The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian Biga Bread with Semola Rimacinata di Grano Duro

albacore's picture
albacore

Italian Biga Bread with Semola Rimacinata di Grano Duro

Abel's excellent 90% Italian Biga Loaf has created a lot of interest at TFL. I've made it a few times with great success, apart from once when I did the sourdough version, and it didn't turn out too well - dense/dry crumb - a victim of dough degradation in the biga, I now believe.

Not wanting to be beaten, and inspired by Lechem's recent bake I decided to have another attempt after getting some sound advice from mwilson on Biga procedures.

Then I chanced upon this recipe from Italian maestro Ezio Marinato. It's a biga based recipe, but uses 100% semola rimacinata. I had a bag of Divella semola in the cupboard that needed using, so the recipe was a good fit. I decided to use 50% semola and 50% bread flour as I believe that 100% semola can be a little dense.

I refreshed my stiff starter twice as per the recipe and then made the biga with 600g Waitrose Canadian flour (15% protein) - I guess Italians would call it Manitoba flour. I made the biga at 11pm and kept it overnight at 16C. In the morning at 9am I made the main dough with the biga and 600g semola. I upped the hydration to 65% on account of the 50% bread flour - all other additions were pro-rata. I mixed on low speed for about 4mins after the dough came together.

I pretty much followed the recipe instructions, eventually shaping to two 900g batards and a small boule.

I was quite pleased with how the loaves turned out - good oven spring, a subtle but pleasant flavour and a moist, tender crumb.

Lance

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

You've now inspired me to try this. I've gotta say a biga does bring something extra to a bread. Thank you for the recipe. I'm on a biga trip now. 

Bon Appetit. 

P.s. with durum flour bread you've gotta toast it and dip it into some pure olive oil (but pumpkin seed oil is my favourite so if you can get any...) to really bring out the best in this type of bread.

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks Abe and good luck with your bake! I'll give your oil suggestion a try; no pumpkin oil but I have some good Portuguese olive oil to use.

Lance

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hi Lance.

Nice looking loaves you have there. I did have a look at the formula from Ezio Marinato, clearly the biga at 60% hydration is not an issue when adhering to specific temperature control. Semola rimacinata at 60% seems to be quite common. I think perhaps try all semola next time, in a accordance with the formula. I was expecting to see a golden yellow crumb..

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks Michael; yes I think I might give 100% semola a try. I've just cut into one of the bigger loaves (ex freezer) and the crumb has just a hint of yellow - and a better crumb structure!

Lance