This is a traditional Southern Italian bread that is used in a variety of ways, accompanying soups and salads. The bread is baked twice and is very hard and crunchy. In order to eat it, it needs to be wet with some water and broken up into pieces. Because it is baked twice and all the moisture is removed, it lasts for 6 months or more. Typically, it is kept in a sealed container or plastic bag so they do not go stale. Friselle are usually made with a combination of whole wheat flour and unbleached AP flour.
- 1400 g Unbleached AP Flour
- 600 g Whole wheat flour
- 1300 g Warm water (110F)
- 35 g Salt
- 25 g Fresh yeast or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
- 2 tsp Sugar
- Start by mixing all of the dry ingredients, flours and salt. Sift them together onto a needing board or into the bowl of a standmixer.
- Proof the yeast in the warm water with 2 tsp of sugar. Once the mixture is foamy, it's ready.
- If mixing by hand, make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast mixture in the center. Begin to incorporate the flour with the water slowly. Once the flour is all incorporated, begin to knead the dough until you achieve a smooth ball. This may take anywhere between 10-15 mins.
- If using a standmixer, make sure your stand mixer is large enough to handle this amount of dough. Add all of the ingredients to the stand mixer and knead on medium speed with the dough hook attachment until the dough releases from the sides of the bowl. This process will take about 5-8 mins.
- Once you have a smooth dough ball, cover and let it rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and cut into 4 equal pieces. Cover the other 3 pieces so they don't form a skin.
- Take each piece and cut that into 6 equal pieces. I use my scale to make sure they are all approximately the same size. They should be around 200g each.
- Form each piece into a tight ball and let it rest covered while working on the others.
- Onto a large baking sheet, sprinkle corn meal. Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Now using your thumb, press into the center of the dough ball and make a hole. Stretch the hole out as far as you can. Similar to the shape of a bagel. Place on to the baking sheet and continue to work until you have shaped all of the friselle.
- Place them into the preheated oven. I like to spray the walls of the hot oven with water to create a steam effect. It helps the bread rise nicely when baking. Bake for 30 – 35 mins.
- Once slightly cooled, cut them in half and now they are to be baked a second time to remove all moisture. Lower the oven temp to 250-275F. Place the cut friselle directly onto the grates of the oven. If you have a convection option on your oven, use it. These friselle will toast for 3-5 hours, depending on your oven. You know they are ready when you squeeze one and breaks apart easily. That means you have throughly dried it out.