Group Members: Ruby Becker, Helen Banta, Soren Eversoll, Samantha Zimmerman
Bread Type: Scriblita
Bread Description: Layers of cheese and tracta (dough rounds) encased in a doughy “crust”
This recipe is using 1/14 of the full recipe as described by Cato.
Trial 1: With Farro Paste
Step 1: Making the farro paste
Farro Grinding Technique: By hand without the aid of any type of tool.
We first used our hands to squish the soaked farro grain into a paste. We did this without the aid of any tools, and found it to be overall somewhat tiring. We used both smushing and kneading techniques, working on the ground and using our bodyweight to attempt to crush the farro as best as possible. It was hard to break the individual grains apart, and much of the paste that initially came out evaporated and became a starchy, white layer on our hands and the tray that we were working on. This starch was very similar to cornstarch in consistency and was extremely good at adhering to everything that it came into contact with. After 13 minutes and 49 seconds we decided that we had reached a “paste” consistency, and stoped processing the farro. In our end product the individual farro grains were definitely still visible, however, they came together into a sort of paste, connected by a white, stringy, and extremely sticky substance.
Step 2: Making the tracta
We then mixed together the farro paste, emmer flour, salt, and water. The person who kneaded the farro paste also kneaded the bread to attempt to get as much of the residual starch into the bread as possible. We kneaded the tracta dough for a total of 7 minutes and 37 seconds, until you could stretch the dough without it breaking. We then split the dough into four parts, each 2.6 to 2.7 oz and brushed each with olive oil. We then formed them into four rounds. It was relatively easy to form into rounds, however, the residual farro grains caused small rips in some places.
Step 3: Making the Base
We then mixed bread flour and water and kneaded it until it reached a consistency at which it was able to be stretched without breaking. Due to wind and measurement error we accidentally added roughly twice the amount of flour necessary to make the base, and had to add water to compensate. Ultimately, the extra base material was helpful in making sure there was enough to cover the sides and top of the bread. Therefore, we repeated this doubling in our control.
|about 4.6 oz
|about 3.5 oz
Step 4: The Cheese
We mashed one pound of feta with a wooden spoon. It took about 13 minutes for it to become completely smooth.
Step 5: Assembling the Bread
We formed the base dough into an approximate circle that was bigger than the tracta. We then split the cheese into three parts. To assemble we placed a tracta and then 1/3 of the cheese, alternating four times, ending with a tracta. Once assembled we folded the base up to cover the sides and part of the top. However, there was not enough dough to come together in the middle, and instead there was a small circle of tracta visible. Once the bread was assembled, we added oiled bay leaves to the bottom of the bread.
Step 6: Baking the Bread
We then placed a cast iron pot over hot coals. Once the pot was heated, we placed the bread in the pot and put the lid on, adding a small amount of coals to the top of the lid. After 14 minutes we checked the bread, and found that our pan was much too hot. We then took the pot off the coals, and let the bread continue to cook over the residual heat for 13 minutes. At this point, we decided it was finished and took it out of the pot and let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
|Cook on Coals
|Cook in Residual Heat
Cutting and Eating
After 10 minutes we cut into the bread. The outside crust had a crunchy, hard texture, and sounded hollow when tapped. The bottom was dark and burnt, and the bay leaves burned almost completely away. On the inside, the tracta and cheese created distinct layers, which stayed relatively intact when cut. The tracta itself had a pleasant, spongy texture that seemed to absorb some of the moisture from the cheese. When eaten, the bread tasted overwhelmingly of cheese, and the tracta and crust did not have a distinct flavor when eaten alongside the cheese.
Trial 2: Without Farro Paste (control)
Step 1: Making the tracta
We initially added 5.6 oz flour and 2.4 oz water, however, this was ultimately too much water and the dough was too sticky. We then doubled the flour to 11.2 oz, and reached a workable consistency. To compensate for this increase, we only used half of the resulting dough to form the tracta, and discarded the remaining dough. Once again, we split the dough into four balls and then formed them into flat circles. We did not remember to add the olive oil to the outside of these dough balls, however, we did not observe a difference in the shaping of the tracta. These tracta were smoother than the ones with the farro paste as they did not have farro grains in them. However, they were otherwise very similar.
Step 2: Making the Base
We mixed the dough and formed the base in the same way as in trial one.
|about 3.5 oz
Step 3: The Cheese
We mashed one pound of feta with a wooden spoon in the same way as trial one.
Step 4: Assembling the Bread
We assembled the layers of trata and cheese on the base dough, in the same way as in trial one. There was no significant difference in the assembly, and it looked very similar. We then wrapped the base dough around the layers, again like in trial one. Again, we added oiled bay leaves to the bottom of the loaf.
Step 5: Baking the Bread
We placed the loaf in the pot already preheated from trial one, and then placed it over the coals, with a few coals on the lid. We placed less coals on the lid than in trial one because we observed that trial one heated too fast. After 22 minutes, the bottom was starting to burn but the top still appeared uncooked, so we removed from the fire and placed it on the ground. We then covered the lid with coals and let it heat from the top for 15 minutes. We then placed it back over the coals for a final 7 minutes to finish cooking. After this we let it sit for 10 minutes to cool.
|Cook on Coals
|Heat from Lid (Coals on Lid)
|Cook on Coals Again
Cutting, Eating, and Final Thoughts
The control bread was not as crispy on the outside, and instead was slightly squishy. When I initially cut into it, the ricotta seemed more watery than in trial one. The bread itself also was a much lighter color and did not seem as cooked, though this could be from differences in cook time and heat. On the inside, the tracta dissolved into the feta to the point where they were hard to identify in places. The layers were not as distinct as in trial one. Additionally, the tracta did not have the same soft, spongy texture and instead were slightly soggy. The taste was, again, overwhelmingly of cheese. However, there was not the same pleasing texture as in trial one, and it overall seemed much more mushy.
This recipe was a 1/14 scale of the whole recipe from Cato, what would happen if we were to make the full bread? Did dividing the recipe by 14 instead of scaling it down in a more complex way affect the final product? In the large version is there enough base to cover the whole bread without increasing the flour? Would the cheese be less intense in the full scale bread?