It is no secret that Gustiamo has a major company crush on Zingerman’s. It was such a privilege for us to accompany our miller Filippo Drago of Molini del Ponte and his master baker Renato Flaborea to Ann Arbor on our mini good grain tour.
The Zingerman’s Sicilian bread revolution started with master baker Frank Carollo in Castelvetrano, Sicily. A Sicuoloamericano himeself, Frank visited Filippo at his mill in Castelvetrano. Zingerman’s legend has it that “when Frank returned from Sicily, he promptly baked a few test loaves, and Pane Nero came to the Zingerman’s Bakehouse for the ﬁrst time. The grain of the ﬂour is coarse, and a light, speckled yellow in color. The resulting loaf is dark brown, with a dense, compact crumb and topped with sesame seeds… Frank’s dream of a deeper connection to the growers is present in that bread…the bread is a perfect expression of the relationship between the land, and the people who appreciate its bounty.”
Pane Nero is now a permanent item on the Bakehouse menu. But the ultimate moment of truth took place, standing in the Zingerman’s deli. Filippo took his first bite of Frank’s Pane Nero and said, “questo e’ il Pane Nero,” this is Pane Nero. Bravo Frank! You nailed it.
As Sara says on the Bakehouse Blog, Frank’s Pane Nero is “local in the sense that we have a relationship with the grower and the miller and share their passion and beliefs about good food.”
We had an amazing few days baking bread, making cannoli, and sharing a “Supper in Sicily” with the Zingerman’s community!