First from the Italian Bread Project: Sourdough Pane de Como

First from the Italian Bread Project: Sourdough Pane de Como 1

Sourdough Pane de Como

The sourdough Pane de Como from the Italian bread project was a great success.  Light, flavourful crumb and thin, delicate, crispy crust.  Because of the addition of malt syrup it has no “sour” flavour at all from the sourdough and has risen and baked with a lovely, even distribution of tiny holes and would, thus, make nice sandwiches if that is what you wanted to do with it.

Here is the recipe, converted for sourdough.  The original is taken from the 1985 edition of The Italian Baker by Carol Field published by Harper and Row in the USA, p 102.  This is the edition I will use throughout this particular project.

Sourdough Pane de Como

Day 1

20 g rye sourdough
1 tsp malt syrup
1/3 cup warm water (80 grams)
2/3 cups warm milk (160 grams)
135 grams white wheat flour (I used whole wheat strong bread flour – all I had)

Mix, cover, and let sit overnight

Day 2

500 grams warm water
860 grams white wheat flour (As above)
1 T (15 grams) salt

Mix the refreshed sourdough and the water until it is thoroughly blended.  Add the flour and the salt and knead for 10 minutes.  It should be sticky and elastic.

Put in a well oiled bowl and let it rest for 90 minutes

Don’t punch them down. Pull gently out of the bowl, divide into two equal pieces and give them a little stretch and fold, and then then shape them into loaves, put them in the form of your choice (tin, basket, bowl) and let them rest for 60 minutes or so.  Do the “probe” test for proofing and try to make sure they don’t over rise.

Next up:  Pane de Como Antico o Pane Francese.  I have saved some of the Pane de Como dough for the Biga needed to make this “Como Bread of the Past, Known Today as French Bread”.  Watch this space.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C or 400 F for 50 minutes.

6 Replies to “First from the Italian Bread Project: Sourdough Pane de Como”

  1. Jane, want to try this, where do i get malt syrup from? And can i substitute whole wheat for white all the way through, even for refreshing the sourdough? How might that taste?

    1. Hi there, you ca buy malt syrup at most health food shops and I did use whole wheat all the way through. Don’t use up all your rye starter through. If you have only a small amount, refresh it first with rye flour and then use some of the refreshed dough to make the bread, starting with “day 1” instructions. If you have a lot of rye sourdough in the fridge just use it straight from there.

  2. Hi, I am new to bread making. What do you mean by refreshed sourdough starter?. I plan to try some of these breads. Do I have to do something to the rye starter to refresh it before adding it to the rest of the bread ingredients? Thanks Susan

    1. Hi Susan, I translated all the yeast recipes in The Italian Baker into sourdough recipes, hence the statement about the starter. If you would like to make them with yeast (as they are in the original) you can buy the book. IT’s an excellent, comprehensive book of Italian baking.

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