Pane di Mais
(Corn Flour Bread)
Adapted from Come Fare il Pane in Casa, by Anna Bisio, published in 1997 by Giovanni De Vecchi Editore in Milan, Italy.
Pan di mais (also pangiallo ["Yellow Bread"] in Lombardy), is a bread traditionally made in the Veneto region of Italy. Since it was less expensive than other breads, it was also known as "Il pane dei poveri" or "the bread of the poor". The proportions of cornmeal to other flour may vary.
2 /14 Tsp. Yeast - Active Dry or 9/10 cake yeast (15 g.) 1/4 Cup Water - warm (59 g.) 3/4 Cup Flour - unbleached all-purpose (100g.)
Starter All From above 1 3/4 Cups + 2 Tbl. Flour - unbleached all-purpose (250g.) 3/4 Cup + 3 Tbl. Flour - finely ground corn (150g.) [See Note] 1 Tsp. Salt (5 g.) 1 Cup + 4-4 Tbl. Water (266-296 ml)
Note 1:Finely ground polenta or corn meal may be substituted for finely ground corn flour. Adjust water accordingly.
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water and allow it to stand for approximately 5-10 minutes. Add the flour (3/4 cup) to this mixture and mix until the flour is absorbed. Cover the starter and allow it to remain at room temperature for 3 hours.
Place the flour (1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons and 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) on the work surface, and make a well. Place the starter in the center of the well. Dissolve the salt (1 teaspoon), in the water (1cup plus 2 tablespoons). Mix the flour, and salted water into the starter and mix until the ingredients form a shaggy mass. Knead this mixture until a homogenous and elastic dough is formed. (Add additional water if needed.)
Cover the dough with a warm cotton towel and allow it to rest at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume (approximately 60 minutes).
Turn the risen dough onto a flour dusted work surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, gently rounding each one. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes. Dust a piece of canvas (untreated, 100% cotton), or a proofing board (lumber core plywood) with flour. Cup your hands beneath the dough and gently fold sections of it toward the center as you roll it on the work surface until it is round. Turn the dough over, roll it on the work surface, and place it on the canvas or board. Repeat with the second portion of dough. Cover the dough with a cotton towel. Allow the dough to rise until it is nearly double (approximately 35 minutes).
As the dough is rising, place a baking stone in the oven and set the temperature to 450 F. Allow the oven to heat for 30 minutes.
Ease your hands beneath the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Slash the surface of each portion of dough. Slide a bakerís peel beneath the parchment paper. Lower the oven temperature to 425 F. Slide the parchment paper from the peel onto the baking stone. Quickly spray the oven walls using a plastic spray bottle filled with cold water. Spray again in 5-minute intervals within the first 15 minutes. Allow the dough to bake until it is a deep golden color (approximately 20 more minutes).
Remove the loaves from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Last updated on:06/22/99 07:24:04 PM