This recipe for sfilatino bread is based on the one in Franco Galli's "The Il Fornaio Baking Book." I really like this book, but it is a challenge sometimes. Galli uses cup measurements and what he says in the recipes is sometimes a little difficult to square with the dough that results. Still, what you can do with these recipes and the philosophy embodied in them makes the effort worthwhile.
This recipe illustrates the confusion perfectly, but stick with it, it's worth it.
His biga recipe is different from most others. He states in his appendix that a cup of flour is 4 ounces. He gives the flour as 3 1/2 cups, which is 14 ounces by his standard.
This recipe is modified from the original to give a much lower hydration level, although the dough is still wet by normal standards and borderline difficult to handle.
Here is the biga I used for this recipe.
|Dry Yeast||1/8 tsp||1|
This gives a biga of 100% hydration, while most biga recipes seem to be in the 60% range. In other words, this is the hydration of a poolish.
The directions say to dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then mix the rest of the ingredients well, cover tightly and put directly in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
The main portion of the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour, which is 12 ounces. Here is the whole ingredient list.
|Bread Flour||14 5/8||415|
|Dry Yeast||1tsp||5 ml|
|Salt||1 rounded tsp||6 ml|
The resulting dough will consist of the small amount of biga at 100% plus the remainder of the ingredients at 260 / 415 = 62.7% The total hydration is 66.7%. This is a slightly wet dough. He claims that it will yield 3 7-ounce loaves, or 21 ounces of bread, and the totals of the ingredients are not far off this total. However, he also says that this bread came about as a response to the French baguette, which is around 60%. This bread is made using a modification of the original recipe. The other version of this bread is made according to Galli's original recipe using his conversions. Compare them and decide which is for you. Maybe you'll decide to make them both and compare them. Both recipes make good bread, they're just different.
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