This recipe for sfilatino breadis based on the one in Franco Galli’s “The Il Fornaio Baking Book.” I really like this book, but it is a challenge sometimes. Galli uses cup measurements and what he says in the recipes is sometimes a little difficult to square with the dough that results. Still, what you can do with these recipes and the philosophy embodied in them makes the effort worthwhile.
This recipe illustrates the confusion perfectly, but stick with it, it’s worth it.
His biga recipe is different from most others. He states in his appendix that a cup of flour is 4 ounces. He gives the flour as 3 1/2 cups, which is 14 ounces by his standard.
This recipe is modified from the original to give a much lower hydration level, although the dough is still wet by normal standards and borderline difficult to handle.
Here is the biga I used for this recipe.
|Dry Yeast||1/8 tsp||1|
This gives a biga of 100% hydration, while most biga recipes seem to be in the 60% range. In other words, this is the hydration of a poolish.
The directions say to dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then mix the rest of the ingredients well, cover
tightly and put directly in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
The main portion of the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour, which is 12 ounces. Here is the whole ingredient list.
|Bread Flour||14 5/8||415|
|Dry Yeast||1tsp||5 ml|
|Salt||1 rounded tsp||6 ml|
The resulting dough will consist of the small amount of biga at 100% plus the remainder of the ingredients at
260 / 415 = 62.7% The total hydration is 66.7%. This is a slightly wet dough. He claims that it will yield 3 7-ounce loaves, or 21 ounces of bread, and
the totals of the ingredients are not far off this total. However, he also says that this bread came about
as a response to the French baguette, which is around 60%. This bread is made using a modification of the original
recipe. The other version of this bread is made according to Galli’s
original recipe using his conversions. Compare them and decide which is for you. Maybe you’ll
decide to make them both and compare them. Both recipes make good bread, they’re just different.
1. Make the biga the night before and place it immediately in the refrigerator to develop overnight.
2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let sit 15 minutes, until creamy.
3. Place biga, yeast water, the rest of the water and flour in the bowl of a mixer. Mix for a minute or two, until the dough begins to come together
4. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
5. Add the salt and knead for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is fully mixed and smooth.
6. Cover the dough and let it develop for 1 1/2 hours. It should double.
7. Fold the dough, or just drop the dough hook into the bowl and mix the dough for 5-10 seconds.
8. Cover the dough and let it develop for another hour.
9. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into three equal pieces.
10. Working with the first piece of dough, press out most of the air and form the dough into a rectangle 3X4 inches / 75X100 mm.
11. Fold the top down 1 inch / 25 mm.
12. Roll the dough up as you would a cloth napkin.
13. Press the edge sealed and taper the ends.
14. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough. These should be 6 inches long.
15. Heat the oven to 425 F / 220C. Place a stone or tiles in the oven.
16. Turn each piece so that the seam is down and let rise, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
17. Grasp one dough and gently stretch it until it is 15 inches / 38 cm long. Place it on parchment paper.
18. Repeat with the other two doughs.
19. Let the doughs rise for 15 minutes.
20. Mist the oven with water. Slash the loaves in 4 or 5 places. Spray the loaves with water.
21. Place the loaves in the oven and mist the oven.
22. Mist the oven after 5 minutes, then bake for another 20 to 25 minutes (total 25-30 minutes), but check after 20 minutes total time.
23. Remove from the oven and place on a rack.
Here we go:
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