Pane Integrale con Miele. Wholemeal Bread

Now that we are six, four adults and two children, bread making has become an imperative. My extended family continue to buy white packet bread for school lunches, a bread that I am unable to eat. The other breads used in the household- bread to go with soup, bread after school with vegemite, toasting bread, bread for bruschetta or crostini, come from my oven. This is not just about economy, domestic goddessing or matriarchy, although some of those factors do kick in from time to time. Melbourne’s winters are unpleasant, to put it kindly, and when I’m not running away from the cold, I’m baking, a great excuse to stay indoors and keep warm.

This month, I am revisiting yeasted breads thanks to Leah of the ‘Cookbook Guru‘, who is featuring Carol Field’s The Italian Baker this month. I love this book; it is a great read even if you never bake from it. Her discussion of flour, although comparing Italian flour with American, is enlightening. To date, I have only tried five of her recipes: focaccia, (her method is unusual and produces a great result), pizza, ciabatta, a nut cake and pane integrale. My plan is to stay with Carol Field, twice a week, for a month and to post the results.

Wholemeal Bread with Honey – Pane Integrale con Miele.

Recipe makes one round loaf.

STARTER

  • ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 160 g or 2/3 cup warm water
  • 200 g unbleached white flour

Stir the yeast into the water in a mixing bowl: let stand for about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour with 70- 100 strokes of a wooden spoon. Let rise, covered, for 6 to 24 hours. Measure 50 g for the recipe and discard (or stash) the rest.

DOUGH

  • 1¾ teaspoons or 5 g dry active yeast
  • 35 g honey
  • 360 g or 1½ cups warm water
  • 500 g wholemeal flour ( organic and stoneground if available)
  • 7.5 g or 1½ teaspoons salt.

METHOD.

In most of her recipes, Carol Field offers instructions for making bread by hand, by stand mixer ( such as a Kitchen Aid ) and by processor. I use a standard sized Kitchen Aid in all my bread recipes.

BY MIXER

Stir the yeast into the honey and water in a mixing bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add the starter and stir with the paddle until the starter is shredded or disappears. Add the flour and salt and mix with the paddle until the flour comes together. Change to the dough hook and knead for at least 2 minutes at low speed, then 2 minutes at medium speed. The dough should be fairly smooth and have lost most of its stickiness. Finish kneading briefly by hand.

First rise. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. ( or do an overnight slower rise in the fridge)

Shaping and Second Rise. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and shape into a round loaf without punching down. Place the loaf on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornflour. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled ( around 1 hour).

Baking. Preheat oven to 220ºC, fan forced. If you are using a baking stone, preheat it, then sprinkle with cornmeal and slide the loaf onto it. Otherwise, use the baking sheet. Bake at 220ºC for 10 minutes, spraying the oven three times with water. Reduce heat to 200º C and bake for 25 minutes longer. Cool completely on rack.

This recipe results in a dense, slightly sweet bread. At 100% wholemeal, you feel healthy just thinking about it.

wholemeal convert

In the good the old days, Italian fornai still produced a dark wholemeal bread. I recall hard, nutty little wholemeal loaves and focaccie made in the forni around Assisi during the 1980s. I couldn’t find any decent wholemeal bread during my last trip there in 2011. Carol Field mentions that whole wheat flour, containing the husk and wheat germ, has almost disappeared from Italy. Often breads passing as Pane Integrale are made from refined white flour with a quantity of bran thrown in!

It turns out that I have posted on this bread before- it must be good!

https://almostitalian.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/italian-wholemeal-and-honey-bread-pane-integrale/

And other posts from the Italian Baker:

https://almostitalian.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/my-italian-baking-bible/

https://almostitalian.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/flattery-will-get-you-a-pizza/

 

37 thoughts on “Pane Integrale con Miele. Wholemeal Bread”

  1. Great looking bread Francesca. Like you I cannot eat white “fairy floss” bread, and I find it sad that there are kids out there who judge all bread against. Bread should be nutritious and there’s no doubt the loaves that you bake are.

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  2. love the look of this bread Francesca, the crumb looks lovely and light. Hope you’re enjoying the sudden flush of sunshine here in Queensland if you’re still here. Thank you to for sharing this book with us to be a part of The Cookbook Guru. Leah

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  3. Very good bread indeed….I can’t understand why people choose to eat the thing called “white bread”..the sliced unreal stuff. You only have to roll a bit of it between your fingers to note that the grey, sticky ball produced has nothing to do with bread:)

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  4. As I sit here eating my weekend sourdough, spread with olive oil, goats cheese and topped with capers, I’m hearing you loud and clear. When I first started making bread, way too many years ago I was cross because it didn’t look like ‘fluffy bunny’ stuff. I finally realised it didn’t have too! Awaiting further post eagerly. Welcome back to the fridge!

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    1. Hmm, like your style re sourdough toppings. You don;t need a big fancy new kitchen to eat like that!. I put my sourdough starter to sleep and she will be revived in early September due to our winter travels. This is my excuse ( plus Leah’s cookbook monthly) to indulge in yeasted breads by Carol Field. Away with wettex bread!

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  5. Glad to see you are having good results with Field. Your pane integrale looks fabulous. Funnily enough, proper whole wheat flour is also difficult to source in Greece. I love Field’s bread chapters, but the section on pastry is driving me nuts. Nice for you to be back home and baking bread again.

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  6. The crumb of this one looks great for 100% wholemeal – I’ve been making David Leibovitz’ version of Irish brown bread (100% WM also) recently which has a lovely crust but is a bit harder to cut neat slices of that yours seems to be…

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    1. It is great when it’s fresh. We ate it quickly. I suspect it doesn’t keep as well as a good sourdough though. I love soda bread- must check out Leibovitz’s recipe.

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        1. yes, I do, and sometimes I let it slow rise in the fridge for a day as I have trouble with fresh yeast or too much yeast. I also roll the dough out on baking paper so I can lift the

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