Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pane Siciliano - A Sicilian Sesame seeded Semolina Bread

Needless to say am a foodie, everytime i join a group or a baking challenge i will immediately make the challenge without any delay. This is the first time i delayed baking this Pane Siciliano due to some personnel stuffs. However this Pane siliciano needs atleast two days as you need to make Cresciuta aka the famous Biga.What is unusual about this bread is that it is baked with semolina ( what we know in India as rava/ sooji). In Sicily (and Italy), the semolina they use for this bread is a specific grind of durum wheat called “semola di grano duro rimacinato” or just “rimacinato”, which translates as 'ground again'. This refers to semolina which is ground once more to break the coarser grain into finer flour.

If you can find rimancinato, then go ahead and use that. Otherwise use the finest grind semolina that’s used for making laddoos, halwa and batters. Otherwise, just run the semolina you have in the chutney jar of your mixer-grinder or coffee grinder until it turns fine.
Though there are a lot of recipes for making this bread in a shorter time, traditionally, this bread  is made with pre-ferment which is called cresciuta by the Sicilians/Italians. This process makes this bread more flavourful and gives a wonderful texture.Pane Sicilian can be shaped into two, the Occhi di Santa Lucia means Eyes of St Lucia or Mafalda meaning snake. I went with the snaked shaped Pane siciliano eventhough i never tried shaping Occhi di Santa Lucia. This bread goes to this month's We Knead to Bake, monthly event by Aparna, My Diverse Kitchen.

Pane Siciliano

For the Cresciuta (Biga/ Pate Fermentee): 
1/4 cup Lukewarm water 
1/4 tsp Active dry yeast 
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
For the Dough: 
1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
1 cup Lukewarm water
2 tsp Honey
Already prepared Cresciuta 
2 to 2 1/2 cups Fine durum semolina flour
1/2 tsp Vital wheat gluten
1 tsp Salt 
1 tbsp Olive oil

Water for brushing on the bread
1/8 cup Sesame seeds

First make the Cresciuta. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl and stand it aside for about 10 minutes till it is frothy.

 Stir in the flour with a fork and loosely cover the bowl. Leave it in a slightly warm place, preferably overnight. 

 In a large bowl ), dissolve the yeast in the warm water mixed with the honey. Let it stand for 10 minutes till it is frothy. 

Add the cresciuta and mix well. Mix together 2 cups of the semolina, gluten and salt and add it to the bowl with the olive oil.

 Mix well and then add as much more semolina as is necessary until you have a smooth ball of dough Add additional flour a little at a time and knead well until you have a soft and smooth ball of dough.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it to coat well, then loosely cover and let the dough rise till about double in volume.

If you want to know how to shape as Mafalda check this video.

Deflate the dough, and then roll it out into a “rope” that is about 30” long. 

Place baking parchment on your baking tray, grease it lightly, and then gently lift up the rope of dough and place it on the baking tray. 

Curl the dough back and forth on itself leaving a 6 or 7 inch tail. Fold the tail over the shaped loaf. 
Loosely cover and let the shaped dough rise for 2 hours till almost double in size. 

Lightly brush the top of the dough with water and then sprinkle the sesame seeds over this pressing them in lightly with your fingers. 

Pre-heat your oven to 190C/ 375F. Place your baking tray with the dough  and bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is brown and done, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Cool on a rack completely before slicing.

Sesame seeded Semolina Bread


Rafeeda AR said... Reply To This Comment

looks so well made...

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said... Reply To This Comment

I am yet to bake this! Kust bought all the flours :) Looks good Priya!

Saraswathi Tharagaram said... Reply To This Comment

Looks great priya..will try it soon