Simply Healthy Family: Rosemary Filone Bread


Rosemary Filone Bread

My very own beautiful crusty bread.   *sniff snifff, who thought I'd ever be baking bread???

My friend Jason travels all over the world backpacking, lucky duck! He is also an amazing cook and shares my obsession with food and food photography. He sent me this amazing artisan bread recipe from Verona, Italy. It's called Rosemary Filone Bread. It requires 8-16 hours for the Biga (starter) to develop and rise, so prepare for that. It is well worth the wait! This is by far the best bread I have ever had. It has a wonderful, golden, crust and a light, airy middle. I didn't even follow the directions exactly and it was still wonderful. I was making it for a friend and ran out of time, so I only let it rise for about half of the required time. Also, I don't have a bakers stone *sigh.... so I had to bake it on a baking sheet. If you do this too, I suggest immediately placing the finished loaves of bread on a rack to cool so they don't "sweat".

The first few times I made bread I didn't have the water temperature warm enough so my yeast didn't activate . The water should be pretty warm, but NOT hot on your wrist. You need to let the yeast water set aside for at least 10 minutes to activate, it should be slightly "foamy" and have little bubbles if it's happy.

This last time I made the filone with whole roasted garlic cloves and cracked pepper.
 Oh, heaven; filone be thoust name! Perfectly crusty and airy and so very rustic tasting. I ate it the following day with some fresh goat cheese sprinkled with chives and strawberries .

Can you think of a better snack? I sure can't.

MAKING THE BIGA (9-17 hours before you want to bake)

1/3 c water, tepid (70-78 degrees)
1/2 t instant yeast
2/3 unbleached all-purpose flour
1. Pour the water into a small mixing bowl.
2. Stir in yeast and flour with a rubber spatula until a dough forms.
3. Dust work area with flour and knead 1-2 minutes or until fairly smooth.
4. Put dough in lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temp (70-75 degrees) 1 hour. (5:30pm/6:30pm).
5. Then refrigerate at least 8 and up to 16 hours. The biga will double in volume (4:30am/12:30pm).
The biga can be left in a warm place to mature for 6 hours, refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months.

Jeanne, from Simple Math Bakery was kind enough to share these pictures of her Biga. She has several other wonderful recipes on her site, please check them out!

This is after sitting in the fridge all night.

1-1/3 c water, tepid (70-78 degrees)
1 t instant yeast
3-1/4 unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2-1/4 t sea salt
1. Remove biga from refrigerator and scrape into large bowl.
2. Mix yeast and water together. Pour mixture over biga and stir with rubber spatula to soften and break it into clumps.
3. Stir in flour, olive oil, rosemary, and salt until a dough forms.

after the first rise....

By hand: knead dough with steady strokes until it's silky, smooth, and elastic, 13-15 minutes.
By machine: mix dough on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid) with dough hook until it's silky, smooth, and elastic, 10-12 minutes.

Check that the dough is well developed by pulling off a golf ball sized piece and stretching it into an opaque windowpane. If dough tears, knead for an additional 2-3 minutes and test again.
NOTE: you may need to keep adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until a manageable ball forms.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled, clear 2-quart container with a lid. Mark the container at the level the dough will reach when it has doubled in volume with tape. Cover and leave to rise at room temp (70-75 degrees) until it doubles in volume, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. When you press your finger into dough, the fingerprint should spring back slowly.

...and after two hours of rising.

About 1 hour before baking, place a baking stone on middle rack and heat at 400 degrees.

Cover a baker's peel or rimless baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust it with flour. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces with a bench scraper or chef's knife. Shape each piece into a log about 12" long and place seem side down about 3" apart.
NOTE: To shape the log, start with a small rectangle (3"x5"). Fold into thirds, like a letter. First, fold the long top edge down, then fold the bottom edge up. Seal the seam by pressing gently with the palm of your hand. Fold the whole thing in half again, by bringing the long top edge down to the bottom edge. Seal again with your palm. Starting in the middle, gently roll the log until it is about 12" long (make sure it will still fit on your baking stone).

Cover with plastic wrap and let logs rise at room temp (70-75 degrees) until they spread and look puffy and light, nearly doubling in size, 45-60 minutes. Press your fingertips into dough and your fingerprint will spring back slowly.

Slide the logs, including the parchment, onto the baking stone. Bake until the logs are dark caramel in color, 30-40 minutes.

with Organic Goat Cheese & Strawberries

Enjoy with cheese and fruit, soup, sandwiches or french bread pizza.


1 comment:

  1. Rosemary bread is so good I crave it :) Now I need to learn how to make it gluten-free, though.


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