March 1, 2010
The beauty of a biga is the rich slightly fermented flavor they give a loaf of bread. The depth of flavor is intensely satisfying when you eat these loaves. The first time I made this loaf, I didn't allow the biga to mature to the full 18 hours. Instead I stopped it about 8 hours, because I really needed a loaf of bread for my dinner party.
The resulting bread looked and tasted good, but that extra something was missing. So, I made it again and allowed the biga to ferment for 24 hours. Wow! The biga had a heady wine-like aroma and gave the bread that little extra boost it needed.
I made an Italian style dinner for my guests and everyone loved the bread. It doesn't need anything extra to go with it, maybe some butter. However, it's simply wonderful to eat all on it's own.
Original: 40.3 g
Gluten Free: 39.72 g
10 g brown rice flour (0.9 g)
10 g sweet rice flour (0.6 g)
10 g arrowroot starch (0.03 g)
15 g white bean flour (3.225 g)
12 g almond meal (2.4 g)
1 g instant dry yeast
32 ml water (120 - 130 degrees F/48 - 54 degrees C)
10 ml agave syrup
50 g brown rice flour (4.5 g)
40 g sweet rice flour (2.4 g)
40 g arrowroot starch (0.12 g)
60 g almond meal (12 g)
63 g white bean flour (13.545 g)
12 g instant dry yeast
6 g chia seed meal
4 g agar agar powder
5 g sea salt
2 g rosemary, coarsely chopped
9 g olive oil
24 ml milk or alternative milk
132 ml water (120 - 130 degrees F/48 - 54 degrees C)
15 ml agave syrup
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flours, water, agave syrup and yeast. Mix together, making sure the mixture is smooth. Cover the mixture or transfer to a container and allow to ferment at 75 degrees F/24 degrees C for 18 to 24 hours. When the biga is ready to use, it will have risen and receded, yet also look bubbly.
Final Dough Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients with the exception of the salt and yeast. Hold the salt out, so it can be added later in the mixing. Place the yeast into a small container, add the water and a little bit of the agave syrup. Stir to ensure the water mixes through the yeast. Allow the yeast to proof for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add the yeast mixture, biga, the rest of the agave syrup and blend together. Just before the dough comes together, sprinkle in the salt and then continue blending until a soft ball forms. Note: This dough should be a little wetter or looser than other types of doughs.
3. Since this dough is looser, I made a foil frame so the bread would turn out the right shape. Take a long strip of aluminum foil and fold it lengthwise until it is 2 inches/5 cm wide. Fold up 1/2 inch/1.3cm from one long edge, but don't make a hard crease in the foil. Ease the foil around until the ends over lap and can rest one inside the other. Work the corners until the fold lays flat and you have a rounded edge rectangle. Let the sides ease out rather than be straight up and down. (See the picture above.) Gently line this frame with parchment paper, so you can reuse the frame for the ciabatta (the next B&P recipe).
4. Place the dough in the center of a sheet of parchment paper that has been sprinkled with arrowroot starch. Gently pat the dough out into the frame, but don't press it into the sides or corners. The loaf should still have rounded sides. Take a sharp knife to one corner of the dough and score from that corner to each of the other 3 corners (see the photograph at the top of the post). Slide the frame onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and place in a warm location to rise for 2 hours.
4. Place an oven proof bowl filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Then place a baking stone on the top shelf. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/232 degrees C. Place the loaf in the oven and spray water over the oven box and the top of the loaf. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Prop the oven door open and continue to cook the bread for another 10 minutes. Remove the loaf and allow it to cool before serving.
What's Going On?
I was a very lucky woman and received a copy of the Culinary Institute of America's Baking & Pastry book along with their DVD's from my family for my birthday. After watching all the DVDs, I decided to work my way through the CIA's Baking and Pastry book - of course making it gluten free. There were so many skills that I wanted to develop and work on. I hope you will be interested in sharing my journey with me.
You can follow me on Twitter and on Flickr.
Other Baking & Pastry Project Posts
Baking & Pastry Week 20 - More Bigas
Baking & Pastry #39 - Cracked Rice & Potato Bread (Biga)
Baking & Pastry #38 - Almond & White Bean Batard (Biga)
Baking & Pastry Week 19 - Bigas
Baking & Pastry #37 - Roasted Potato Basil Loaf (Poolish)
Baking & Pastry #36 - Almond & White Bead Epi Wreath (Poolish)
Baking & Pastry Week 18 - Poolishes