Pane Cafone (Country man’s bread)

Today I made a loaf of sourdough bead with the leftovers from feeding the culture. You get a awful lot of spent batter when you feed a culture for a number of cycles. Usually, these go down the drain. But I pored off a cup of the active culture and used it in a rather simple recipe to make bread.

measurement ingredient
500 grams flour
1 cup water
1 cup active starter
2 teaspoons salt

I used the wet kneading process where you 1) only add 75% of the flour and the other ingredients 2) autolyze for 20 minutes 3) knead for 6 minutes 4) add the rest of the flour while still kneading. It proofed for 5 hours. And it didn’t rise all that much (maybe doubled in size).

Pictures and more after the cut…

dough in pan

I then punched it down and formed it into a blob like structure on some parchment paper. It didn’t look all that tall (maybe 1 inch high). And let it proof for three more hours.

cooked loaf top

I then cooked it for 15 minutes at 450 and 45 minutes at 350. I was a little worried when I put it in the oven as it hadn’t risen that much at all. But the “oven spring” was amazing. It sprung up from 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches tall. The steam and last ditch yeast action really puffed it up!

cooked loaf side

Now that is a big loaf! Nine to ten inches long and eight inches across.

cut loaf

Of course I just had to cut it up after it cooled down a bit. And spread butter over it. Mmmmm…

French toast

And, in the morning, I made French toast with it. Which is pretty hard to get just right. The bread needs to be dried out a little bit. It can’t be soft or it will not hold up in the egg mixture. You should let the bread soak up the custard. I cooked it in some saved bacon fat. The outside should be nicely caramelized and the inside creamy.