To be prepared, make the levain or biga starter a few days ahead.
11 ounces levain or biga
- 11 ounces organic all purpose flour (2 1/4 cups)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 6 ounces warm water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- As needed grape seed oil
Whisk together the flour and yeast in a Mixing bowl with hook attachment; add the biga and water; stir with a spatula until the dough just comes together and is slightly sticky; using the dough hook continue to bring the dough together until it forms a cohesive mixture; sprinkle with salt; mix with the dough hook on moderate speed for 4-5 minutes. Dough will be very sticky!
Add flour to your hands as needed to form dough into a ball. Add a small amount of oil to the bowl tossing the Doug ball around to coat. Cover with plastic and store in a warm place. Let rise 45 minutes to an hour. Dough should demonstrate some activity of growth but not doubled.
Gently turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. (DO NOT PUNCH DOWN!)
Fold dough into thirds as you would a business letter. Then fold it in half crosswise. Return to the bowl and cover. Let rise this time until almost doubled, approximately 90 minutes.
Remove once again onto a lightly floured surface, being careful not to punch dough down. Divide into 3-4 equal pieces.