Basic Italian Bread

Source Image from Foodnetwork

Biga:
1/2 Teas. Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Lukewarm water
2 Cups Unbleached, All−purpose Flour
Mix the yeast and water together, and then slowly start adding the
flour, mixing well. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room
temperature for up to 6 hours. Refrigerate overnight.

Bread:
2 Cups Warm Water (about 90 degrees F.)
1 Pkg. Active Dry Yeast
5−6 Cups All−purpose, Unbleached Flour
2 Ts.

Salt
Place the water in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast overtop and mix well. Let sit 10 minutes until bubbly. Add the biga, flour, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon (or mix with your hands) until everything is mixed. The dough will be fairly wet and sticky at this point. Cover and let stand in a warm spot for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in volume. 

Punch down the dough, folding it over on itself two or three times, cover and let rise once more until doubled, about 1 hour. If you choose, you could refrigerate your dough at this time and leave it overnight to prepare the next day.

Turn out your dough onto a floured baking sheet, and without overworking it too much shape into one large or two smaller round or oval shaped loaves, using as much extra flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Slash across the tops of the loaves with a serrated knife or razor just prior to baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place a casserole dish with boiling water on the lower oven rack. Bake your bread 30 minutes, turn the baking sheet around, and reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 30−45 minutes. At this point your bread should be golden brown and should sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Allow the bread to cool to room temperature and serve.

9 comments:

  1. Reading this article was an experience. I enjoyed all the information you provided and appreciated the work you did in getting it written. You really did a lot of research.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities, Thanks for this great share.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome work.Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading.Thanks for the share

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!

    ReplyDelete