|Pão de Bico|
This bread came about after someone posted a comment about a bread he used to eat, but the bakery closed. The description he gave me fit the Papo de Secos but he said it was a larger bread, not a roll.
Pão de Bico is really a giant Papo -so I made this recipe to share with John.
|Bico = 'beak'|
Pão de Bico is interesting because 'Bico' means beak (like a chicken) and the bread is always dusted with flour and scored the long way to resemble a 'chicken beak'.
It always amazes me what we can do with flour, water and salt! The secret to the large holes is to have a moist dough and avoid over handling the dough. This allows the air pockets to remain. The down-side is, wet (high hydration) dough is much more difficult to work with. You need to practice and get the feel of working with and shaping a sticky dough.
2 cups bread flour
1/8 cup rye flour
1 1/4 cup spring water
3/4 cup natural starter
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. In a large bowl add the 2 flours and water and mix together - this will be rather sticky and wet. Let this sit for a minimum of 20 minutes - I usually let mine sit for 1-2 hours. (This is called autolayse)
2. Next, add the salt and the starter and mix this together - you can't really knead this dough, it will be a sticky mass.
3. Cover and let sit 8-10 hours.
NOTES: If it is very warm, let the covered bowl sit in the warm place for 3-4 hours and then transfer the bowl to the fridge to slow it down. I almost always make by doughs at night, then in the morning they are ready to shape and bake. Vermont nights are usually cool so the rise is fine if I leave it out.
4. In the morning, pour out the dough onto a floured board.
5. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions
6. With floured hands - dust the surface of the dough and form it into a rectangle shape. The dough is still sticky so you need to keep some flour nearby to keep it dusted so you can work with it. Fold one long edge into the middle and gently use your fingertips to pinch it into the other layer of dough. Don't get too fussy here - just press with your fingertips.
7. Fold the other edge over, turn with the seam side down and gently shape the dough into an almond shape. You can press (gently) the ends toward the middle and this will fatten the middle - then use your hands to smooth and shape. (Really hard to describe in words!)
8. Place the shaped dough onto a floured cloth. A couche (pronounced koosh) or proofing cloth can be used on which to proof dough, or it can be used to cover the dough. Couches are made of linen and once dusted with flour (white, semolina or rye) the dough will not stick. The clothes are left unwashed, so as to let yeast and flour collect in them, aiding the proofing process.
9. Do the same with the other piece of dough and set it onto the cloth, pinching up the cloth between the loaves. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in a warm place (I use the oven with the light on)
10 FINAL STEPS - dust the tops with either white flour or white rice flour
11. Use a razor to score down the long way.
12. Preheat oven to 425F. I bake on a pizza stone and place a tray with water on the bottom rack. This most closely mimics a wood fired oven. Bake for about 25 minutes - the breads should be golden brown.
13. Check out the big holes! Wait 20 minutes before cutting into the bread (It's still baking deep inside for about 15-20 minutes after it comes out of the over)