Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bread Baking Babes in a Tuscany state of mind: Panmarino!

toscaans deeg
Panmarino, also known as Italian Rosemary Bread, is a fairly easy bread to make. It takes about 20 hours, but most of that time is spent on the overnight biga. So that sounds good in the summer, a tiny bit of work the evening before and some work the day after and hey presto… a wonderful aromatic bread on your table!
Cathy invited us to participate in her Bread Experiences for this month’s recipe and chose a Tuscan bread as Kitchen of the month. Tuscan why? (Well apart from the obvious reasons because well you know.. who can object to Tuscany?) But no this Babe participated in the workshop Plated Stories in beautiful Tuscany, and if that alone wasn’t already enough to make us all green with envy, Cathy of course also met with two other fabulous Babes: Jamie (Life’s a feast) and Ilva (Lucullian delights)! So, we, other Babes left in the not so green woods, ignored them for a bit and after sufficiently punishing them by not passing the wine bottle we decided to act normal again. Or.. what passes for normal in our little group. Knipogende emoticon
The recipe is from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking from The French Culinary Institute.The story of Panmarino as told by Carol is that this bread recipe comes from a place called Ferrara near Venice and is the invention of a baker named Luciano Pancalde.
Apparently years ago, Luciano was reading a biography of the d'Este family who once ruled Ferrara. He came across descriptions of the spectacular court banquets, which featured rosemary bread with a crust that "sparkled with diamonds". Of course, just like all good artisan bakers, Luciano experimented and baked until he came up with this wonderful aromatic, fresh rosemary fragrant, dome-shaped bread where you slash the top in the pattern of a star and sprinkle chunky crystals of sea salt into the crevices.

Now that I read this again, I realise I had this dome shaped bread, slashed a star pattern on top but totally forgot to add the “sparkling diamonds”! Ugh!
Makes: 4 Loaves
  • Bread flour 143 grams/5 ounces
  • Water 122 grams/4 1/4 ounces
  • Pinch of instant yeast

Final Dough:
  • Bread flour 884 grams/1 pound 15 ounces
  • Water 477 grams/1 pound 1 ounce
  • Milk 44 grams/1 1/2 ounces
  • Biga 265 grams/9 1/3 ounces
  • Salt 23 grams/3/4 ounce
  • Pinch of instant yeast
  • Olive oil 88 grams/3 ounces
  • Chopped fresh rosemary 9 grams/1/3 ounce

    Preparing the Biga:
    Combine the bread flour, water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.  Scape down the edge of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest at 75 degrees F. for 14 to 16 hours.

    Making the Final Dough:
    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread flour, water, milk, and biga. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until blended.
    Add the salt and yeast and mix on low speed for 5 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for about 7 more minutes, or until the dough is smooth.  When the gluten is fully developed, mix in the olive oil and rosemary on low speed.

    Lightly oil a large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for 45 minutes.
    Remove the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and divide it into four 450-gram /16-ounce pieces. Shape the dough pieces into rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and let them bench rest for 15 minutes.
    Place two couches on a separate work surface or bread board and dust them with flour.

    toscaans 1Uncover the dough and, if necessary, lightly flour the work surface. Gently press on the dough to degas and carefully shape each piece into a tight and neat rounds.  Place one loaf on one side of the couche, fold the couche up to make a double layer of cloth to serve as a divider between the loaves, and place a second loaf next to the fold.  Repeat the process with the remaining two loaves and the second couche.  Cover with plastic wrap and proof for 1 hour.

    About an hour before you plan to bake the loaves, place a baking stone (or tiles) into the oven along with a steam pan (underneath) or iron skillet (on the top rack) and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
    Uncover the dough and score the top of each loaf in a star pattern using a lame or sharp knife. This particular formula doesn't say to do this, but you can sprinkle sea salt into the crevices as the original baker did to make it "sparkle with diamonds." (see there you go, that is what I subconsciously remembered and –thus- why I forgot LOL)

    Carefully transfer the loaves to the preheated baking stone using a peel or the back of a baking sheet. To make the steam, add 1 cup of ice to the iron skillet or steam pan.
    Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is light brown and crisp and the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
    Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
 foto 3
My notes:
- oh so easy! and fragrant!
- you don’t have to reduce the amount of dough… it makes four smallish loaves and freezes beautifully!
- I think I could have used more rosemary because the flavour wasn’t as distinct as I thought it would be.
- Mine were slow risers so prepare to take your time with the second proof
- I think mine could have had a bit more time still in the second proof, I found them surprisingly firm inside.
- or maybe a bit more liquid to get more defined holes in the bread. They were there but they could be more prominent
As I am writing this we are preparing for our holiday and I will set this post ready to post on the date. So I can’t direct you to Cathy’s page right now where you will find the details for the Buddies but I do think you Buddies, need to just add this bread to your repertoire. It’s a good one!
You can join the Bread Baking Buddies and earn your Buddy badge by simply baking this wonderful Tuscan bread by the end of July, sending a mail to Cathy with your details and a picture (details at her blogpost) Please mention and link to the Bread Baking Babes in your post.(ask for the Buddy badge!) I am sure you will enjoy this one!
Do not forget to check the other Babes and see how their breads came out:
The Bread Baking Babes (current dozen) are:


  1. But you were all with us in spirit (I wont tell you whether it was in a physically or mentally), don't ask Jamie because she wont remember. Your bread look so much better than mine, that crust is amazing!

  2. Your loaves are so perfect, airy and high and... well just delicious. I have to admit I never thought about adding diamonds... until I read about it here :) Great recipe reader :)

  3. "So, we, other Babes left in the not so green woods, ignored them for a bit and after sufficiently punishing them by not passing the wine bottle we decided to act normal again. Or.. what passes for normal in our little group." Too funny. Sad/sorry we can't all get into a big kitchen with the same flours and oven and bake it up together.
    LOVE your star.

  4. What? We're supposed to act normal? But but but... I don't know how!!! (she whined)

    I'm doubly green with envy now that I've seen your star. How did you get it to stay defined? (she whined again)

    It freezes beautifully? How did you manage that? Our got eaten before it could be taken to the freezer. (so many things to whine about....)

    Seriously though, your bread is beautiful! And I agree about the rosemary. I'm thinking that maybe it needs to be doubled. Or perhaps even tripled.

  5. Such gorgeous crust and star...and not enough green rosemary(?). We used up our green thinking about Tuscany. Would love a BBB retreat sometime to bake in the same kitchen and pass the wine around and eat delicious things.

  6. Now I'm doubly jealous..... That looks delicious and I have lots of rosemary.... Bonne vacances!

  7. I like your post very much i had nice time while reading your post

  8. Your crust, star pattern, and crumb looks perfect!


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