Ooooo. I felt from the start this was going to be good. The biga was perfect, and nice and brewey…….yay!!
- 1 tsp dried yeast.
- 1/4 cup warm water.
- 3/4 cup room temp water.
- 1 & 3/4 cups durum flour.
- Stir yeast into the warm water and stand in warm place covered until frothy/creamy.
- Stir in RT water and flour to make a dough.
- Place in lightly oiled bowl, covered with gladwrap, in a cool room temperature for 6-24 hours.
- The longer left, the more intense the flavour. I usually do the biga at night and do the rest the following day (if i am at home) or the afternoon if I am at work so it gets 12-20 hours to bubble away.
- 1/2 tsp dried yeast.
- 1/4 cup warm water.
- 1 & 1/2 cups RT water.
- 4 cups of Durum flour
- Pinch of salt
- Stir yeast into warm water and stand until creamy/frothy.
- Mix the dissolved yeast into the biga (above) and when mixed, add in the RT water.
- Make sure well mixed and consistency is smooth
- Mix in the flour and the salt, 1 cup at a time.
- When dough is formed and all flour/salt mix has been added, turn out on floured area and knead for 10 minutes.
- Place dough in the lightly oiled bowl and cover and leave in warm place for first rise for 3 hours or until tripled in size.
- When dough is ready from first rise, turn out again on floured area and shape the bread into either a round or a flatter oval shape.
- Slash down the middle of each loaf and place the bread slash side down on a tray well covered with flour or semolina until doubled in size or until big air bubbles are noticeable.
- 45 minutes before you want to bake this bread, turn on the oven to 225 Celsius and place baking dish at the bottom of the oven.
- Slash the bread again if the slash has closed over and sprinkle with cornmeal (polenta) .
- When oven is at correct temperature, place tray in oven and put a few ice cubes in the baking dish at the bottom of the oven.This will help the crust form, yet keep the bread moist.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until dark golden brown ( a little more than i did above)
- Cool and enjoy!!
The first Altamura bread was nice but I could really see the difference from using wholemeal to just durum flour and the weight of the bread itself. Still needs possibly a little more baking time (and i need a new oven) for a little crunchier crust but the crust was lovely and chewy even the next day.
Recipe adapted from Carol Fields “The Italian Baker ‘ 2nd Ed, 2011.