Italian biga acida/sour dough, using Italian '00' flour and strong bread flour. Based on a recipe from Dan Lepard and Richard Whittington 'Exceptional Breads'. The original recipe called for the inclusion of honey which made the bread too sweet for my taste. I have made this without honey and it works well and suited better to my personal taste. I replaced the wholemeal with spelt and used strong Canadian bread flour. Allow 5 days to make this bread. On the day of baking it could take up to 8 hours from the first kneading until the loaves are ready to go in the oven.
Juice of 2 oranges
2 tsp of wholemeal spelt
100ml spring water
150g Italian '00' flour
100ml spring water
Place the biga acida ingredients in a bowl and whisk for about 10 minutes. I used an electric hand whisk for this.
Cover and leave in a warm place idealy at 28c for 24 hours. ( My kitchen or airing cupboard is never this warm but fermented ok. )
After 24 hours the top should be pocked with little holes. Leave to ferment for a further 24 - 48 hours. I let the biga develope for the 48 hours.
Pour the biga acida into a bowl and add the refreshment ingrediants and whisk for 4 minutes. Cover and leave at room temprature for 4 - 6 hours, then refrigerate over night, the biga is now ready to use.
500g biga acida at room temprature
250g strong Canadian bread flour
250g Italian '00' flour
1 tbsp salt
Combine the biga and flours and whisk slowly adding the water and beat together, continue to beat for 8 - 10 minutes. I did this by hand but a good electric mixer would do the job.
Coat the dough in a little olive oil and place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
After an hour tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With the palm and heel of your hand firmly tap the dough out into a rough rectangle. Fold in half, then fold in three the other way like a blanket. Return to the bowl, cover with clingfilm and rest for another hour.
Repeat the deflating and folding process each hour for the next three hours, covering the dough with clingfilm each time.
Tip the dough out on a floured work surface and knead lightly into a ball. Cut in half and shape to be placed into a proving basket. I shaped the dough to be placed in round proving baskets, oval baskets would work well too. Cover the baskets with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 3 - 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250c with a baking stone on the middle shelf. Test the dough is ready when pressing a finger lightly on the surface of the dough it should spring back to its orginal shape. Dust a peel with semolina, upturn one of the baskets and let the dough fall on the peel, score with a lame or razor blade, open the oven door swiftly and slide the loaf to one side of the baking stone, closing the oven door immediatley. Wait for 2 minutes and repeat this prcedure with the second loaf. After 10 minutes reduce the oven temprature from 250c to 180c and bake for a further 25 minutes or until the loves sound hollow when tapped on the base.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Shipton Mill flours used for this bread recipe.
Added by: Andyw3
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