A Stir The Pots Post

Casareccio like Bonci

by | Oct 14, 2011 | Bread

If you haven't heard of Gabriele Bonci, investigate! He's the guru of Roman style pizza, as well as a bread baker. He truly knows dough. Hes' something of a star on Italian daytime TV, with a segment doing all sorts of different things with dough. While imposing in stature, but delicate with dough, his hands express themselves poetically, manipulating the dough with accent and panache.

Since my mind (or hands) haven't yet quite captured his pizza style yet, I'd venture in making a Pane Casareccio, or home style bread. My only adaption was with 100 percent levain, and also discarding commercial yeast. Take a look at the video here. As the maestro says, "Pane (bread) saves lives." So true.

While preparing this early in the morning, I had to go out to shop for what I thought would only be an hour or two, sufficient time for a bulk proof. Not so lucky. It was more like 3.5 hours when I got back. So I knocked back the dough, shaped and retarded it overnight in the fridge.


Next morning, straight into the oven it went even with some trepidation, I decided to leave it without a slash of my lame, giving a rustic look, instead I got a shiny round and brown thing….. Crumb, sensational, even though a bread friend commented about crumbs, " you male hole obsessed bakers should judge a bread by taste and mouth feel rather than just big holes!" Well, taste was amazing, sweet and just a slight acidity, this is a keeper and just worth smearing or layering with good things!


  1. David Aplin

    Jeremy, As a hedonistic hole hunter I can tell you that the size of the hole has nuttin to do with the taste. That is a post 911 Amerikan construct. Anyone who has attended a baking class and seen the large irregular holes of the so-called artisan bread returns home with a bit of “hole envy”. It has been said that the bakers true skill is how he/she manages fermentation and that is what we/he/you/they/me need to stay focussed on. Remember that German rye breads have none of the French esthetic concerning hole size yet those breads are packed with flavour. Ja?
    I love the picture of the unscored boule, it has a refreshing honesty and obviously it has vanished down your gullet, so you must have done something right.

  2. Jeremy

    Mister Aplisnki,
    Your quite right about holes… but even more correct that fermentation and handling the relationship of said levain to make a worthy and tasty product. Reminds me of my days in the 80’s kitchen scene, when tall, high, and visual food took way too much importance over the taste which is always the key, few ingredients and how to manage the products own gift of flavors already provided.
    This is a happy loaf indeed and I will make it over and over again.

  3. Judd

    great looking bread…and the crumb looks so lite and airy….


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