Sponge or Biga
dried yeast granules
1 cup bread or 1 cup
dried yeast granules
warm water, 110 degree f
3 1/4 cups bread or 3 1/4 cups
- Biga or Sponge:.
- Make the sponge the day before 12 to 20 hours before.
- 1 tsp yeast sprinkled over the one cup warm water, let it become foamy and bubbly, that way you know the yeast is good and active. Add in the one cup flour, and stir well to combine, it will be soupy. Cover tightly with saran wrap and place on counter top overnight. I place in my microwave out of the way, and out of drafts. This biga will bubbly and come up to the top of your bowl but then will fall back down into the bowl after a while, so just make sure your bowl is a larger one to begin with.
- When baking time is ready the next day, or 20 hours later, I then proceed.
- First step one: sprinkle the 1 teaspoon yeast over 1/4 cup warm water and let stand until bubbly about five or ten minutes. This shows that yeast is fresh and active.
- In your large mixing machine bowl, place yesterdays biga which is bubbly and soupy looking again, and very elastic into the bowl with flat beater.
- Add 1/4 cup cold water with the beater going slowly just to mix .
- Add after the five or ten minutes of resting the new yeast mixture, and continue with the flat beater slowly combining well.
- Add the remainder 3/4 cup cold water and blend.
- Add the 1 cup all purpose or bread flour, and combine, still using just a slow speed.
- Change now to the dough hook and add the other 2 1/4 cups flour and table salt.
- With the dough hook still on low speed .
- You will have a sticky dough.
- The dough will be soft sticky but holding itself around the dough hook, while at the same time cleaning the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- If at that time its still puddles at the bottom of the bowl while kneading on number three or four speed, add in the tablespoons of flour, one at a time kneading all the while. I have added two to three tablespoons as listed in ingredients for this purpose. Remember just add until its cleaning the bottom and sides of bowl, this must be a wet and sticky dough, not firm and heavy. Weather is an important factor with flour.
- Sticky to touch the dough, but yet doesn't stick gobs of dough to your fingers.
- It will be sticky, elastic and soft.
- Knead a good ten minutes with your hook.
- Oil bottom and sides of a very large bowl.
- With wet fingers drop the dough into the bowl and turn dough over so all is oiled well.
- Cover with saran wrap and then a towel, and place out of the way of drafts.
- Rise until it is 2 1/2 to 3 times its size. It will look blistered and soft.
- Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly flour, set aside.
- Place some flour onto the bread board or counter top and with wet fingertips, scrape the dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl gently.
- Slightly stretch dough brushing the flour off the bottom and out of the way.
- You just want the flour there to keep it from sticking, you are not adding more flour into the risen dough.
- Place shaped stretched loaf onto the floured parchment, lightly flour top so that saran doesn't stick.
- Cover with the saran , again with a towel, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, until doubled.
- It has risen sufficiently when you poke it with two fingers gently and it leaves the impression, it doesn't spring back. If it springs back then leave a little while longer to rise.
- Place in hot preheated oven 425 degrees, and bake 30 minutes, turn upside down and continue another 10 minutes, until golden brown, and hollow sounding when tapped.
- Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
- Do not cut and eat -- Let cool Completely this will give you a better flavoured bread.