For the biga –
100g (3.5oz) strong white bread flour
65g (2.3oz) water at around 20C (68F) if your kitchen is quite warm like mine. Air temp. 23 – 25C (73-77F).
A tiny pinch of yeast
For the main dough –
300g (10.6oz) strong white bread flour
195g (6.9oz) water at around 20C (68F)
8g (0.3oz) salt
4g (0.14oz) dry yeast or three times the amount of fresh yeast
- Make the biga by mixing the water, pinch of yeast and flour until no dry flour left. Cover and ferment for around 10-12 h or until tripled in size.
- Add the remaining water to a bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Mix and let hydrate for a few minutes.
- Add the salt and mix to dissolve and then add the remaining flour and mix until no dry flour left.
- Knead the dough for around 2 minutes to bring it together.
- Add the mature biga to the dough and keep kneading for 5 more minutes or until decent gluten development. Desired dough temperature 23 – 24C (73-77F). If your dough is warmer, then reduce proofing time. If it is cooler, then extend the proofing time.
- Cover and ferment for 45 minutes.
- Ferment for another 45 minutes.
- Lightly preshape into a ball.
- Rest for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Shape into a loaf. At this point preheat your oven and your baking vessel to 220C (430F) fan off.
- Final proof 35 – 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Score and bake the bread with the lid on for 20 minutes.
- Remove lid and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes.
- Cool down and enjoy! If you do not have a cast iron pot with a lid, then bake the bread on a tray for around 35 minutes. Drop a couple of ice cubes in a preheated cake pan to create stem in your oven which will help the bread expand as it is baking.