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Rose's Alpha Bakers

Biga Fail

Patricia Reitz

Biga Fail - ButterYum

This week's baking project was the Golden Orange Panettone.  I had a feeling I was starting off on the wrong foot when I completed the first step of making the biga above.  The directions were to "stir" the flour, water, and yeast together for 3-5 minutes until very smooth.  I carefully weighed my ingredients, but there was no stirring anything until smooth - I had a lump of dry, shaggy dough that barely held together. 

So I kind of mashed my tough lump of dough with a silicone spatula, and I even went in there with my hand, squeezing and pressing until it kind of held together. 

Then I placed it in an oiled container and set is aside for 6 hours to rise, then placed it in the fridge to chill for 3 days.  It smelled really good after 3 days, but I still wasn't sure my biga had the right consistency because it still seemed too stiff.  Then some of the Alpha Bakers were discussing flour and protein content on our facebook page and I realized I should have read the directions more carefully.  I used King Arthur bread flour instead of Gold Medal bread flour (as Rose suggested). KA flour has a higher protein content so that would account for the stiff texture.  Since I had already invested 3 days into the 5 day recipe, and there were only 3 days left until the group was supposed to publish their results, I opted to forego this week's reveal.  I'll make the panettone in the coming weeks and post my results on Feb 9; a week reserved for group members to catch up on any recipes they've missed to date.  Stay tuned.

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