While the filone bread is a description of the shape of a traditional bread from Toscana (Tuscany) where it is made without salt due to an old salt feud, filone has come to mean a special kind of white, rustic bread here in Denmark, made slightly different from the ciabatta (another shape description for the saltless Toscana bread). In the Danish bakeries the filone is a rustic bread, with salt, that is slightly elongated, typically with pointy ends (which makes it fairly impractical to cut in regular slices, but nevermind that).

Now, most recipe books in Denmark are written by enthusiasts rather than professionals, and there is a tendency to an extreme overuse of fresh yeast (this is available in any store, really, whereas instant and dry yeast is slightly more rare). Thus, it was with ill-hid enthusiasm I threw myself at a recipe released from one of our bakery chains for retarded filone bread—it has been released as part of a yearly event that some people and stores are having in the fall break called The Great Baking Day, which is a moment for the busy families to pause and bake, father, mother, and children. It has been launched by a reknowned Danish chef and a child psychologist and seems to be a wild success (although the companies backing it seem to exploit it a tad by insinuating that you should use special brand flour for the optimal product, etc.).

Irrespective of it not being fall break just yet and that Hannah isn't nearly old enough to participate, I wanted to give the retarded filone bread a try. The recipe calls for a 24 hour retarding, but I only gave it about 18 hours, fearing that it would have a too acidic taste otherwise. Shaping the cold dough is a whole lot easier than trying to shape some of the equal wet poolish-based doughs I usually make.

Shaped filone loaves

The shaped loaves are rolled in durum flour, and after proofing and a somewhat lengthy bake—almost 40 minutes—the breads have gained a lovely golden and rustic look.

Baked filone loaves

Unlike the breads I usually bake, this method of making the breads yielded a somewhat denser crumb (which is consistent with the filone breads from most bakeries around these parts).

Filone crumb

Its taste is markedly acidic, and I think having let it retard for another six hours would've been too much. It's a solid bread that is good for a varied amount of toppings, particularly considering that it's very easy to make. It's basically made just by mixing the dough on a stand mixer, stuffing it in the fridge, waiting 18 hours, shaping, proofing, slashing, and baking the loaves. I still prefer the breads that require all the folding and other work—the crumb is simply better in those loaves. Still, an altogether decent bread.