Pugliese Capriccioso, Take 2
Back in October, 2011, I baked a pugliese-type bread I enjoyed a lot. (See Pugliese Capriccioso) I gather from various TFL comments, a few other bakers have baked from my formula with good results. However, I wanted to bake this bread again using a more authentic biga rather than a liquid levain and at a somewhat higher hydration. Today, I did.
Biga Naturale Ingredients
Active starter (50% hydration)
The day before baking, mix the biga.
Ferment for 6 hours at 78ºF.
Final Dough Ingredients
Fine durum flour
Biga naturale (50% hydration)
Note: The biga consists of 67 g flour and 33 g water. Thus, the total flour in the dough is 567 g, and the total water is 433 g. Therefore, the actual final dough hydration is 76%. Likewise, the actual salt percentage is 1.8%.
Take the biga out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for about an hour.
Mix the water and flours to a shaggy mass, cover and autolyse for 20-60 minutes.
Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add the biga in chunks.
Mix at Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients are well-mixed.
Mix at Speed 2 for about 8 minutes. The dough will be quite slack. It will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball on the dough hook, but a large portion of the dough will still be on the bottom of the bowl.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured board, form into a ball by stretching and folding.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl with a tight-fitting cover.
Ferment at 78ºF for about 2 hours with a stretch and fold at 50 and 100 minutes.
Pre-shape into a ball and let the dough rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten. (This wasn't much of an issue. The dough was extremely relaxed and extensible.)
Shape the dough as a tight boule and place it seam-side down in a floured banneton.
Place the banneton in a food-safe plastic bag or cover with a damp towel. Proof the boule at 85ºF until the dough springs back slowly when you poke a finger into it. (About 2 hours)
45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 490ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
Transfer the loaf to the baking stone, seam-side up, steam the oven and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.
After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the loaf is done. The crust should be nicely colored. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.
Leave the loaf on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 10 minutes to dry the crust.
Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.
The dough was even more slack than the last bake, and it spread significantly when transferred to the peel. However, there was very nice oven spring. The boule ended up with about 4 times the height it started with. The folds did not open up like the last bake. This may have been partly due to longer proofing, but I probably sealed them too well in tightening the boule when shaping.
I would describe the crust, crumb and flavor as essentially identical to my first bake of this bread: Crunchy crust, cool, sweet, chewy crumb. Perhaps a subtle nuttiness from the durum flour. Pretty darn delicious! This bread is a strong contender for the list of breads I bake frequently.