Biga Pre-Ferment Ingredients:
- ¾ cup (5.8 oz, 165 g) water
- 1 tsp (.2 oz, 5 g) instant yeast
- 1 ¾ plus 2 TB (9.7 oz, 275 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until all the water has been absorbed. The dough will be very stiff. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes to smooth out the dough a little bit. Return the dough to the bowl and cover. Leave at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate it for at least 8 hours, but up to 16.
Bread Dough Ingredients:
- All of prepared Biga
- 1 ½ cups (13.2 oz, 375 g) water
- 1 ½ tsp. (.3 oz, 8 g) instant yeast
- 3 ¼ cups (17.6 oz, 500 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- In a large mixing bowl combine the water and biga together. Stir until the biga begins to loosen up. Stir in the yeast and flour and mix until a rough dough forms.
- Knead by machine or hand until the dough is smooth and shiny. It will not be a very elastic dough. It will take a long while to knead by hand or machine about 15 minutes by hand and 10 by machine.
- Place the kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. The dough will spring back slowly when pressed with your finger.
- Uncover the dough and gently scrape it out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each piece into a round. Place the loaves smooth side up on a rimless baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Dust them with flour and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let the rounds rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- About 1 hour before baking place a baking stone in the middle of the oven and heat to 425 degrees.
- Slide the proofed rounds, still on the parchment onto the baking stone. Bake until the rounds are light brown about 30-40 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the loaves inside for 15 minutes to dry the crust. Remove the loaves from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.