- 2 Cups (11 ounces) bread flour
- 1 Cup (8 ounces) warm water , 105 to 115 degrees
- 1/4 Teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 3 Cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour , plus additional 1/2 cup as needed
- 1 Teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 1 1/4 Cups (10 ounces) warm water , 105 to 115 degrees
- 2 Teaspoons table salt
- Vegetable cooking spray
Stir 2 cups bread flour, 1 cup warm water, and 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast together in medium bowl until combined. (Biga will look quite shaggy.) Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until biga has risen and fallen, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
Make Dough and Let Rise
Combine 3 cups bread flour and 1 teaspoon instant yeast in stand mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer on low speed, add 1 1/4 cups warm water. Mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Stop mixer, cover bowl with plastic wrap (no need to remove it from mixer), and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and add biga and 2 teaspoons table salt.
Knead dough on medium-low until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (If dough sticks to sides of bowl after 4 minutes, add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, up to 1/2 cup.) Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball. Place dough in large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Fold Dough and Continue Rising
Spray large rubber spatula or plastic dough scraper with vegetable oil spray, then slide under one side of dough; gently lift and fold one-third of dough toward center. Repeat on opposite side of dough. Fold dough in half, perpendicular to first folds. Dough should be in rough rectangle shape. Cover and let rise for 30 more minutes. Repeat turning process, folding in both sides of dough and then folding dough in half. Cover and let rise until dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes longer.
Shape and Proof Dough
Top inverted baking sheet or pizza peel with parchment paper. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter, press it into 10-inch square without tearing it, and gently dimple it with your fingertips. Fold top corners into middle of dough. Using your fingertips and starting at top of dough, pull underside of dough up over top, stretching it considerably, and begin to roll dough up into rough log. With each roll, press seam firmly to seal. Continue to do this, forming dough into taut log, 5 to 7 more times. Roll dough onto its seam.
Gently slide your hands underneath each end and transfer loaf to parchment-lined baking sheet or peel. Finish shaping loaf into taut 16-inch torpedo by tucking edges under with your hands. Mist loaf with vegetable oil spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until nearly doubled and dough barely springs back when poked with knuckle, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Let baking stone heat for at least 30 minutes before baking. Score top of loaf with sharp knife or razor blade, cutting three 1/2-inch-deep diagonal slashes across top of dough. Spray loaf lightly with water. Carefully slide loaf and parchment onto hot baking stone. Bake bread for 10 minutes, then grab parchment and rotate loaf. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Continue to bake until center of loaf registers 210 degrees on instant-read thermometer and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer loaf to wire rack, discard parchment, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before serving.