Pane di Como makes a big white loaf, with a mild flavour and open crumb. The recipe (like most of the Italian breads in this section of the book) starts off with a yeasted biga (60% hydration) that is left to ferment overnight in the fridge. However, instead of this i just fed my stiff SD starter and left at RT overnight. All up you need 405g of 60% biga or SD preferment (I used 80g starter, 150g water and 250g AP flour - this gave me some left over to put back in the fridge).
The dough is VERY wet, so I opted to use Mr P my KitchenAid for the kneading.
Dough = 405g "biga", 400g water, 500 bread flour, 13g salt (+10g instant yeast if you follow the recipe). I kneaded all of this on Mr P for about 12 minutes. It turned out smooth, shiny and elastic, and I'm glad I didn't try kneading it by hand! I know it comes good after a while, but I just didn't fancy the slopping around of the porridge-like dough on the bench (yes . . . i've gone soft!)
I left the dough to ferment at RT. Folded at 1hr and 2hrs post knead. Then after about 3hrs fermenting (it had risen again to the top of the bowl) I shaped it into 2 rounds. The dough was soft and very billowy, so i was extra gentle with my shaping.
I should have baked it after 1hr proofing, but I got distracted and it had 1.5hrs before heading into the oven, which I think was slightly over done.
I baked them at 450F (230C) with steam for 30minutes. The crust was supposed to be a glossy red-brown, but my turned out a glossy golden brown - maybe they could have done with a bit longer?!
The crust was quite thin, the loaves soft and springy, and the bread delicately flavoured with a nice open crumb. if you like a nice soft, light loaf, then this one is for you :o)
K.Happiness is making bread!!