Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pane Duro - Home Made Crispy Bread

Have you noticed how very Italian this blog is, especially the food section? Well, today's recipe is probably one hundred years old and very Sicilian (that's where I'm from). When I was growing up, my mother made homemade bread, but it's not like the Italian bread you're used to seeing at the bakery. This bread is rustic, crispy, and tremendously delicious. It can be eaten hot while it's still soft or it can be kept in a warm oven for a few hours or so (after it's been cut in half), till it's crispy.

pane cunsatu e pane duro

for each bread you will need:
2           cups flour
1           cup warm water
1           env. yeast
1           tbs. olive oil

make this bread in my electric mixer with dough hooks.  
Place flour in bowl.  Dissolve yeast in warm water and add salt & extra virgin olive oil.  When totally dissolved, about 5 minutes, add to flour mixture and mix till dough is in one ball.  Allow dough to grow in warm place with wet towel in a well greased bowl.  
Recently, I made the bread one day ahead and refrigerated it.  The bread comes crunchier and airier for some reason.  
If you make it the same day, let it rise twice.  After the first time, press the dough down and let it grow again, then bake in 3750 for at least 35 minutes. 

When it comes hot out of the oven, cut bread in half with serrated knife, or if you want to do it the old fashion way, take a thin rope and wrap it around the center of the bread, cut through.  To serve it soft and hot, drizzle olive oil on both halves, add anchovy pieces, provolone and oregano.  
For pane duro, cut bread in half and place back in  2500   oven for two – three hours more till it is crispy.  This would be an accompaniment to the soups.

© Natala Orobello

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