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.
Ever thought about making burgers as an appetizer or as a potluck meal for friends and family? Try making your favourite burger into bite-sized portions. They might be small in size, but they won’t be small in flavour. These burgers also pair well with a Greek salad for a delicious mid-week lunch or dinner. Fresh is best Squeeze fresh lemon on patties while cooking to give them the fresh zing of citrus.
What worldwide vacation is complete without a stop in Italy? Dad won’t miss the meat in this flavourful mushroom alternative complete with Italian spices and a zesty vegetable tapenade. Portobellos have a uniquely “meaty” texture and act as a sponge to lock in loads of flavour. This meaty plant-based burger is sure to become a favourite—even with any meat-lovers in your life. Custom-made! Don’t be afraid to customize your burger buns to fit your patties. If your bun’s too big, trim off excess and save the trimmed bits of bread, but don’t discard. Instead, cut into small cubes; drizzle with some olive oil, sea salt, and seasonings of choice; bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10 to 15 minutes, and you’ll have delicious homemade croutons for use in soups and salads throughout the week.
Next stop, Asia! This shrimp burger combines classic Asian flavours with unique toppings for rich umami flavour with the saltiness of the ocean. Whether served on a bun or over rice in a more traditional Asian-style meal, try some unique miso yogurt or wasabi mayo dressing for a fabulous flavour bomb. Keep those burgers juicy Place raw patties on a plate or tray, and cover and freeze or refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes to keep them together and to lock in moisture.
While on your burger journey, visit Jamaica, where you’ll find the spicy jerk flavours native to this beautiful island. Maple syrup adds a unique, sticky sweetness, while fresh lime juice highlights the fresh, tangy flavours of the Caribbean. Try making your own jerk seasoning or purchase store-bought for an easy shortcut.