BBA Challenge: Italian Bread


The next bread in the challenge was Italian Bread.  I chose to do rolls  instead of a loaf, just for kicks.  These came out so good.  I ignored Mr. Reinhart's admonition to let them cool for an hour and instead ate mine right out of the oven.  They went perfectly with the braised shortribs that we had for dinner.

First, you make a biga, which is just some pre-made bread dough that you allow to ferment over night in the fridge so that it develops lots of flavor.

Italian Bread
From The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

18 oz biga
11.25 oz unbleached bread flour
.41 oz salt
.5 oz sugar
.11 oz instant yeast
.17 oz diastatic barley malt powder (optional, I didn't use)
.5 oz olive oil
7 to 8 oz lukewarm water or milk
semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting.

Take your biga out of the fridge an hour before you start, cut into 10 pieces and let sit to let the chill out.

In the mixer I mixed the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and biga.  Add the olive oil and water gradually and mix on low with the paddle attachment until it forms a soft sticky ball.  Then knead on 4 or 6 (medium high) with dough hook attachment for 8 minutes.

Remove and place in oiled bowl, rolling it around to coat in the oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours or until doubled.

Remove from bowl, cut into 9 pieces for rolls or torpedos or two pieces for loaves.  let sit 5 minutes, then form into the desired shapes.  Place on floured, parchment covered pans and let rise an hour or until 1 1/2 times the size.

Prepare oven as for home hearth...heat to 500F placing a steam pan inside as it heats.  When ready to bake, place pan with bread, then pour about a cup of boiling water in the pan, then spray the sides.  Spray the sides again after 30 seconds then repeat after another 30 seconds.  reduce heat to 450 F and bake 20 minutes for loaves or 15 minutes for rolls.

2 comments:

triolus said...

Would the biga you used in the recipe be sort of the same thing as the dough for 5 minute a day bread? Could I use that, mix in the extra yeast, salt, sugar, and oil?

Gina said...

I don't see why not, it's just a basic bread dough that you let ferment. Try it and let me know how it goes!

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