Makes 16 slices.
There are many variations for making a biga loaf. This one is similar to a traditional Italian filone breadstick. The outer crust is crunchy while the inner dough is soft, chewy, and full of holes.
There are many methods for making sourdough starters. Some might not contain traditional yeast, and some may contain potato water and yeast. Each variation is relative to world customs. Google any number of online sites and you’ll find someone who has found a sourdough that specifically works for them.
There are numerous examples of how to make a fermented sourdough starter. This one’s as easy as it gets, because once it rests for a number of hours, it can be transformed effortlessly into a lovely, crusty, holey sourdough bread.
To make biga, in large bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with paddle, combine yeast, water, and flour. Gently beat at lowest speed for 2 minutes, scraping down sides with spatula until a sticky, shaggy dough forms.
Lightly oil medium-sized bowl; transfer biga to greased bowl and seal tightly with greased plastic wrap. Top with damp kitchen cloth and set aside at room temperature to bubble and rise for 10 hours or overnight, up to 24 hours. The longer the biga rests, the more sour it becomes.
Then use biga to make a crusty sourdough loaf.
To make bread, in small bowl, combine warm water with yeast. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes until yeast is foamy.
Place Basic Biga Sourdough Starter along with 1/4 cup (60 mL) ice-cold water in large bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with paddle. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add yeast mixture and remaining 3/4 cup (180 mL) ice water and gently beat until blended.
Replace paddle with dough hook, and add flour and salt. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes. Dough will be very sticky, but should be almost see-through when a small piece is stretched between your fingers. Gently beat in herbs, if using. Dough will be quite loose. Generously coat large bowl with oil; transfer dough to greased bowl and seal tightly with greased plastic wrap. Set aside to rise at room temperature until tripled in volume, about 3 hours.
Sprinkle work surface with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) flour. Scrape loose dough onto floured surface and gently pat into 12 in (30 cm) log, folding in long sides and pinching ends. Dough is quite sticky and very soft. Sprinkle loaf with additional flour and cover loosely with kitchen cloth. Leave to rise for about 30 to 45 more minutes.
While dough is resting for a second rising, preheat oven to 425 F (220 C), and place large pizza stone or heavy-duty baking sheet, vertically inverted, in centre of oven.
When bread has risen, lightly sprinkle another large baking sheet with flour. Using silicone scraper, gently roll loaf onto floured baking sheet. With floured hands, carefully stretch and shape loaf to about 16 in (38 cm) long. Then tip baking sheet with loaf diagonally onto pizza stone or inverted baking sheet in oven.
Bake loaf in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until golden and it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to rack to cool before slicing and serving. Best served same day itu2019s made.
This recipe is part of the New Breads collection.
Licorice-flavoured fennel, tart apple, and a hint of pleasant bitterness from radicchio combines with a touch of sweet dressing for a refreshingly delicious salad. Fennel contains a number of vitamins and minerals known to be involved in digestion, including vitamin C, manganese, and niacin which helps transform the food you eat into energy. Apple adds sweet crunch and all-important fibre. Know your fennel The fennel bulb we buy at the market is a cultivar variety known as Florence fennel. Fennel seeds, which are sometimes eaten after a meal to ease digestion, and which are also used for cooking, come from the common fennel, which grows wild in southern Europe, Australia, and parts of the US.
Adding farro, with its nutty bite, is a delicious and convenient way to increase your soup’s fibre and nutritional value. This hearty soup is the perfect remedy to a cold January day. Lemon and chervil add a bright contrast to the fibre-packed earthy flavours. Farro timesaver With a long cooking time, it’s worth it to cook a larger amount of farro and freeze it in small-portioned batches which can be thawed quickly. Using a ratio of 1:4 farro to water, cook on medium-high heat until farro is al dente, in a similar manner to the way you would cook pasta. Drain, rinse, portion, and freeze for later use. To thaw, simply run frozen farro under water or add directly to soup.
Oven-roasted delicata squash makes a crispy treat atop this green salad. As its name suggests, this squash has a thin, delicate skin that’s tasty when cooked. Pomegranate molasses, an ingredient common in Lebanese and Middle-Eastern cuisine, brings a sweet and sour flavour to the dressing. No pine nuts? Use squash seeds! Simply collect about 1/4 cup (60 mL) seeds from cleaned squash, rinse, and mix with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) of the spice mix used to roast the squash and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) olive oil. Roast at 425 F (220 C) on parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Look for whole grain farro, which leaves the germ and bran intact, for this satisfying porridge that’s sure to kickstart your day. While the cooking time is longer than for pearled or semi-pearled varieties, you’ll get more nutrition. Take the time to enjoy the delicate scent of cardamom and ginger wafting through your kitchen as you prepare this. Ancient grain Farro (also referred to as emmer or einkorn) is a variety of wheat known as an ancient grain, which means that it hasn’t changed over time through breeding as is the case with many varieties of modern wheat.