Pane di Como Antico

God Bless the Child who’s got his own.  Mm. I think I might have made Lady Day proud with the recording we laid down last night of her signature song. Image

It was like a dream. One take; nailed it. After the radio silence, the saxophone player from Boston looked at me through the studio glass and said in his Fenway accent, “I’m going to cawl the police. You could be arrested for that, man.” (To jazz cats, even ladies are “man.” I took the whole thing as a complement.) Sometimes a take is perfect the first time. Our group is called Take Two—but that was truly a Take One moment. So was this recipe. Image

Pane di Como Antico

Adapted from The Italian Baker

¾ cup sourdough starter (which you have let sit overnight and fed with wheat flour)

1 ½ C warm water

½ c whole wheat flour

3 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

Combine and mix the starter, flours and water.  Add the flours one cup at a time. Knead on a floured surface for five minutes, sprinkling with up to ½ additional cup of flour and slamming on the surface if needed to help develop the gluten. It may take up to 12 minutes of kneading (I know) before the dough is sufficiently soft, moist, and sticky. For the first rise, place the dough in a slightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours, until doubled. It should have numerous blisters under its “skin” when it’s ready.

For the shaping and second rise, divide dough in half and shape into two boules, and let rest, covered, for 20 minutes. Then roll each ball into a fat cylinder and place seam down on parchment paper. Image

Cover and let rise for 1 ½ hours. Thirty minutes before baking, heat baking stone in the oven at 425. Sprinkle the stone with cornmeal. When ready to bake, slash the loaves, slide loaves in, and instantly reduce the heat to 400. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

I am going to miss that old fashioned microphone—with my name on it.Image

Funny side note, I had to sing barefoot in the studio because apparently, the shoes I thought would be oh so foxy turned out to “squeak” enough to be a sound technician’s nightmare. Apparently the fox’s feet should say nothing. He made me take them off. Image

The jazz diva microphone does have a burning bush quality—holy ground. All I know is God Bless the Child is officially a hymn in my Real book (this Christmas edition of the Real book is a subtle foreshadowing of our next gig—at Assisi Heights Dec 7th). Can’t wait for the CD release. 

One thought on “Pane di Como Antico

  1. Sooooo happy and excited for, and proud of you for your superstar recording! I am not surprised in the least that channeling Billie comes so naturally to you, you jazz diva extraodinaire 🙂 That bread looks amazing too! Details on the Assisi Heights gig por favor – time, anything else a potential attendee should know? I think I may be able to come to it!

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