When I lived and worked in Italy, I made this bread everyday. It’s a slow fermented bread that is high in hydration. If there we ever any leftovers, I got to take them home with me; the life of a starving student!
I found this recipe in one of my first notebooks we cooks collect our recipes in. I have filled out several of these over the years. This is a favourite of mine! You can top you bread with halved grapes, sliced figs, rosemary, tomatoes or any fresh herb from the garden you like. This bread is delicious as is, or split in half can be used to make a proper Panini. I love mine stuffed with mortadella, arugula, fresh mozzarella/bocconcini, prosciutto cotto and pistachio pesto.
3 1/4 cups (400g) All-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups (320ml) Warm Water
1 Teaspoon Instant Dry yeast
1.5t sp (8g) Salt
In a bowl whisk flour together with the yeast.
Pour in the water and stir using a spoon.
Add the salt and stir to combine.
You should obtain a sticky dough, don’t try to knead or over-stir.
Cover and let it chill for about 30 min, and then place in the fridge overnight.
The day after your dough will look like the one in the dough will have doubled in size and full of little bubbles.
Using a spoon, punch down the dough, trying to fold its edges into the center.
Place over a tray that is generously spread with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil on the top. Cover with a plastic wrap and wait for the second rise.
Now use your hands to flatten the dough and your fingers to poke the typical holes.
Bake at 450F for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Now if you want you can make it into a Panini.
Chef ILona Daniel is Harrowsmith’s Food Editor and the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, and community and culture development. She has worked on projects around the world and is on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI. Chef Ilona is a media personality, and a Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada.