Royal Crown’s Tortano
I noticed a few weeks ago that a new food blogging group had formed – the Bread Baking Babes. They tackle a new type of bread each month and then blog about it and encourage readers to give it a shot within the following week to become a Bread Baking Buddy. The first month of BBB was hosted by Baking Soda over at Bake My Day! and the introductory bread was the Maggie Glazer’s Royal Crown’s Tortano, which is a rustic bread and a signature of the Royal Crown Bakery in Brooklyn, NY. I’m not sure if I’m a “Buddy” since it took me more than a week to make this, but I wanted to thank Mary over at The Sour Dough for being patient with me as I asked a ton of questions through email, and also for posting a bunch of pictures of the process. These helped me tremendously, and in hind sight I should have done the same, but if you attempt this bread definitely check out Mary’s post to get an idea of what the dough should look like at each stage.
My first attempt to start the preferment didn’t go very far, as after I woke up I realized that nothing really happened and my yeast was probably bad (the jar had been around for quite some time). I went to the store and got some brand new yeast and started over. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I stuck with it, because aside from being an amazing loaf of bread, I also got to experiment with a different type of dough and new techniques.
To say that this was a wet dough was putting it mildly! I have never seen dough actually look like a liquid mass before coming together. I crossed my fingers that I was moving along the right way and was so excited after each step to realize that was was supposed to happen was indeed happening. I am going to include my thoughts/comments/tips throughout each section of the recipe, since that’s easier than trying to summarize it all here. One thing I do think that I need to work on is my slashing. Perhaps my knives aren’t sharp enough and I need to get a razor? This happened with the French bread as well – the slits were barely noticeable and didn’t open up. Any tips from you bread geniuses out there??
Overall thoughts on this bread… FABULOUS! It turned out exactly the way I imagined it should. The crust was crisp and crunchy, and the inside warm, chewy, and full of big air holes. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this bread and of learning many new things in the process!
Is there a recipe for this bread? Looks yummy
Hello, I just want to ask you if I can use active yeast instead of instant yeast. Thanks.
Hi Mya, You can, but the rise time will likely take longer.
Use a good quality serrated bread knife to make the slashes in your bread.
Wow, this looks fabulous Chelle!!! Wonderful looking crumb and one heck of a crispy crust.
Ally – You are more than welcome to jet up here to the snow zone and I will share my bread with you :)
Wow, just wow. I would love a piece of that right now!
Tanna – Thank you very much! :) I’m proud to be a Buddy!
Michelle! Wow! That is simply awesome bread!
I’m so glad you baked with us. You can certainly consider yourself a bread baking buddy with this loaf!
Gretchen – Thank you very much! I am very excited about what the next month will bring!
You did a fabulous job with this! Agreed, it was definitely a different dough and wet just wasn’t the word, but wow! yours turned out fantastic!!! Cannot wait until the next month!
Erin – Thank you so much for the award! That’s so sweet! I hope you enjoyed the tiramisu :)
Madam Chow – I agree, it was a wonderful bread to flex some un-used bread-baking muscles! I was incredibly proud! Congratulations to you as well!
I made this, too, and I’m so glad that I did! I’d never baked anything like this, and I was so proud of myself. Hope you are, too!
I know you just got this award, but you make my day, too! I made the tirimisu tonight, and it turned out perfectly! Thanks for making my day!
sher – Thank you! I can’t wait to have some tomorrow with our spaghetti and meatballs… it will be perfect for sopping up the sauce!
Wow! It looks beautiful, both the crust and the lovely holes in the crumb. I sure wish I had some right now. That was a fabulous bread!
baking soda – Thank you! I was so excited to make this!
Laurie – Next one we’ll have to do together! And thanks for the compliments :)
Kate – Thank you! And I am totally sold on weighing now as well!
It’s GORGEOUS! I’m also a big fan of the weighing method for baking.
I so wish I could have done this with you!!! It turned out gorgeous Chelle. Seriously, thats an awesome looking loaf of bread. Kudos to you, I wish I could taste it!
Wow Michelle! You’ve done it! Great loaf and that crust and crumb is amazing!
Erin – Thank you!! I have that book on my list to buy, you’ll have to let me know how you like it!
This looks great! The crust looks perfect! I can imagine the sense of accomplishment you must have felt when you finished this. I have recently become interested in bread baking and improving my skills. I just bought Peter Reinhart’s The Baker’s Apprentice and I think I’m going to challenge myself to try once recipe each week from it so that I can start mastering the art of bread baking!
Annie – Thank you! I’m sure you’ll do lots of fun stuff on your maternity leave!
Lien – Thank you very much!! :)
congratulations on your fantastic Royal Crown. It’s royal indeed. Love the interior…very, very good job!
Chelle, this looks great! Congrats on continuing to grow your bread baking skills. I wish I had more time to devote to things like this. Maybe while I’m on maternity leave :)
kayte – Thank you so much!! I figure I’ll never learn anything new if I don’t venture outside of my comfort zone!
wow chelle! looks wonderful. i’m always amazed by all the complicated things you try. you’re my baking hero ;-)
Mary – Thank you! :) And you’re welcome – you were a huge help!
Now that is a Royal Crown Tortano! You did a great job and I can taste that bread.
Thanks for all the kind comments. You can bake with us anytime you want ;-)
bridget – Thanks so much for the tip on slashing, I haven’t tried my serrated knives. I will do that next time and see if that’s any better.
That looks like a really great loaf of bread. About slashing – I’ve started using a serrated knife to slash loafs, and it works a lot better than a straight knife. I guess my regular knives just aren’t sharp enough. I’ve tried using a razor, but the serrated knife works just as well.
Nikki – Thanks for the advice on the yeast, I’m glad I stuck it out too!
Yay!! I’m glad the bad yeast didn’t stop you, your bread looks fantastic!