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Italian Bread with yeast starter

Large MargeLarge Marge Posts: 404
edited 5:40AM in EggHead Forum
I've never baked (other than pizza) on the BGE, this was a great first try at a loaf of bread. The past month or so I've gotten into live yeast starter cultures, in an effort to figure out real Neapolitan-style pizza... the kind you find in just a few choice spots outside of Italy. Will post pics later this week once I get it right (it's hard!) I had some leftover active culture so I thought I'd make this Pane Cafone - recipe and yeast I obtained through Ed Wood's Sourdough website and book. Making a sourdough starter isn't hard but it does take time and a few cool tools. Fortunately the BGE is a fantastic baking oven!

The "raws"-- just a ball o yeasty dough using an Italian yeast culture from Camaldoli region near Naples, proofed for 12 hours, then shaped and proofed for 3 more.

Puffed up like a Corn Pop but what a crust! 15min at 425 then 40min at 375, turned once and spritzed a couple of times with water.

The finished product- very hearty, dipped great in EVOO and a very mild taste, not sour at all.


  • HossHoss Posts: 14,587
    YUM-YUM!!! :)
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,171
    Nice looking loaf. I love baking bread on the egg. Can I share one tip I've learned?

    When you're doing a loaf that you want that shiny, crunchy crust - the best thing you can do is give it a little steam toward the end of the cook. What I have done is put an empty, dry metal pie pan on top of the grid and under the platesetter (which has legs down).

    When you want the steam just hit that pan with a few healthy squirts from a spray bottle then quickly shut the dome. This will give you a quick egg full of steam without getting the bread too wet.
  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    Very interesting stuff you are delving into Joe. Mmmm, I might be picking your brain very soon. Thanks for this post. Great lookig bread! I'd love to taste that.
    Colorado Springs
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    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • You want the steam EARLY in the bake, almost immediately, as it is key in crust development. It helps maintain some elasticity in the dough during the oven spring.
  • Thx Rod - Wood's book mentioned some ways to get some humidity in there, that's a good way to get it done w/ the pan. Will try that next time - I love the crusty crust, but my wife wanted chewy (tip Wood gives for that is the spray bottle mist right on the bread a few times during the bake).
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    Hmmm,,, I'll bet thats good with some thinly sliced Italian beef :woohoo: :laugh:
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,171
    I need to check out that book. I've been going through Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice - it's amazing the stuff you can learn from reading their techniques and trying some of their recipes. I made the best wheat bread I've ever had last week using one of Reihart's "simple" loaves.
  • I need to get that one. I have Reinhart's "American Pie" and it's a great read, followed by some decent pizza dough recipes. The guy I'm emulating is Jeff Varasano who opened Varasano's Pizza on Peachtree near Piedmont Hospital - he's making Neapolitan pies using yeast starters and they're phenomenal. He posts his recipe online and I'm taking it from there. He's the one who suggests Ed Wood's book - but at his site you can order starter cultures from all over the world - a great deal at $15 per package, and one package can last a lifetime if you take care of it. Cool stuff
  • mkcmkc Posts: 540
    Wow - just - Wow!

    I have tried making sourdough starter on my own, but even with the "wild cocker spaniel yeast" around here, I never get anything remotely usable. And I'm really bad about keeping them fed.

    Sad, because one of our favorites is Edouard's Baguette from Central Market, which is a sourdough-started loaf. I would love to duplicate that at home, but along with neglecting houseplants, I lack the sourdough "green thumb" :(
    Egging in Denton, Texas
  • Joe, Your bread looks delicious. Do you know if Ed Wood sells a starter for panettone?
  • Nice bread Joe

  • BENTEBENTE Posts: 8,337
    looks great joe!!!

    i am working on my bread!!

    someday.... :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: ;)

    yours looks great!! B)

    happy eggin


    Anderson S.C.

    "Life is too short to be diplomatic. A man's friends shouldn't mind what he does or says- and those who are not his friends, well, the hell with them. They don't count."

    Tyrus Raymond Cobb

  • WokOnMediumWokOnMedium Posts: 1,376
    That's a pretty loaf, I'm working on my proofing box.
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