Saturday, December 29, 2012


Recipe by Daniel Leader

This is probably the easiest of the craft breads in Daniel Leader's "Local Breads". Just flour, water, salt, yeast and a little patience are all you need to produce a really wonderful couple of loaves or batch of rolls. Don't be scared off by the amount of water in the dough. The little bit of additional effort needed to work with this level of hydration is well worth it. Besides, making these rolls is much easier than forming baguettes.


For The Biga
  • 65 grams Tepid Water
  • 2 grams Instant Yeast
  • 100 grams Bread flour
For The Dough
  • 167 grams  Biga
  • 425 grams Tepid Water
  • 10 grams Instant Yeast
  • 500 grams Bread Flour
  • 10 grams Sea or Kosher Salt
Cooking Directions

    The Biga
    The Biga 12 Hours Later

  1. The evening before you plan to bake prepare the biga. Combine the water, yeast and flour in a small bowl and knead briefly until its is fairly smooth. Form the biga into a ball.
  2. Lightly oil the bowl, pop in the biga, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for an hour. Then place it in the refrigerator overnight (12 to 17 hours).
  3. Remove the biga from the refrigerator and scrape it into a mixing bowl. Add the water and stir it to break up the biga.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand until the dough begins to come together.
  5. Using the dough hook mix the dough in medium high (8 on a KitchenAid) for about 15 minutes. You'll have to occasionally stop the mixer and scrape the very wet dough off the hook and sides of the bowl.
  6. After 15 minutes, turn the mixer up to it's highest speed for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  7. Use the windowpane test and if necessary mix on high a few more minutes.
  8. Transfer the dough to a straight sided container and note how high it will need to rise to triple in volume.
  9. Cover the container with plastic wrap and allow the dough to ferment.
  10. WARNING - This dough is very wet and contains a large amount of yeast - keep an eye on the dough as it can very easily overflow the bowl.
  11. When the dough has tripled in volume scrape it out onto a very well floured work surface.
  12. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.

  13. Be gentle - you don't want to lose the bubbles.

  14. With heavily floured hands gently push the dough into a 10x12 inch rectangle.
  15. Dust the dough with flour and using a pizza cutter slice it into rectangles about 2x3 inches.
  16. Immediately transfer the dough rectangles to 2 parchment paper covered baking sheets, placing them 2 inches apart.
  17. Let the dough rise about a half an hour. The rectangles will be puffed and and you will be able to see bubbles forming under the skin.
  18. Bake in a 475 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the rolls are light golden brown.

  19. Ready to eat!

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