Modified Epoxy method from Reinhart
I have been a big fan of Reinhart's Whole Grain book for some time, and have even followed his epoxy method and adapted it to other recipes, such as Jason's Ciabatta. ( For those that have not read the book, you take the overall flour and divide in half, add a small amount of yeast , and half the water to one half, mix until moistened, then set aside in the fridge for 1 to 3 days, he calls it the biga. Take the remaining flour, and add 1/2 of the called for salt, and the remaining water, mix until moistened, and leave it on the counter, unless it is more than 1 day, in which case he call for it to be refrigerated, He calls this half the soaker. On baking day, remove the biga and soaker, let come to room temp, then mix, add remaining salt and yeast, then let proof and bake , The first rise is while it is in the fridge)
While this is not an earth shattering revelation, I did come up with a variation that works pretty well for me. I make the biga as directed, and put in in the fridge. I do not make the soaker at that time. On baking day, when I take the biga out to come to room temp, I then take the second half of the flour, and mix with water only and let autolyse for 20 to 30 minutes, as the biga is coming to room temp in a very low oven ( 90 F ). After autolyse, I add all the salt to the "soaker" part, add the soaker to the biga, add the yeast, and mix then knead. I made two test loaves today, one soaker was made several days in advance, the other was made this morning, and both came out tasting the same. In truth, I did this method the first time because I looked in the fridge and could not find the soaker, so I just made it that morning, though it did find it in the back of the fridge later that day.
This is my version of a Jason's Ciabatta, with a Reinhart epoxy method, made as a sandwich bread. It is 100 % home milled red spring wheat . Normally I made a traditional sandwich loaf, but I went smaller for this test.