I mentioned already once or twice that I like to at potatoes into bread dough. In combination with a preferment they make the crumb soft and fluffy.
A classic preferment consist of flour, water, sometimes salt and microorganisms. In a sourdough the microorganisms are different lactobacteria and yeasts, while in a biga, poolish or pâte fermentée you will find bakers yeast (because you added them). A preferment will ferment for some time (mostly 12-16 hours) and in this time the microorganisms will release byproducts of their metabolism into the preferment. That makes the flavour of the dough (and later of the bread) complex and deep.
But why do we use a preferment? It has some advantages:
- improvement of dough consistency
- longer shelf life
- complex flavour
A disadvantage is the fact that you need more time and have to plan accordingly. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages!
The first preferment we will use in our baking course for beginners is the biga. It is an italian preferment, which is very stiff. It ferments in the fridge for about 16 hours and develops during this time a hint of acidity and a complex, nutty flavour. The week acidity helps to improve the gluten network as well.
ergibt 9 Brötchen
- 150g flour Type 550
- 75g Water
- 1g frehs yeast(a tiny bit)
- 125g potatoes (boiled)
- 350g flour Type 550
- 170g Water (plus 15g if needed)
- 10g Butter
- 10g Honey
- 10g Salt
- 9g fresh yeast
Mix the ingredients of the bigaand let it rise for 16-24 hours in the fridge.
Knead all ingredients for the dough for 10 min by hand. The dough should be now soft, but not sticky. If it is very stiff, add a little bit more water. The need of water depends on the potatoes.
Let the dough rise for 1 hour at room temperature (or over night in the fridge ).
Divide the dough into 95g portions.
Roll each piece into a 15 cm long band and roll it into a log.
Proof the roll seam side down for 45 min.
Before baking turn them upside down and bake at 250°C for 20-25 min with steam. Turn the convection mode on for the last 5 min to enhance a crisp crust!