We’re baking Lariano Style Bread (Pane di Lariano) at the Bread Baking Babes this month. Elizabeth, our kitchen of the month, picked this recipe based on Jim Lahey’s Truccio Saré recipe from his book, The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook.
Lariano is a town in Italy outside Rome. They grow a special variety of wheat and this flour is used to make Lariano Bread. Jim Lahey describes the bread as “dusky gray and has a peculiar grit to it. […] My absolute favorite part is the crust. At a very high temperature, when the crust browns so thoroughly that it is just beginning to blacken in places, the whole wheat begins to caramelize. The flavors that result are out of this world—a sweet, chewy tangle of wheat, coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel.”
He has a recipe for something similar to Lariano Bread and he calls the whole wheat sourdough Truccio Saré. According to him, that name means nothing in any language because he made it up!
Quoting him from his cookbook, “[…] When I came up with the truccio formula a few years ago, I wanted to give it a beautiful name. I had previously sold a loaf called the casreccio—which means “homemade.” […] so I took “casareccio” and dropped the ca, kept the saré and ccio parts, and reversed them. I also felt that the new loaf looked a bit like a torpedo. (In the bakery, the truccio is an oblong shape.) So I add a t for good measure. The end product was truccio saré, which I hope you will agree has a nice ring to it.”
The Lariano Style Bread is sourdough bread that is made with a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. As expected it takes a little time to make. What is interesting here is the use of a sourdough starter to make a biga which is very firm and like bread dough itself. The other thing is that the bread is baked until the crust is really dark and almost burnt in places.
I have a trusty resident sourdough starter in my fridge. It’s a 100% hydration starter and always bubbles up on demand no matter how much I neglect it. So that’s what I used for the biga. I also didn’t bake my boule too dark because we’re not fans of “Almost burnt” crusts. Otherwise I stuck pretty much to the recipe. As is my practice, I went with volume measurements. If you prefer weight measurements please check Elizabeth’s recipe.
I also found that the times given for the fermentoation of the biga and dough a bit on the higher side. This is probably because it’s very hot here right now. I’m at present, living with 35C temperatures. So my biga was ready in about 8 to 10 hours instead of the 24 hours suggested. So also, the first rise took about 1 1/4 hours and the second rise took about 40 minutes.
Normally, most recipes for sourdough bread would suggest using a pre-heated Dutch Oven or cast iron pot. I have been reading about using a cold pot and people say there’s hardly any difference in the bread. I don’t particularly enjoy juggling a very Dutch Oven, risen dough that could collapse easily and an even hotter oven. So for the first time, I tried baking my bread without pre-heating my Dutch Oven. It worked perfectly as you can see. I’m never again going to bother with pre-heating my Dutch Oven for sourdough bread.
I found my bread did not have a very open crumb and was slightly dense. None of this took away from the bread though. Jim Lahey says this bread is great for soaking up sauce and soups, sandwiches and for eating with soft, slightly stinky cheeses. I don’t know about the stinky cheese as I don’t like those. Otherwise, I would agree with him.
The Bread Baking Babes are –
The Bread Baking Babes (BBB) is a closed group, but you’re most welcome to bake with us as a Bread Baking Buddy. Here’s how it works.
Elizabeth is this month’s Kitchen of the Month. Bake the Lariano Style Bread 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 her with your name and the link to the post, or leave a comment on her blog post with this information. She will do a Buddy round-up for this month on her blog and send you a BBB badge to add to your post on your blog.