This classic ciabatta bread, from the University of Colorado, features Biga, which is made with water, yeast and flour.
1⁄2 oz. dry yeast
10 oz. milk, room temperature
3 pints water
2 oz. olive oil
8 cups Biga (recipe follows)
5 lb. bread flour
3 oz. salt
BIGA: (Yield: 12 cups + 11 oz.)
1 pint + 12 oz. water
1 oz. yeast
10 pints water
13 cups + 6 oz. bread flour
1. Mix yeast and milk; let rest 5 minutes.
2. To make Biga: Mix water and yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add water and flour and mix for 5 minutes at second speed. Cover and store in cooler until needed.
3. Add water, olive oil and Biga to yeast mixture, and mix until blended.
4. Add flour, and mix on second speed for 2 minutes. Add salt and mix on second speed for 4 minutes.
5. Let rise until doubled, 1 hour and 20 minutes.
6. Scale into 2-oz. portions, stretching each into rectangle shape. Proof and bake at 425°F for 20 minutes.
Recipe by University of Colorado, Boulder