Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Black Pepper Parmesan Ciabatta


1/8 teaspoon highly active yeast
3/4 C water, 110-115 degrees
2 C flour
1/4 C whole wheat flour

2 C bread flour
1 packet highly-active yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 C water, 110-115 degrees
Fermented biga
1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1 T fresh cracked black pepper

At least 20 hours before making the dough, make the biga.  Put the water and yeast in a stand mixer and let it get foamy, about five minutes.  Stir in the flour and wheat flour.  Place this in a greased bowl that is at least three times the size of the biga.  Cover it and let it sit out on your counter overnight and until you're ready to make the dough.  It usually doesn't change or grow until you're closer to the 20 hours.

When it's time to make the dough, combine all the dough ingredients in a stand mixer and knead until combined.  This dough should be really "gloppy," which means it looks more like a thick batter than dough.  That's the way it's supposed to look.  If it doesn't look that way, add small amounts of warm water until it does.

Scrape the dough mess into a really large greased bowl.  Set a timer for 20 minutes.  At 20 minutes, scrape this mess out onto a really well-floured board.  Sprinkle flour over the top.  Turn it and fold it back onto itself and return it to the bowl.  Repeat this process three more times.  You'll be amazed at how this glop turns into a much drier dough.  After you turn it a fourth time, let it rest another 20 minutes.

After the last rest, divide the dough into two and shape it howver you like, slipper-like that's kind of elongated or round, whichever you prefer.  This is the time to let it proof in the oven in the manner I stated above.  Let it rest another 20 minutes.

Time to bake!  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Bake it anywhere between 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.  It should be well browned on the outside and sound hollow when thumped.  Let cool before slicing (if you can!).

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