Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Royal Crown’s Tortano (updated)

On many blogs I found the Maggie Glezer’s Royal Crown’s Tortano; a rustic bread. It looks great.
I made this bread a few times, and everytime it improves. At first I followed the instructions and the personal notes left by BrownEyedBaker Chelle, which were very helpful. Especially the first time I baked this bread, when the dough wasn’t pourably wet as Maggie wrote. Maybe because the first time I used only half of the amounts?

Today I was making the whole amount of 1200 gram, or two smaller ones. One to keep and one to give. This time the dough was pourably wet and it went as Maggie wrote. This is a bread that is fun to make and will make you happy. When you feel the silky soft dough you will know.

Peter asked for his favorite bread without the hole.
It was the first beautiful bread I ever baked. It doesn't only looks beautiful but tastes delicious. The crust is crunchy and it is full of big air holes. And it tastes deliciously chewy like sourdough bread.

Bake my day heeft een Nederlandse vertaling voor dit recept/gives a Dutch translation for this recipe.

Royal Crown’s Tortano
Recipe Quantity: One 1200 gram tortano
Time: About 19 hours, with about 20 minutes of active work.

Before Baking day:
¼ tl yeast into 240gr of lukewarm water (30C)
80 gr yeasted water, discard the rest
100 gr flour
1 potato (you need 60 gr of puree)

Stir the yeast into the water and let it stand for 5 – 10 minutes. Add 80 gr of this yeasted water (discard the rest) to the flour and mix well. It makes a very sticky starter. Cover with plastic wrap and let is stand for about 12 hours. If your kitchen is as hot as mine is, you can put it after 3 hours in the refrigerator.
Cook the potato till it is well done. If you like, reserve the water for the dough. With a fork you can puree it. Place it in the refrigerator till the next morning.

Baking day:
The morning of baking day, 30 – 60 minutes before starting, take the pre-ferment and the potato puree from the refrigerator.

575 gr flour
420 gr luke warm water, including the potato water if desired
14 grams honey
60 grams Potato puree
15 grams salt

Mix the flour and the water with a wooden spoon or your hands. It is very wet dough. Don’t put more flour in it, with time it will come together. Cover the dough and let rest (autolyse) for 10 – 20 minutes.

Use the dough hook. Add the pre-ferment, honey, potato and salt and the mix the dough on medium speed.

Be patient with the mixing. It will take 15 – 20 minutes. It is done when the dough wraps around the hook and cleans the bowl. You can almost pour the dough into the container or on the work surface.

Let the dough slide into a big container covered with flour. Roll it in flour and shape the dough into a ball. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it ferment until doubled in bulk and filled with large air bubbles, this will take about 4 hours.

Stretch and fold the dough, using plenty of dusting flour, 4 times after 20, 40, 60, and 80 minutes of fermenting. Then leave the dough undisturbed for the remaining time. Do not allow this dough to over ferment.

Turn the fermented dough out onto a well floured work surface, round it and let it rest for 20 minutes. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour over the center of the ball. Push your fingers into the center to make a hole, the rotate your hand around the hole to widen it, making a large 12 cm opening.
Place the dough smooth side down on the floured couche or board and dust the surface with more flour. Drape it with plastic wrap and let it proof until it is light and slowly springs back when lightly pressed, about 1 1/2 hours.

The first time I made this bread I had no idea how to keep the dough together. I used bakingpaper and used a stapler. It turned out ok.

Pre-heat your oven to 230 C. Place the baking stone in it.

Unwrap the bread and flip it onto a floured peel or a sheet of parchment paper. Do not worry about damaging the bread as you handle it; it will recover in the oven as long as it is not over proofed. Slash it with 4 radial cuts in the shape of a cross. Slide the loaf onto the hot baking stone and bake until it is very dark brown, 40 -50 minutes, rotating it halfway into the bake. Let the bread cool on a rack.

Source: Artisan Baking Across America by Maggie Glazer
and BrownEyedBaker


  1. I did not know there was honey in this bread, but still it was delicious.

  2. This was the first bread the babes baked and it's still one of my most favorites. It's why we bake bread.

    1. Hi Tanna, it's our favorite too. I like to work with dough for a while and this is so silky. And off course it tastes great!

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