Breads & Breakfasts

Il Fornaio's Pan Marino Laurie & Steve

This was our favorite bread when we lived in California. Some of you had it when you came to visit! We eat if for breakfast lightly toasted and spread with butter. I have simplified the recipe as I've used it.

Made with Biga*:

1 & 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups cool tap water
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup biga (see below)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 & 1/2 teaspoon regular salt
6 to 6 & 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Made without Biga:

1 & 5/8 tsp. active dry yeast
2 & 1/4 cups cool tap water
4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary
1 & 1/2 teaspoon regular salt
6 & 1/2 to 7 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)

Sprinkle yeast over water and let stand until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add milk, rosemary, regular salt, 4 cups flour, and biga (if used). With dough hook or spoon, mix in 1 & 1/2 cups more flour. If using dough hook, knead about 8 minutes or until dough is no longer sticky and pulls cleanly from bowl; add flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, if needed. If kneading by hand, knead 10-15 minutes, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Place dough in an oiled bowl, oil top, and cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured board. Repeat rising in an oiled bowl until doubled again, 1 & 1/2 hours. Punch down and knead briefly. Divide dough in half; form into two smooth balls. Place on a large, well-floured cookie sheet. Oil top lightly and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until dough is puffy and holds a faint impression when lightly pressed, about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. With a very sharp knife, slash an asterisk about 1/4-inch deep and 6-inches across on top of dough. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Using a spray bottle, mist loaf and walls of oven (avoid light bulb). Put dough in oven and remist oven. Bake until bread is deep golden, about 30 minutes. Cool on rack.

*Biga is a sponge or Italian yeast starter used to enhance flavor and texture. Personally, I can't tell the difference between using it or not.

Here's the recipe for biga:
In a bowl, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast over 1/2-cup cool water. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1-cup bread flour until combined. Chill airtight at least 24 hours or up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 cup

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