; (10 G)
  • Cornmeal


Yield: 2 loaves

By Hand: Cut the starter into small pieces in a large mixing bowl.
Add all but 1 to 2 Tb. of the water and mix until the starter is in fime
shreads and the liquid is chalky white. Stir in the whole wheat flour and
most of the all-purpose flour, 1 cup at a time. When the dough is a fairly
rough and shaggy mass, stir in the salt dissolved in the remaining water.
Knead on a floured surface, sprinkling with up to 1/2 cup additional flour
and using the dough scraper to scrape up the fine film of dough that will
accumulate on the sork surface, as well as to turn and lift the dough.
After about 5 minutes of kneading, slam the dough down hard several times
to help develop the gluten. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth, a
total of 8 to 12 minutes. The dough should still be soft, moist and sticky.

By Mixer: Mix the starter and all but 1 to 2 Tbsp. of the water
with the paddle in a large mixer bowl. Mix in the flours and then the salt
dissolved in the remaining water. Change to the dough hook and knead at
medium speed until soft, moist, and sticky but obviously elastic, about 4
minutes. Finish kneading by hand on a lightly floured surface, sprinkling
with additional flour, until smooth but still soft.

By Food Processor: Refrigerate the starter until cold.
Process the starter and
1 1/2 cups cold water with the steel blade and remove to another bowl.
Change to the dough blade and process the flours and salt with 2 or 3
pulses to sift. With the machine running, pour the starter mixture through
the fed tube as quickly as the flour can absorb it. Process 30 to 45
seconds longer to knead. The dough will be moist and sticky. Finish
kneading by hand on a lightly floured surface, sprinkling with additional
flour, until the dough is smooth but still soft.

First Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with
plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The dough is
ready when it has numberous bubbles and blisters under the skin.

Shaping and Second Rise: Divide the dough in half on
a lightly floured surface without kneading it. Shape into 2 round loaves.
Let them relax under a cloth for 20 minutes. Line baking sheets or peels
with parchment paper and flour the paper generously. Roll each ball into a
fat cylinder and place seam side down on the paper. Dimple the loaves all
over with your fingertips or knuckles, as for focaccia, to keep the dough
from springing up. The dough should feel delicate but extreme.ly springy.
Cover the loaves and let rise until doubled, with many visible air bubbles,
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Baking: Thirty minutes before baking, heat the oven with a baking
stone in it to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle the baking stone with cornmeal.
Carry the peel or baking sheet to the oven and very gently invert the dough
onto the stone. Gently remove the parchment paper, peeling off very slowly.
Immediately reduce the heat to 400 degrees F. and bake until golden, 35 to
40 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

This dough can be made ahead and placed in the refrigerator for the second
rise; the flavor is better with the long cool development of the yeast.

Serve this with stews and meats with rich sauces, with green salads, fresh
cheeses, sliced salami, and smoked meats.

From the book - The Italian Baker by Carol Field

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