This is not a new recipe. I have made it several times before. It is easy to make and the resulting loaves are excellent!
Here is the recipe. The "Biga" is a sponge.
3 ounces Bread Flour
3 ounces Warm Water
1/4 tsp dry yeast
Mix together in a bowl, cover the bowl with saran wrap, a clean dish towel and leave the bowl on the counter for 4 hours.
In addition to the Biga:
1 1/2 tsp yeast
8 1/4 ounces Warm Water
30 ounces Bread Flour
8 1/4 ounces Cool Water
4 tsp Fresh chopped Rosemary (if using dry rosemary, use only 2 tsp)
4 T milk
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Put the flour in the bowl of a large mixer.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast mixture, the cool water and the biga.
4. Mix for a minute or two, until it starts to come together.
5. Cover the bowl with the dough with saran wrap and dish towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.
6. Uncover the bowl and mix the dough for 8 minutes.
7. Add the rosemary and milk and mix for 5 minutes.
8. Put the dough in a light oiled large bowl. The dough will expand rapdily, so be sure to use a very large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and coat to cover the dough. Cover the bowl.
9. Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours, then fold the dough.
10. Cover the dough again and let it rise for 30 minutes.
11. Put the dough on the counter nad divided it into two parts. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then shape each peace into an oblong loaf with tapered ends (sort of looks like a football!)
12. Place the dough on parchment paper, cover with a towel and let rise for 50 minutes.
13. Heat the over to 425F. Place baking stones or tiles in the oven.
14. Bake using steam (i.e., but a boiler pan in the bottom of the oven filled with boiling water) for 30 minutes. Then turn the loaves and continue baking until are brown. The total baking time should be about 40 to 50 minutes.
15. Cool on a rack for at least 1/2 hour.