Monday, June 11, 2007
Pane di Terni
Saturday, June 9, 2007
According to Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker, this rustic bread from Terni, a city in southern Umbria, "is in such great demand that quantities of it are rushed to Rome daily." Neither the people of Terni nor the people of Rome would recognize this as Pane di Terni, however, because I mistakenly baked it upside down.
I chose this bread not because I had a hankering for Pane di Terni; I've never heard of the bread or the city. I chose it because it calls for whole-wheat pastry flour, and I have some that I picked up for some reason or another and I wanted to use it up.
First you make a biga the night before you want the bread; the next morning, you mix the biga with water, all-purpose flour, and the pastry flour, as well as yeast and a little salt (optional because the authentic pane di Terni doesn't use salt). Then you form it into four round loaves and let it rise. Of course, I assumed that the top of the loaves was going to be the top of the bread. But then you turn it over, dimple the bottoms ot the loaves, and brush them with olive oil.
That's funny, I said to myself, usually when you dimple bread, you dimple the top. So I dimpled, oiled, and turned over. Only after they were baked did I see that actually the bottoms were supposed to become the dimpled tops. And maybe that accounts for why the bread turned out to be kind of shapeless. But, you know, it turned out to be quite good anyway, with a nice crust amd a good texture. I had some for toast the next morning, and it was excellent that way too.
We had a dinner party on Saturday with two other couples. I told Jim that I thought I'd give away two of the loaves to them if they were good. Jim told me I should let them know ahead of time to give them incentive. I said, "incentive to do what?" "To be good," he said, "you know how Doug is. He's sure to misbehave otherwise." I explained that it was a question of whether the bread was good, not the guests. And Doug did not misbehave.
Posted by Marie at 7:48 PM