Panmarino (Italian Rosemary Bread)
It’s been a crazy couple of months here with so much going on that I’m running like mad just to stay where I am and get everything done. And now with the daughter leaving for college this weekend and the Indian Bloggers Meet happening in less than two weeks from now I only wish there were a few more hours than 24 in each day!
I was just on Facebook when I stared seeing a couple of posts from fellow Bread Baking Babeswhen I realised that today was the posting deadline for this month’s bread. For a change, I actually baked my bread over a week back but then the photographs I took were still in the camera till a couple of hours back.
Given that I don’t have too much time on my hands, this post is going to be very short and to the point, mostly. This month’s BBB bread, chosen for us by Cathy from BreadExperience, is the Panmarino.
The Panmarino is an Italian bread that is generously flavoured with fresh rosemary and olive oil. This golden coloured rustic loaf is known for its light crumb and crisp crust with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt.
As the story goes, the recipe for the Panmarino as it is known today, was developed a baker named Luciano Pancalde who lived in Ferrara near Venice. Luciano Panclade apparently was once reading the biography of the d'Este family who were the rulers of Ferrara, and came across descriptions of their grand court banquets. Some of these banquets also served a rosemary bread that had a sea salt sprinkled crust that “sparkled with diamonds”
So Lucioano Panclade experimented with dough to reproduce a similar rosemary bread and the result was the dome shaped, star patterned and sea salt crusted Panmarino that is perfumed with the fragrance of rosemary.
The Panmarino takes some time and little planning ahead, but most of the 18 to 20 hours it takes to make is spent on the overnight Biga or pre-ferment. Kneading the bread, shaping it, letting it rise and baking it just takes as much time as a regular loaf of bread would. There are recipes for Panmarino which take just a couple of hours to make, but the traditional version involves the use of a pre-ferment which gives the bread its texture and flavour.
I halved the original recipe and chose to bake the dough as one large boule instead of two smaller ones. Even that was a little on the larger side for our family of three. I didn’t have anything like a couche that would ensure that my boule would have a bit of height, and it did spread a wee bit even though I shaped it hoping the gluten cloak would hold it in (which it mostly did). I decided against slashing the boule because I was worried that might cause my boule to flatten out a bit more. I’ll be honest and confess that my bread dough slashing skills aren’t the finest especially when dealing with the more hydrated sourdough kind of stuff.
All in all, my Panmarino turned out pretty good even though there were no "sparkling diamonds" on mine, serve with roasted bell pepper and tomato soup. Though I must advice you that if you’re not a fan of rosemary, then you might think this bread’s a big deal. So leave out the rosemary and still bake this bread because it is a good one.
- Start with preparing the Biga or pre-ferment. Do this the night previous to the day you’re planning to bake the Panmarino. Combine the flour, water and yeast in a bowl and mix together with a spoon or fork. You should have a somewhat viscous semi-liquid dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest overnight, or for about 12 to 16 hours, at room temperature.
- Making the Final Dough.Put the bread flour, water, milk, and biga in the processor bowl. Using a machine makes kneading easier but you can do this by hand too. Knead till blended. Then add the salt and the yeast and knead well till smooth. When the gluten is well developed add the olive oil and the rosemary. Knead well until oil is absorbed into the dough. The dough should be smooth, well kneaded and a little loose.
- Scrape the dough into a well-oiled bowl and cover loosely. Let it rise till almost double. This should take about 1 hour or so.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two equal portions (if making 2 smaller boules). Shape the portions of dough into rounds. Let them rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. If you have couches then use that. Do see the original recipe on how to work with that.
- Otherwise, shape each round of dough making sure the that you don’t tear the gluten cloak. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Loosely cover them and let them rise for about an hour.
- Just before baking, pre-heat your oven to 230C (450F) with a baking stone or an over turned baking sheet on the rack and an empty baking pan under it.
- Uncover the dough and score the top of each loaf in a star pattern using a lame or sharp knife. You can, if you like, sprinkle sea salt into the crevices as the original baker did to make it "sparkle with diamonds."
- Carefully place your loaves in the oven. To make the steam (this will give you a good crust), add 1 cup of ice to the empty baking tray under the rack. Bake the loaves for about 35 to 40 minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown on top and the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
The Bread Baking Babes:
Though the Bread Baking Babes (BBB) are a closed group, you can still bake with us as a Bread Baking Buddy and here’s how it works.
The Kitchen of the Month this month is Cathy's and the recipe for this month’s bread is on her blog. Bake the eaujolais Bread according to that recipe and post it on your blog before the 28th of this month. Make sure you mention the Bread Baking Babes and link to her BBB post in your own post.
Then e-mail Cathy with your name and the link to the post, or leave a comment on her blog post with this information. She will then do a Buddy round-up for this month on her blog and also send you a BBB badge for this bread that you can then add to your post on your blog.