Dough Starter: Biga
6 hrs - 3 days ahead
1/2 C + 1/2 Tbs all purpose flour
1/16 ts yeast
1/4 C room temp water
Stir ingredients with wooden spoon for 3-5 minutes till very smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky enough to stick to fingers. Cover tightly with oiled plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 6 hours to triple in size. Then stir down and refridgerate for up to 3 days or use it.
In mixer whisk:1/2 C flour1/2 C durum flour1/2 ts yeast
Then add 3/4 ts salt
Add 1/2 C room temp water to mixture and mix on low with paddle for 1 minute, change to a dough hook, and beat for 5 minutes on medium to form a smooth, sticky dough. Add more flour 1 ts at a time, if it does not pull away from bowl after 5 minutes. It should stick to the bottom of the bowl and cling to fingers.
Let Dough Rise:
Sprinkle durum flour on counter and scrap dough onto flour with oiled spatula and dust the top with more flour. Let rest for 2 minutes.
Pull out two opposite sides of dough to stretch to double its length with floured hands and give it a business letter turn. Dust with more flour, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Repeat this 2 additional times.
After final stretching, folding and flouring, transfer dough to a 2 quart dought rising container or bowl, lightly greased, cover and mark with tape the side of the container to appox. where triple the height of the dough could be. Allow to rise 2 hours/tripled.
Preheat oven 500 degrees F 1 hours before baking. Have one shelf on lowest level and place a oven stone/baking sheet on it and a cast iron skillet or sheet pan on the floor of the oven before preheating.
Shape Dough and Let Rise:
Dust counter with durum flour and with floured hands transfer dough to the counter VERY gently. Set dough seam side up in a floured banneton/floured towel lined colander. Pinch seams if necessary and sprinkle flour on top and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 1 1/2 hours.
Bake the Bread:
Remove container/plastic wrap, invert lined baking sheet on top of banneton/colander and invert dough onto a floured sheet. Set sheet on baking stone/baking sheet in oven. Put 1/2 C ice into pan beneath and bake for 5 minutes. Lower temp to 450 degrees F and bake 15-25 minutes or till bread is deep golden brown. Halfway through baking, life bread from pan and sit it directly on the ston, turning it around for even baking
Cool the Bread:
Remove bread and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I have to admit, I LOVE fresh out of the oven bread and yes, I ate it hot with olive oil and balsalmic vinegar*