Scali bread recipe is a popular italian bread that features a soft, chewy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. To make scali bread, you’ll need basic bread-making ingredients like flour, water, yeast, and honey or sugar.
Scali bread is a staple in italian-american households and many bakeries across the united states. Its unique texture and flavor are thanks to the long fermentation process used to make the dough. While it takes some patience and time to make scali bread, the end result is well worth it.
Whether enjoyed on its own or as the perfect accompaniment to a cheese plate or bowl of soup, scali bread is sure to impress. We’ll go through the steps needed to make this classic italian bread at home.
Ingredients And Tools
Scali Bread Recipe: Ingredients And Tools
Scali bread is a famous italian bread that’s quite easy to make at home. Before we dive into the recipe, here are the required ingredients and tools you’ll need.
- 5 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- To properly measure all the ingredients, you’ll need a digital kitchen scale.
- A large mixing bowl to knead the dough by hand.
- A wooden spoon to mix the dough by hand.
- You may also use a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment, instead of mixing by hand.
- A pre-heated oven to 450°f.
- A baking stone to bake the bread on.
- A spray bottle to add water to the oven to create steam during baking.
Now that you have all the ingredients and tools, let’s start making the scali bread!
Scali bread is a popular italian bread made from wheat flour. The dough preparation is an essential step in the scali bread recipe. Let’s look at the step-by-step process to prepare the dough.
Preparing The Yeast Mixture
- In a small bowl, mix the active dry yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water.
- Stir the mixture until the yeast and sugar dissolve.
- Let the mixture rest until it becomes frothy.
Mixing The Dough
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt.
- Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the yeast mixture into it.
- Mix the two mixtures until it forms a ball-shaped dough.
Kneading The Dough
- Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and transfer the dough to the surface.
- Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- If the dough is sticky, add some more flour.
- Lightly grease a bowl and put the dough in it.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rest for one hour, or until it doubles in size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for another five minutes.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Shape the dough into two loaves and place them on the baking sheet.
- Cover the loaves with a cloth or plastic wrap and let them rest for an additional hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450°f (232°c).
Congratulations! You have successfully prepared the scali bread dough. Follow the next steps to bake the bread and enjoy its delicious aroma and taste.
Shaping And Proofing
Shaping The Dough:
Shaping the dough is a crucial step in making scali bread. The dough should be handled gently and without overworking it. The shaping process involves forming the dough into a log or a knot.
Here are some key points about shaping the dough:
- Start by deflating the dough gently and dividing it into equal portions.
- Roll each dough portion into a log shape or shape it into a knot.
- Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal the seam.
- Allow adequate space between each portion of dough to expand during proofing.
Final proofing is the last step before baking the scali bread. It is essential to proof the dough properly. Proofing allows the dough to rise and develop flavor.
Here are some key points about the final proofing:
- Place the shaped dough portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 to 40 minutes.
- The dough should double in size during this time.
- Preheat the oven while the dough is proofing.
- Be careful not to over-proof the dough, as it will result in a flat loaf.
By following these shaping and proofing tips, you’ll be well on your way to making delicious and authentic scali bread.
Preheating The Oven
Before baking scali bread, it is crucial to preheat the oven to the right temperature; otherwise, the bread won’t cook correctly. Here are some essential things to keep in mind when preheating the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 450°f (230°c).
- Allow for a minimum of 30 minutes for the oven to heat up fully.
- Use an oven thermometer to ensure the oven is the right temperature.
- Place a baking stone in the oven while it’s heating up; this will help the bread cook evenly.
Preparing The Baking Stone
A baking stone is an essential tool when making scali bread. Preparing the stone correctly can make all the difference when it comes to the final result. Here are some tips on how to prepare a baking stone:
- Place the baking stone on the middle rack of the oven while it’s preheating to the required temperature.
- Once the oven reaches the desired temperature, allow the baking stone to heat up for an additional 20 minutes to ensure it’s fully heated.
- Avoid using any oil or fat when preparing the baking stone.
Scoring The Dough
Scoring the dough is an essential step in creating the classic diamond pattern found on scali bread. Here are some useful tips on how to score the dough correctly:
- Use a sharp knife or a razor blade to make cuts on the surface of the dough.
- Make the cuts about 1/2 inch deep on the surface of the dough, and ensure they’re evenly spaced.
- Create diagonal cuts across the top of the loaf in both directions to form the diamond pattern.
Baking With Steam
Baking with steam is another vital aspect when it comes to making scali bread. The steam helps the crust form and develop a slightly chewy texture. Here’s how to bake with steam correctly:
- Place a tray of water at the bottom of the oven to create steam during the baking process.
- Allow the water tray to preheat with the oven, and pour hot water into it just before placing the bread in the oven.
- Avoid opening the oven door during the first 10 minutes of baking to help retain the steam.
Checking For Doneness
Once the bread is in the oven, it’s essential to monitor it regularly to determine when it’s cooked entirely. Here are some tips on checking for doneness:
- Pierce the center of the bread with a thermometer; the temperature should be between 190°f and 200°f (88°c to 93°c).
- Tap the bottom of the bread; it should sound hollow if it’s fully cooked.
- Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Making scali bread is a wonderful experience that can make your kitchen smell amazing. Remember to follow these tips to create the perfect loaf every time.
Variations And Tips
Scali bread is a beloved italian loaf with a crispy crust and a soft, chewy interior. Making the perfect scali bread involves some experimentation to find what works best for you. Below are some helpful variations and tips to make your scali bread experience even more enjoyable.
Adding Herbs And Spices
- You can add any herb or spice that pairs well with bread, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, or garlic, to your scali dough.
- Add about a tablespoon of the fresh herb or one teaspoon of dried herb per loaf to the dough after the initial mixing stage.
- Alternatively, you can sprinkle herbs and spices on top of the dough before baking to give your loaf a little extra flavor and a beautiful appearance.
Using Different Flours
- You can experiment with different types of flour to create different textures in your scali bread.
- Using all-purpose or bread flour will result in a classic scali loaf, while using whole wheat or rye flour will give your bread a denser texture and a more complex flavor.
- If you’re gluten-free, you can also use a gluten-free flour mix instead of traditional flour to make your scali bread.
Tips For A Crusty Crust
- To achieve a crispy crust, use a baking stone or preheat a baking sheet in the oven.
- Create steam in the oven by adding a few ice cubes or spraying water on the oven walls before baking.
- Slash the dough several times with a sharp knife or razor blade before placing it in the oven.
- It’s also essential to place a shallow pan of water in the oven to maintain moisture levels, ensuring your scali bread has a crispy crust.
Tips For A Soft Interior
- To achieve a soft, chewy interior, use a high-hydration dough with a long fermentation time.
- For a softer crust, brush the bread with butter or olive oil immediately after removing it from the oven.
- It’s best to let your scali bread cool completely before slicing it to allow the crumb to set, creating an even softer texture.
Experiment with these tips and variations to create the perfect scali bread for you. With some practice and customization, you’ll be able to create a delicious and unique loaf that everyone will enjoy.
Serving And Storing
Scali bread is a type of italian bread that is known for its crusty exterior and soft interior. This bread is typically enjoyed with various spreads such as butter, olive oil, or even tomato sauce. If you are wondering how to serve and store scali bread, here are some tips to help you out.
Here are some serving suggestions that you can try out when serving scali bread:
- Slice the bread into thin pieces and toast it until it becomes crispy. You can then add various spreads of your choice such as garlic butter, tomato sauce, or pesto.
- Cut the bread into larger pieces, and serve as an accompaniment to soups, stews, or salads. You can also use it to make sandwiches or paninis.
- Serve the bread alongside a cheese board with different types of cheeses, cured meats, and fruits.
Storing Scali Bread
Scali bread is best consumed fresh, but if you have leftovers, you can store it for later consumption. Here are some tips for storing scali bread:
- Store the bread in a paper bag or an airtight container. Avoid using plastic bags as they can make the bread soggy.
- Keep the bread at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. If you need to store it for longer, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.
- When thawing frozen bread, let it come to room temperature first before reheating it.
Reheating Scali Bread
Reheating scali bread can help bring back its crusty exterior and soft interior. Here are some ways to reheat scali bread:
- Preheat your oven to 375°f. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake it for 5-7 minutes, or until it becomes crispy.
- Slice the bread into thin pieces and toast it in a toaster or a toaster oven until it becomes crispy.
- Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and warm it in the oven at 350°f for 10-15 minutes. This method helps to retain the bread’s moisture.
Scali bread is a delicious bread that can be enjoyed in various ways. By following these tips, you can serve and store scali bread just like a pro!
Frequently Asked Questions For Scali Bread Recipe
How Do I Make Scali Bread?
To make scali bread, start by mixing flour, water, yeast, and salt. Knead the dough, and let it rise for a few hours. Shape the dough into loaves, and bake in the oven until golden brown.
What Makes Scali Bread Unique?
Scali bread is unique because it is made with a sourdough starter and a blend of spices that include anise seed and fennel seed. These spices give the bread a distinct flavor.
What Flour Should I Use To Make Scali Bread?
To make scali bread, use bread flour or all-purpose flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content, which helps the bread rise and gives it a chewy texture.
How Long Does It Take To Make Scali Bread?
It takes about 4-5 hours to make scali bread from start to finish. This includes mixing the dough, letting it rise, shaping the loaves, and baking them in the oven.
What Is The Texture Of Scali Bread?
Scali bread has a dense, chewy texture with a slightly crisp crust. The anise and fennel seeds give the bread a distinct flavor and aroma.
Can I Freeze Scali Bread?
Yes, you can freeze scali bread. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. Thaw the bread at room temperature or in the oven.
Baking scali bread is not just a recipe, it is an art. Creating this italian bread requires care, attention to detail, and patience. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create a delicious loaf that will elevate any meal.
What is more, preparing scali bread at home allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring that you enjoy a healthier and tastier bread. This recipe is versatile and can be adjusted to suit individual preferences, making it a great option for bread lovers everywhere.
In addition, this bread does not only taste great but also smells fantastic. The aroma of freshly baked scali bread is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. By using this recipe, you can enjoy the experience of baking your bread from scratch and enhance the taste of your meals.
Go ahead, get creative, and bake your scali bread today!