Wednesday, January 20, 2010


My favorite sandwich is the Muffuletta, But I can,t find the right bread for it any place in this town. So I have to bake my own. Pugliese is the closest I can come to a good Italian bread. I will give you the recipe for the Muffuletta Later.

For the Biga Starter

1 1/2 cups White bread flour
1/4 ounce Fresh Yeast
6 Tablespoons lukewarm water

For the dough

2 cups white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 cups whole-wheat bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 ounce fresh yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
5Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Makes 1 loaf

Sift the flour for the biga starter into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, cream the yeast with the water. Pour the liquid into the center of the flour and gradually mix in the surrounding flour to form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to bowl, Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise, in warm place, for 8-10 hours or until the dough has risen well and is starting to collapse. Mix the flour, sugar and salt for the dough in a large bowl. Cream The yeast and water in another large bowl, then stir in the biga and combine. Stir in the flour mixture a little at a time, then add the olive oil in the same way, and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise, in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Gently pull out the edges and fold under to make a ball. Oil and flour the bottom and sides of a 10" dutch oven, Transfer the ball to the prepared oven, cover with lightle oiled plastic wrap and let rise, for 1-1 1/2 houror about doubled in size. Lightly dust the loaf with flour and bake with 15 charcoals on top, and bottom, for 15 minutes. Reduce the charcoals on the bottom, to 10 and on top to 12, and bake for about 20 minutes more. As it turns golden brown top, you ma what to remove all bottom heat, and bake until it sounds hollow when taped on top. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Now make your Muffuletta sandwich and cut into 4 and serve.

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