Try this Italian Country Bread with Biga recipe, or contribute your own.
Biga is a starter, almost similar to sourdough but not quite.The bread has a flavorful, yeasty beery quality. So 10 to 12 hours before you want the bread, mix the 1 tsp. yeast in the water and let it bubble and foam. Mix in the flour gradually to make a soft almost soupy dough. Cover and it will rise and triple in volume and then fall back and re-rise during the 6 to 8 hours you let it be. Then make the bread. Stir the salt right into the biga mixture, mix in the additional water ( cold or cool not warm ) until it is a thin soupy quality. Mix in the flour to make a firm but soft dough which leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn out to a floured surface and knead dough, adding additional flour if necessary to make a smooth dry dough. Place dough in a bowl, greased with olive oil, cover and let rise doubled about 2 hours. Punch dough down and knead it into a flat oval. cut in half and form each half into a baguette and let them rest covered with a towel for 30 minutes. then stretch them into longer baguette shapes and place them in a baguette baking tray if you have it. Let rest for 20 minutes. then slash tops and place into a preheated 450 oven for 20 minutes or done. If you dont have a baguette tray any baking sheet or baking stone will do. You also could shape the breads in one large round loaf instead of 2 baguettes. Bake the one large loaf 10 to 15 minutes longer. Note: since this bread is fat free eat the same day or freeze as it stales quickly.
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