Whole Wheat Bread with Golden Raisins and Pecans) and it was a bit of a bust, as the bread was pretty dense due to serious user's error. So I was determined not to fudge it up.
First up: make the biga. Now, I only know what a biga is because the Alpha Bakers needed to make a biga for the panettone, and I read as many of the baker's blog posts as I could. Basically it is a blob of flour, yeast, and water that hopefully sits around in the fridge for 72 hours to develop depth of flavor. This biga had equal parts pumpernickel and bread flour. I couldn't find pumpernickel, but I did find dark rye flour and used it instead. Mark kept pulling the biga out of the refrigerator and asking, "what is this??" as if he was hoping he could throw it away. Sadly, my biga never really got bubbly and doubled, so I suspect my yeast is on the way out. I used the biga anyway.
|bribe the baby with puffs so the biga can get made!|
I noticed that many Alpha Bakers rose their panettone dough in the microwave with a cup of boiling water (Rose suggests this in the back of the Baking Bible) so that's what I did, too. It worked like a charm.
The next step is to degas the dough and give it another rise. Rose gives the option to do the second rise overnight in the refrigerator, so that is what I decided to do.
The next morning the dough had only risen about halfway to doubled so I left it in there to continue doing its thing. And it continued to sit at halfway to doubled all day. By that evening I was a little panicky so I asked the Alphas what they thought was going on. Thankfully many of them told me that their dough didn't rise much in the refrigerator and so I toned down my panic and went to bed. Yes, my dough ended up spending 48 hours in the fridge.
The next day I pulled the dough out in the morning to come back to room temperature. Then around lunch time I bribed the child with the ruler so I could shape the dough, add the unsulphered apricots and leave it for a final rise. Then a couple of hours later I preheated the oven, and an hour later I finally popped the bread into the oven. I would never call the Swedes a relaxed mellow people, but this bread certainly seemed it as it didn't care how off the schedule I was.
|never doubt the power of the ruler|