Holy breadness. Lately I've been trying to expand my bread repertoire and bake something out of my comfort zone, all the while a certain bread-eater in my life has been requesting the perfect bread as an oil vehicle. Apparently Safeway's Como bread was a big hit, so off I went to find an Italian Como bread recipe... and I did! This bread was not just delicious, it was by far the best bread I have ever made - according to my sources (and my taste buds). It was doughy and moist, full of pockets to soak up oil, and had a lovely flavor. This is a winner. I've made it every weekend for the last month now, because we keep demolishing loaves right and left!
The recipe is slightly more involved than others I've tried - I had to make a biga the night before. A biga is similar to a poolish, only much firmer and more dough-like. It was easy enough to make, let sit on the counter overnight, and then cut up and incorporate into the full dough as I made it the next day. This bread did take a lot of steps - folding, mixing, shaping, etc. It was totally worth it.
I played around with shapes (and should have actually TRIED to make it pretty, whoops!) while shaping, but for both loaves I rolled it up
Pinched the seams shut
Then dimpled it - recommended so it doesn't rise too much!
I made this recipe exactly according to the directions, as I didn't want to screw it up, and followed their measurements in grams - so having a kitchen scale is pretty essential for this recipe. You could do the conversions (or I could have for you...) but it is really more precise to just weigh everything.Print
A rich bread with an open crumb and a light crust with a good crunch.
- 110 grams bread flour
- 70 grams water
- ½ tsp dry yeast
- 340 grams water
- 65 grams whole wheat flour
- 435 grams bread flour
- 16 grams salt (2 tsp)
- The night before you plan to make this bread, mix the ingredients for the biga together and knead into a dough. Place in an oiled bowl and cover for the night.
- The next morning, combine the water and flours with the biga (I cut mine, with scissors, into small pieces) in a stand mixer. Mix, with the dough hook, for 2 minutes. Cover the dough and let rest for 25 minutes.
- Uncover and add salt - mix for 6 more minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 75 minutes.
- Uncover dough and fold it. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and cut dough into two pieces - let rest for 20 minutes before shaping dough into loaves, covering with a damp towel, and letting it rise for 90 minutes.
- Heat oven to 425 F, bake bread for 23-25 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom. Cool on a bread rack until completely cool before packaging - it will soften up considerably
- To make your own bread flour, use Smitten Kitchen's tip of replacing 1 tablespoon per cup of regular flour with gluten flour.
- Using a stand mixer was the easiest way to make this bread, but you could do it by hand - just be prepared for a lot of kneading!