Pretty Fluffy S Bread
Apparently this bread is more commonly known as Pane Siciliano, but I’ve never heard of that, so I decided to name it like it is. I found this recipe in my new favorite bread book, “The Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.
I split the recipe in half and just made one big loaf for my friend, Cynthia’s, birthday potluck. I whipped up a fancy sundried tomato and cheese spread to go with it, but I thought the bread was excellent on its own. I imagine it also would be tasty with any number of other spreads, especially sweet ones. It was one of the fluffiest breads I have made… maybe the semolina flour had something to do with this? It also was relatively sweet from the addition of honey. It reminded me a little bit of a pastry bread because of its consistency and flavor. And the sesame seeds made an excellent crunchy contrast!
Plan 3 days in advance to make this bread… it isn’t a lot of work, but it takes time to develop the awesome flavor!
For the Pate Fermentee:
- 1 1/8 cup flour
- 1 1/8 cup bread flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3/4 cup water, room temperature
For the Bread:
- 3 cups pate fermentee
- 1 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1 3/4 cups semolina flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/4 cups water, lukewarm
- Sesame seeds for sprinking on top
To Make the Pate Fermentee:
- Mix together the flours, salt and yeast in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed.
- Add the water and mix for one minute.
- Add more flour or water as needed, erroring on the sticky side.
- Switch to dough hook and knead for 4 minutes on medium speed.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place bowl in refrigerator overnight.
To Make the Bread:
- Remove the pate fermentee from the refrigerator and cut into 10 small pieces. Let stand at room temperature for one hour.
- Mix the flours, salt and yeast with a paddle attachment in the stand mixer.
- Mix in the pate fermentee pieces, oil, honey and water on low speed until the dough forms a ball.
- Knead for 6-8 minutes on medium speed.
- Form the dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for two hours or until double in size.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.
- Shape each piece of dough into a long baguette shape, being careful not to completely degas the dough.
- Then curl in each end of the dough to create an “s” shape.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and sprinkle semolina on the paper.
- Place the loaves on the prepared pan.
- Mist loaves with water and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
- Mist the loaves with oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Place the pans in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove the pans from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, around 1-2 hours.
- Place a baking pan with one cup of water on the bottom of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Place the bread in the oven and immediately mist them with water.
- Open the oven briefly two more times in the first 5 minutes to mist the loaves again.
- After the final spray, turn the temperature down to 450 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
- Rotate the pans and continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until the loaves are a rich golden brown all over.
- Remove the pans from the oven and transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.
- Cool at least 45 minutes before slicing.