This bread is killing me, this is my favourite loaf. And I can’t remember how to make the bloody thing!!
In my first video trials, I remember the biga (overnight ferment) wasn’t right, it wasn’t ready when I used it, the temperature in the room is too cold.
Unfortunately, at the time it wasn’t something I was thinking about as it had never been an issue previously.
So I remade the following day, leaving the biga to develop for a longer time, but this time I literally ran out of time for the bread to prove up as I had to leave to pick my son up from school.
It showed promise, but it wasn’t proper good like I remember it.
A further attempt lead to the finding that the yeast I was using was too old. It didn’t rise the bread!
Basic, I know, I’ve said all along, I’m a bit rusty, but I can’t believe I’m not picking these things up.
So this week brings a third attempt, and disappointingly, again I’m not that happy. Well, it’s improved, the bread rose as expected which has been the main issue previous.
Just this time, I had to ignore that it was ready as I was using the work oven in between in getting used for its purpose!
But now, I think I’ve got it. The next one I’m confident, will be on the dollar.
I can’t wait to bake it and share it with my friends. It’s truly the bread I am most proud of.
Improving the bread recipe
I wrote an article recently about the Pane Casareccio, my favourite bread that I was yet to replicate.
I used to make it every day without issue, but I have been struggling to get it right three years on.
But I have have done it!
Actually, I would argue that I’ve exceeded it. This new edition of the bread is more in touch with what I intended to create back when the recipe was initially created.
To lead me to this bread taking a new lease of life, I spent an evening on YouTube. I was just looking at breads and bakers, bread porn if you like.
Now when I do this I usually cringe with the poor uneducated advice that is given, this is the reason I created this business anyway.
But this evening was different. I watched a Spanish baker that I started following last week.
Despite the language barrier, she just connected with me, it energised me to look at my bread with a new view. The results were great looking, but she uses different methods to get there than I would normally.
And I also did a bit of research on what a traditional Italian Pane Casareccio is. This is the same research I would’ve done back in 2014. But this time is different, I reacted.
Pane casareccio, means a homemade loaf, rustic if you like. How I previously made this loaf involved neat molding and precision cutting.
This is not how it is intended, though delicious it was.
I decided it was going to have to change.
But how I was going to bake it in my little home oven, really only suitable for sausages and that’s pretty much it.
Maybe I couldn’t, but I can practice.
So let’s try to not cut it on the next one and see how it comes out? And wow!
Despite not having a spray for steam or a hot stone for oven spring, the bread still jumped up a little. Most important, it had this rustic charm with irregular bubbles popping up on the surface.
The colour of the crust was nice too, despite the lack of equipment, I definitely didn’t expect this!
This bread looks like to have the most potential of anything I’ve done recently.
I’m taking it for my lunch tomorrow to enjoy a sandwich. But without even needing to try it, I know that it will be amazing!
The right ingredients, looked after, with the right focus always deliver.
I can’t wait to get a proper oven sorted to see how much better it can be!
Written by Gareth
"I'm sharing my love of artisan bread baking with others"