.st0{fill:#FFFFFF;}

Pane Cassericio Recipe – Italian Country Bread 

 April 1, 2021

By  Gareth Busby

medium

16 - 22 HOURS

italy

f there was a bread I am most proud of discovering, the pane casereccio would be it. I love the texture, taste and depth of aroma that come from this bread and the dough can be used to make many other fantastic breads as well.

We are using a biga preferment which adds flavour and structure to the dough. It’s fairly easy to shape so a perfect bread to learn if you are fairly new to bread baking. 


How to make pane casereccio video tutorial

Ingredients 


For the biga:

   300g  White bread flour


   265g  Water 


    0.7g  Fresh yeast (0.4g active dried)


For the dough:

   450g  White bread flour


   280g  Water


    5.5g  Yeast (2.5g active dried)


     15g  Salt


     18g  2nd Water


     18g  Extra virgin olive oil


Method for pane cassericio


1

Make the biga

Create the biga preferment the day before. If using dried yeast follow the instructions below, otherwise, add the yeast to the water and whisk until it's dissolved. Add the biga flour and lightly mix with a dough scraper or your hands until it's incorporated which should take about 2 minutes. Cover, and leave at around 18-25C (64-77F) for 12-18 hours.

2

Prepare the ingredients

The next day, weigh the ingredients. Add the biga to the water in a large mixing bowl. Now add all the ingredients, excluding the 2nd water and the olive oil, to the bowl or a dough mixer.

3

Mix the dough slowly

Using a dough scraper (or your hand in a claw shape) in a circular motion, mix the dough to evenly distribute all the ingredients. After a minute or two, take the dough out of the bowl and stretch it slowly on a worktop. Continue this for 5 minutes. Return to the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a bag and place it in the fridge for 10 minutes

Using a dough mixer:

Mix for 6 minutes at a slow speed. The dough should feel soft and have visible long gluten but it wont be very strong.

4

Knead fast

Take the dough back to the worktop and knead for 10 minutes. Start off slowly and gradually get more intense. the stretch, slap and fold technique shown in the video is prefered here. Cover again and place back in the fridge for another 10 minutes.

Dough mixer:

Increase the speed of the mixer, and knead for a further 6 minutes.

5

Add the second water and the olive oil

Remove the dough from the fridge and knead fast for 7 minutes on the table. Put the dough back in the bowl and add the second water. Keep folding the dough into the water, it may take a while but it will absorb!. After the water is incorporated, add the olive oil with the same method and knead a couple of minutes more on the table. The dough should look smooth, even and strong.

Dough mixer:

Lower the speed and add the 2nd water. As it becomes absorbed,  increase the speed for a minute. Repeat the same process with the extra virgin olive oil. Continue mixing on fast speed for another 2 minutes, the dough should make a slapping sound against the mixer when it is ready.

6

Bulk fermentation (first rise)

Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and take a temperature reading. If it's above 26C (79F) and it's warmer than this in the room, put it in the fridge for 1 hour. If it's cooler than this, leave it on the worktop for the same amount of time.

7

Stretch and fold

Complete a stretch and fold, or simply knock back the dough and return to the bowl.

8

Bulk fermentation continues...

Take a temperature check, if above 28C (82F) put it in the fridge, if it’s under, the kitchen table is fine. Leave to rest, covered for another hour.

9

Repeat the stretch and fold

Complete another stretch and fold or knock back, but this time flour the worktop before hand and after the stretch and fold, let the dough rest in a square shape on the table.

10

Bench rest

Left to rest for 20 minutes on the worktop.

11

Divide

Divide into two equal weights of 650g. Try to keep the square shape, so there is no need to mould. Just divide and position them onto a lightly dusted board or peel.

12

Final rise

Leave them to proof for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours. Preheat the oven with a baking stone and a lipped baking sheet below it to 250C (480F).

13

Use the poke test

Use the poke test to judge when they are ready to bake. When ready, transfer them onto a peel by sliding one underneath.

14

Score the dough

Cut using a bakers lame with a square design, 2 inches away from the edge. 

15

Bake

Slide the loaves into the oven using the peel. Add a cup of hot water to the tray below to create steam (oven gloves should be worn to prevent burning yourself) and quickly shut the door. Turn down the temperature to 220C (430F) and bake for 35-40 minutes. Open the door after 20 minutes to release some of the steam.

16

Cool

Once the bread has turned a nice light golden colour, use a peel to remove it and allow to cool. You can bake it for longer if you want deeper aromas.


Using dried yeast


If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as fresh yeast.

Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, warm the water for the biga to 35C (95F) - no higher. Add the yeast to the bowl, whisk and leave for 10 minutes to bloom. Combine the flour for the biga with the yeasty water and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool. Return to the worktop and allow to ferment as above.

When ready to start the dough, warm 20 grams of water to 35C (95F), add the yeast with half a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to stand for ten minutes before adding to the dough. Remove 20 grams of the 1st water addition from the recipe.


Top tips for the best pane casereccio


Once the biga’s gluten structure is visible and there are large bubbles appearing on the top it is ready or “ripe” as it’s often called.

You can adapt the time your biga is ready to fit around your life. To do this adjust the yeast slightly and also use temperature. Cooler climates will slow down the fermentation process. I will often put a biga in the fridge for a couple of hours if it is almost ready to slow fermentation till I can proceed.

You can make focaccia with the pane casereccio dough. Divide the dough into 100g pieces instead of 650g, shape into balls and leave to rest for 10-20 minutes. Next stretch them out and add toppings. Drizzle some olive oil over and bake straight onto the baking stone of the 220C (430F) oven for around 20 minutes. Use the top oven and grill settings for a more golden colour if you need to.


Using dried yeast


If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as fresh yeast.

Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, warm the water for the biga to 35C (95F) - no higher. Add the yeast to the bowl, whisk and leave for 10 minutes to bloom. Combine the flour for the biga with the yeasty water and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool. Return to the worktop and allow to ferment as above.

When ready to start the dough, warm 20 grams of water to 35C (95F), add the yeast with half a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to stand for ten minutes before adding to the dough. Remove 20 grams of the 1st water addition from the recipe.

Rate this recipe:
Average: 4 (from 21 votes)
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get my weekly newsletter for bread bakers!

>