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Monday, August 27, 2012

Mediterranean Country-Style Bread

This delicious bread recipe came from The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook.  The more I use this cookbook, the more I like it.  This bread took 3 days, but minimal effort. 

DAY 1

Make the biga   Sprinkle 1 tsp yeast over 2 cups very warm water, stir briefly with a wooden spoon.  Add 2 cups of white flour.  Stir to mix.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a cool place overnight.  (If you have a start, mix a cup of starter with warm water and flour, cover and set aside to rise.)

 
DAY 2

Remove 1 cup of the starter, put in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for future bread.


It's alive.  Add 2 tbsp salt, a cup of tepid water and 2 cups whole wheat flour.  Mix thoroughly with your hands.  Cover, return to a cool place and let rise overnight.



DAY 3

Obviously, I needed a bigger bowl.  So, I moved it to a much bigger bowl, add 1 1/2 cups tepid water and 7 cups white flour.  Knead on a wooden counter for 10 minutes, add flour as necessary.  Put in a clean bowl, dusted with flour, for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Before the rise

After the rise.  Now punch the dough and knead briefly just to get the air holes out.  Form into two loaves, any shape.  This is where I kind of lost focus.

I made small loaves.  Let rise 30 minutes.  Then put a couple of slashes in each.  I forgot this step.


And one large long loaf.  Let rise 30 minutes.  Don't forget to put a few slashes before baking.  Again, I forgot. 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone in the cold oven.  I cooked the long loaf on the stone, the small loaves on a cookie sheet.  Cook 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350, cook the small loves 25 minutes, the large 35 minutes.  Let cool on a rack.

 

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