Thursday, January 19, 2012
Olive Oil Bread - Part 1
“According to legend, the olive tree came into being as a result of a competition by the Greek god Zeus. Wanting to test the inventiveness of the gods, Zeus offered the City of Athens to the one who produced the most useful gift. The contest came down to Poseidon, god of the sea, who created a horse, and Athena, goddess of war and peace, who created the olive tree. Although the horse would be useful in wars, Zeus chose the olive tree: it provided food and fuel, soothed wounds, and symbolized divine blessing and peace.”
I am very excited for this “pane all’olio”. After the disaster of last night I am once again attempting to try baking bread using a starter. In honor of the occasion, and to cheer myself up, I have acquired a bottle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil from Florence Italy for an authentic Tuscany flavor. My “Biga” is currently rising in my bread machine and tomorrow afternoon, after the biga has sat for 18 hours, I will bake my Olive Oil Bread.
A “Biga” is a type of starter used in Italian baking. Many popular types of Italian bread are created using a biga. It adds complexity to the bread's flavor and helps to preserve bread by making it less perishable.