I published this bread first in
Plan Ahead Make the biga a minimum of 1 day or preferably 3 days ahead.
|whole wheat flour (see Note)|
|Gold Medal bread flour (or half other brand bread flour, half unbleached all-purpose flour), see Note|
|nondiastatic malt powder, or barley malt syrup, or sugar||.|
|fine sea salt||.|
|reserved cranberry water (70° to 80°F/21° to 27°C)|
|canola or safflower oil|
|flour for kneading|
A 10 inch or longer baking sheet, preferably insulated, or a double layer of two baking sheets, lined with a 14 by 8 inch sheet of parchment
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle level of the oven and
In a small bowl, place the dried cranberries and water. Cover with plastic wrap and let the cranberries soak until they are softened and plump, stirring once, 30 minutes. Empty the cranberries into a strainer set over a small bowl. Press the cranberries gently to release any excess liquid and pour the liquid into a
Spread the walnuts evenly on a baking sheet and
Place the remaining
Bread Machine Method Into the container of the bread machine, pour the cranberry water. Use sharp scissors, dipped in water if it is sticky, to cut the biga into many small pieces, letting them drop into the water. Add the flour mixture. Program the machine to mix for 3 minutes and set it to go through the 3 minutes of mixing. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes.
Program the machine to knead for 10 minutes. Add the oil and reserved broken walnuts and set the machine to go through the knead cycle, which will include 3 minutes of mixing and 7 minutes of kneading. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Stand Mixer Method Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, pour the cranberry water. Use sharp scissors, dipped in water if it is sticky, to cut the biga into many small pieces, letting them drop into the water. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed for about 1 minute, or until the flour is moistened, to form a soft, rough dough. Scrape down any bits of dough on the sides of the bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Add the oil and reserved broken walnuts and knead on medium speed for 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. After the first 3 minutes, if the dough still appears sticky and does not begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl, add a little of the flour for kneading,
Sprinkle the counter with some of the flour for kneading and roll the dough into about a 14 by 10 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the cranberries evenly over the dough and, starting from one of the short ends, roll up the dough as you would a jelly roll.
Form the dough into a ball and knead it lightly. After the cranberries are added, the dough will become sticky and will need a little more of the extra flour.
Place the dough in a
Using a spatula or dough scraper that has been lightly coated with cooking spray, remove the dough to a floured counter and gently press down on it to form a rectangle. Give it a four-sided stretch and fold (gently stretch out one side at a time and fold it into the center). Round the corners and set it back in the container.
Again, lightly coat the surface of the dough with nonstick cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and mark where double the height should now be after rising. (The dough will fill the container fuller than before because it is puffier with air.) Let the dough rise until it reaches the mark, about 1 to 1½ hours. Alternatively, place the dough in a sprayed gallon-size reclosable freezer bag and refrigerate it overnight. Deflate it once or twice after the first hour and then the second hour to prevent overproofing. Remove it to room temperature for 1 hour before shaping.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Gently flatten the dough into a 7 by 5 inch rectangle, with the longer side facing you. Fold down the two upper corners about 3 inches to form a triangle and press down the dough. Starting from the top, roll the dough. When you reach the bottom edge of the dough, pinch it firmly against the outside of the dough to make a tight seam. The torpedo-shaped dough should be about
Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Let the dough rise in a warm place (ideally at 75° to 85°F/24° to 29°C) for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until about 12 by 4½ by 2¾ inches high and when pressed gently with a fingertip, the depression fills in very slowly.
Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the lowest level and place a cast iron skillet, lined with aluminum foil to prevent rusting, or a sheet pan on the floor of the oven.
For an attractive contrast, dust the dough evenly with flour before slashing (rye flour has a particularly good taste). Alternatively, if the dough is sticky, let it sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes to dry slightly. With a straight-edge razor blade or sharp knife, make
If not dusting the dough with flour, mist the dough with water. Quickly but gently set the baking sheet on the oven rack and toss a handful (about
Remove the bread from the oven and transfer it from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely, top side up, at least 2 hours.
Room temperature, 2 days; airtight: frozen, 3 months.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.