Pane Nero di Castelvetrano, the Recipe (with sourdough starter)

Since we started importing ancient Sicilian flours from Filippo Drago’s mill in Castelvetrano, we have watched many different bakers (from Sicily, to Torino, to the Bronx, to Detroit) make their versions of Pane Nero di Castelvetrano (Black Castelvetrano Bread). We’ve learned first hand that bread is a scientific process that welcomes the artistic touch of the baker, especially with naturally leavened loaves! You have to take into consideration all the conditions around you, the temperature and humidity of the room, the acidity of the sourdough starter, the freshness of the flour. This recipe is designed for bakers with a sourdough starter (lievito madre), a mixer, and professional oven. We invite you to use this recipe as a guideline and shape yours according to your baking habits, fermenting techniques, and weather status!


1 whole bag  Castelvetrano flour (1kg)
300gr liquid sourdough (30%) OR 200gr solid sourdough (20%)
18gr sea salt (1.8%)
750gr water at room temperature (75%)
Sesame seeds


  1. Add 70% of the water and all the other ingredients
  2. Mix at slowest speed adding the remaining 30% water little by little, getting a resulting dough with a temperature of 78-82 F
  3. Let the dough sit at room temperature in the container for 1 hour, covered
  4. Make a fold
  5. Let sit at room temperature in the container for 30 minutes, covered
  6. Divide into pieces of 500-600gr
  7. Shape into round loaves
  8. Put on a tray, let sit and ferment for 2 hours, covered with a cloth
  9. Place loaves touching each other and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  10. Bake at 465-485 F with light steam for 30 seconds
  11. Let steam out for 1 minute
  12. Lower oven temperature to 390-410 F and bake for about one hour, until dark brown