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Apr 28, 2007 03:22 PM

Where to get hard crust Italian bread?

Not sure if it's a Tuscan or Sicilian style of bread, but it's a round loaf, with a lovely hard chewy crust, and a stretchy interior with lots of holes. You just have to eat it within hours of its being cooked as it goes stale very quickly. Anyone know the kind of bread I mean and where to get it? I see lots of round loaves, but the crust is not the dense hard slightly burned lind that I'm after.

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  1. Not sure, but Trezzano Bakery at the corner of Dufferin and Wilson has one that's pretty close to your description. Maybe closed Sundays (?).

    1. Sounds like you're looking for calabrese. I've had it from various Italian bakeries and the hardness and darkness of the crust seems dependent upon the baking time. One that would seem to meet your description I found at a bakery on the south side of hwy 7 west of Weston Roan. It's in a strip mall with an Italian market beside it with an interesting selection of meat. Can't remember the name.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Scary Bill

        If you have a car you might try Commisso Bros. They have a Bakery on their premises, lots of choices in Bread(s) as well, they make good Veal Sandwiches!
        Commisso Bros. is located on Kincourt (Castlefield & Caledonia area).

      2. look no further than, for example, various No Frills. Italian Home Bakery (IHB) has a killer ciabatta, rectangular of course, hard crust, big holes, made of only wheat, yeast, water, and olive oil (no preservatives, additives), made with a second rising. Chewy enough to rock your dentures...The other breads they make are ordinary, with the usual preservatives. 570 grams for $1.79 at No Frills. Becasue of this one bread, IHB is a member of ShaSha's Artisanal bakery group...


        for ciabatta buns

        5 Replies
        1. re: Dean Tudor

          I agree Dean! IHB Ciabatta is a fantastick product that can even be re-crusted in a oven (especially in humid weather) without ruining the interior/exterior textures. It's also available at some Loblaws and Food Basic locations. Thanks for all the info, I've often wondered why none of their other breads seemed to measure up.

          1. re: tekkamaki

            I like their whole wheat bread and their pizza dough is fab...the pizza dough has a great crust, excellent oven spring and lots of taste resulting from a long fermentation...I highly recommend it!

            1. re: jdavies

              Another vote for the IHB Ciabatta which I was amazed to find at No Frills. But where did you get the pizza dough, I've never seen it and I'm always looking for a good source. Thanks.

              1. re: Mila

                I found all the IHB range, including the Ciabatta today at Messilanos (or Mellisano's?) - small Italian supermarket on the Danforth, just east of Jones on the north side. They do normally carry the IHB pizza dough but haven't ordered it back in yet as they are re-modeling their dairy cabinet where it is normally stored. They have interesting dried pasta shapes too, such as hollow tubes about the diameter of a breadstick and about 18" long.

                1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                  How perfect, right in my hood. Thanks, I'll drop by on the weekend.

        2. I used to buy loaves like this at Pastissima, which is at 2633 Yonge Street. (It's been some time, and my info could be dated.) The bread was *just* as you've described, KitchenVoodoo. Buttered, it was irresistible.

          Cut it with respect! (Read "South from Granada" by Gerald Brenan)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Doopsylalolic

            Either buttered or dipped in good Italian olive oil.... with the bread at its peak of freshness, a meal in itself! Makes terrific bruscetta too when charred on a BBQ, and wonderful breakfast toast the next day.
            I must hunt down the IHB pizza dough mentioned by "jdavis".
            I looked up "South from Granada" as I'm v. interested in Spain - it's on my list to read, thanks for the tip!

          2. Riviera Bakery (College/Manning) makes a Calabrese bread that seems to fit your description.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mrbozo

              Thanks for that tip - it may be just what I'm looking for because the bread in question first came to my attention about 20 years ago at Trattoria Giancarlo (nearby) when it was under the original stewardship of the chef who is now at Zucca.