Dec 19, 2008

Rustic Italian bread

heehee...i'm giddy right now! My babies (aka Rustic Italian breads) just came out of the oven, and they're's music to my ears. They look so beautiful and so huge!! I can't wait to eat them...but I have to wait at least for another 2 hours! I think I should leave the house, the temptation is way too strong. They smell wonderful.

...a few hours later...I finally was able to have my first bite, and a second bite and a third bite..heehee!! It's absolutely delicious. The bread has so much flavor, and the texture is really good too!! I'm so happy this came out so well because it was so very time consuming!!! It's definitely worth it though. I will definitely make this bread again!

This recipe comes from Baking Illustrated from Cook's illustrated, but what inspired me to make this bread is a post from Cookography. After reading such the post, I couldn't resist any longer!! Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try, check out Cookography's website for illustrations on how to shape and turn the dough.

Rustic Italian Bread
from Cookography

11 ounces bread flour (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
8 ounces water (1 cup), room temperature
16 1/2 ounces bread flour (3 cups)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
10.7 ounces water (1 1/3 cups), room temperature
2 teaspoons table salt

For the biga:
Combine flour, yeast, and water in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Knead on lowest speed (stir on KitchenAid) until it forms a shaggy dough, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer biga to medium bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until beginning to bubble and rise, about 3 hours. Refrigerate biga at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

For the dough:
1. Remove the biga from refrigerator and it let stand at room temperature while making dough.

2. To make the dough, combine flour, yeast, and water in bowl of the standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Knead the dough on lowest speed until rough dough is formed, about 3 minutes.

3. Turn the mixer off and, without removing the dough hook or bowl from the mixer, cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. (This allows protein in the dough to relax, making for a stronger dough that can rise higher, with a better crust)

4. Remove the plastic wrap over the dough, and add the biga and salt to bowl. Continue to knead on the lowest speed until ingredients are incorporated (dough should clear the sides of the bowl but should stick to the very bottom), about 4 minutes.

5. Increase the mixer speed to low (speed 2 on a KitchenAid) and continue until the dough forms a more cohesive ball, about 1 minute.

6. Transfer the dough to a large bowl (at least 3 times the size of the dough) and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a cool, draft-free spot away from direct sunlight, until slightly risen and puffy, about 1 hour.

7. Remove the plastic wrap and turn the dough following illustrations below on Turning the Dough. Replace the plastic wrap and let the dough rise 1 hour. Turn dough again, replace plastic wrap, and let dough rise 1 hour longer.

8. Dust the work surface liberally with flour. Hold the bowl with the dough at an angle over the floured surface. Gently scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto the work surface (the side of the dough that was against bowl should now be facing up).

9. If you want two smaller loaves, split the dough into two equal halves. Use a knife or bench scraper.

10. Dust the dough and your hands liberally with flour and, using minimal pressure, push dough into a rough 8- to 10-inch square. If you are making two loaves, shape each piece into a smaller rectangle.

11. Shape the dough following the illustrations below on Shaping the Loaf, and transfer it to a large sheet parchment paper. Dust loaf liberally with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap; let loaf rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

12. Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position, and place a baking stone on the rack. Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.

13. Using a single-edged razor blade, or sharp chef’s knife, cut a slit 1/2 inch deep lengthwise along top of loaf, starting and stopping about 1 1/2 inches from the ends. Lightly spray the loaf with water. Slide parchment sheet with loaf onto baker’s peel or upside-down baking sheet, then slide parchment with loaf onto hot baking stone in oven. If you are not using a baking stone or tile, simply place the baking sheet in the oven.

14. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and quickly spin loaf around half way using the edges of the parchment paper.

15. Continue to bake until deep golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf registers 210 degrees. For one large loaf this will be about 35 minutes longer. For two smaller loaves this will be closer to 30 minutes.

16. When the bread is done, transfer it to a wire rack and discard the parchment paper. Now the toughest part, cool the loaf to room temperature, about 2 hours.



Template by Best Web Hosting