Pane Rustico With Fresh Rosemary And Cheddar Crust

Update! Loaf 2.

I’ve had this recipe for Italian peasant bread bookmarked for about a year now, finally got round to trying it. Added a topping before the final lidless crusting blast.

I think the professor’s flour-to-water ratios are off, or he’s using a different kind of flour: 2:1 is pretty much liquid, doesn’t come away from the bowl. I erred on the side of sticking to the numbers rather than tweaking until it did.

Came out deliciously crispy and super soft, but quite dense in the middle. Next time I’ll keep adding flour till it’s a bit more solid, probably skip the fold-twice step, and leave it to prove in the same pan it’s going to be baked in.

Bread is the most satisfying thing to make. I will definitely die from it.

Update: Loaf 2.

Made from a frozen portion of the dough for Loaf 1, thawed out and baked. Curious success! Wasn’t sure it would survive the chill, but it rose as it thawed out, and then proved more or less as it should.

Same consistency as the last one, so I floured it heavily before proving. The last loaf seemed to deflate when I reshaped it for baking, so for this one I tried just leaving it in the pot and putting it straight in. You’re supposed to pre-heat the pot, but I still got the amazing crust I was after.

Also added 15 minutes to the lid-off baking time, as planned. Definitely a good idea. This is not a bread you can eat quietly, but it’s a hugely satisfying crunch. I think that’s also why the middle is much lighter and fluffier.

12 Replies to “Pane Rustico With Fresh Rosemary And Cheddar Crust”

  1. Was this post – and indeed this culinary foray – prompted by series 2 of The Great British Bake-off, by any chance?

  2. Forget the games, I’d prefer more cooking recipes. Actually, recipes with music recommendations in the middle.

    I made some bread from the Food of Westeros website, problem was I ended up with so much that I still couldn’t finish it despite giving bits to people. So I just threw the stale bread into some soup as I was cooking it.

  3. Nope, haven’t been watching it this season. Did catch the bread episode last season for some tips, but they didn’t seem to be doing anything much differently.

  4. Bread matters is the baddest book about bread Tom. It’s got the science, the history and everything you ever wanted to know and understand about the methods used to make bread and just..wahtever you want to know baout bread. It’s truly an awesome book and I try to reccomend it as often as the subject comes up.

    This is the hardback:
    (that I own) http://www.amazon.co.uk/BREAD-MATTERS-Modern-Definitive-Baking/dp/0007203748/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320075212&sr=1-2

    Here is the paperback:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bread-Matters-Why-Make-Your/dp/0007298498/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320075212&sr=1-1

    I try to make bread often at home but at work I gotta make bread for the restaurant every god damn day. I got a sour dough ferment that’s 2 years old BOOYAH!

  5. Geckos, yeah. You hardly notice them in the finished thing, though, they just sorta dissolve.

    Thanks for the vid and the book tip. I will improve!

  6. I would be quite happy if I could live off bread alone without, you know, dying and all that. Freshly baked bread of your own is just a whole new level of doughy goodness.

    I do have to ask though why you included that last shot because it looks so tasty I may just explode.

  7. This is why I love you Tom, you’re a professional writer, a life long gamer, and apparently a baker.

  8. “This is not a bread you can eat quietly, but it’s a hugely satisfying crunch.”

    I think you’ve found your Crosslink sound.

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