---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
       Title: Pane Di Como Antico (Como Bread of the Past)
  Categories: Breads, Italian
       Yield: 2 servings
     3/4 c  Biga (180 grams)
   1 1/2 c  ; water at room
     1/2 c  Whole wheat flour (65 grams)
       3 c  To 3 3/4 cups unbleached
            All purpose flour
            (435 grams)
       2 ts Salt (10 grams)
     Cut the starter into small pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add all but 1
     2 Tb. of the water and mix until the starter is in fime shreads and the
     liquid is chalky white. Stir in the whole wheat flour and most of the
     all-purpose flour, 1 cup at a time. When the dough is a fairly rough and
     shaggy mass, stir in the salt dissolved in the remaining water. Knead on
     floured surface, sprinkling with up to 1/2 cup additional flour and
     the dough scraper to scrape up the fine film of dough that will
     on the sork surface, as well as to turn and lift the dough. After about
     minutes of kneading, slam the dough down hard several times to help
     develop the gluten. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth, a total
     of 8 to 12 minutes. The dough should still be soft, moist and sticky.
     By Mixer:
     Mix the starter and all but 1 to 2 Tbsp. of the water with the paddle in
     large mixer bowl. Mix in the flours and then the salt dissolved in the
     remaining water. Change to the dough hook and knead at medium speed
     soft, moist, and sticky but obviously elastic, about 4 minutes. Finish
     kneading by hand on a lightly floured surface, sprinkling with
     flour, until smooth but still soft.
     By Food Processor:
     Refrigerate the starter until cold. Process the starter and 1 1/2 cups
     cold water with the steel blade and remove to another bowl. Change to
     dough blade and process the flours and salt with 2 or 3 pulses to sift.
     With the machine running, pour the starter mixture through the fed tube
     quickly as the flour can absorb it. Process 30 to 45 seconds longer to
     knead. The dough will be moist and sticky. Finish kneading by hand on a
     lightly floured surface, sprinkling with additional flour, until the
     is smooth but still soft.
     First Rise:
     Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and
     rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has
     numberous bubbles and blisters under the skin.
     Shaping and Second Rise:
     Divide the dough in half on a lightly floured surface without kneading
     Shape into 2 round loaves. Let them relax under a cloth for 20 minutes.
     Line baking sheets or peels with parchment paper and flour the paper
     generously. Roll each ball into a fat cylinder and place seam side down
     the paper. Dimple the loaves all over with your fingertips or knuckles,
     for focaccia, to keep the dough from springing up. The dough should feel
     delicate but extreme.ly springy. Cover the loaves and let rise until
     doubled, with many visible air bubbles, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
     Thirty minutes before baking, heat the oven with a baking stone in it to
     425 degrees F. Sprinkle the baking stone with cornmeal. Carry the peel
     baking sheet to the oven and very gently invert the dough onto the
     Gently remove the parchment paper, peeling off very slowly. Immediately
     reduce the heat to 400 degrees F. and bake until golden, 35 to 40
     Cool on wire racks.
     This dough can be made ahead and placed in the refrigerator for the
     rise; the flavor is better with the long cool development of the yeast.
     Serve this with stews and meats with rich sauces, with green salads,
     cheeses, sliced salami, and smoked meats.
     From the book - The Italian Baker by Carol Field
     Typos courtesy of Sandy Gamble <scg@indirect.com>