Saturday, May 14, 2011

Il Pane di Matera

Today I wanted to make something special. I found huge funny looking bread; Il Pane di Matera. Tim, the breadbakingbassplayer, had baked it and it looked great.
Luckily he has a link with a video on how to shape this loaf. It's tough to explain, I agree. When I started it was sticky dough; 71% hydration. I needed wet hands to touch it. Stretching and folding the dough gives it strength, but for this bread you just stretch and fold one time. I wanted to do more folds, but kept to the instructions. It worked, the dough was still sticky, but workable. I watched the video, I couldn’t have shaped my loaf without it. 
Tim adjusted the original recipe by using sourdough starter to make a biga naturale and used all purpose flour. This works for me, because I have no Durum flour.

This is what I used for 1 loaf:
Biga Naturale
125 gr all purpose flour
63  gr sourdough starter 100% hydration
72  gr water
Final Dough
500 gr all purpose flour
341 gr water
252 gr biga naturale
15  gr sea salt
3   gr dried instant yeast
This is what I did:
I didn’t used the electric mixer for this dough. Mix the ingredients for the biga naturale, cover with plastic and leave for 3 hours. Prepare the final dough. Mix the flour and water for 2 – 3 minutes, until combined well. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rest. This is basically a long autolyse.
After 3 hours; sprinkle the salt and yeast over the flour/water mixture. Add the biga naturale in pieces. Knead for a few minutes until well combined and the yeast and salt are dissolved in the dough. This will take about 5 minutes.  Do not add flour.  If the dough sticks, just wet your hands and continue.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Stretch and fold the dough, cover and let rest for 30 minutes
Pre shape the dough into a boule. Transfer the boule to a lightly oiled bowl, big enough to rice twice the size. Cover and let rise for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 260˚C, prepare for steaming. I used the cake form with hot stones and some water for steaming. Tim has a convection oven, I don’t. 
With a plastic scraper, gently scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, shape (watch the video.  It's tough to explain this one…). I placed the dough on parchment paper, as you can see on the video they place the dough directly on the stone (oven floor).
Bake at 230˚C for 15 minutes with steam. Then bake another 15 minutes at 220˚C and 30 minutes at 200˚C. Turn off oven, and leave in for another 15 minutes, I left the door ajar.  Cool completely before cutting. 
Taking these photos I saw my loaf looks a bit like a big pig with piglets. Doesn't it look cute?
I found this on the Freshloaf, made by Tim the breadbakingbassplayer 
   I send this to Yeastspotting 


  1. Awesome looking bread, Connie.

    It looks like a giant bear claw.

  2. Sue, You're right it does look more like a giant bear claw than like a big pig with piglets. I wonder what it will look like next time I bake this delicious bread.