Casareccio (Rustic Wholewheat Bread)

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Title: Casareccio (Rustic Wholewheat Bread)
Yield: 3 Sm. loaves
Categories: Bakery, Italian, Bread

Ingredients:

1 ts Dried yeast
1/4 c Warm water
3 1/2 c Water at room temperature
13/16 c Biga Pugliese, see recipe
3 3/4 c Wholewheat flour
3 3/4 c Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tb Salt
1/3 lb Walnuts -=OR=-
1/2 c Shelled pistachios -=OR=-
1/3 c Pitted Italian black olive,
-- all optional


Stir the yeast into the warm water & let proof for 10 minutes. Add the
remaining water & the biga, then the flours & the salt. Mix with a wooden
spoon for 5 minutes. The dough will not pull away from the side of the
bowl. Wet your hands & knead on a lightly floured board to ensure that all
the ingredients are well mixed. Turn into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with
plastic wrap & let rise at room temperature until it has almost tripled in
volume, 3 to 5 hours. This dough works very well if left to rise overnight
or in the refrigerator. Let it come back to room temperature before
shaping. Flour your work surface very well & flour a scaper. Turn the dough
onto the work surface, but do not punch down. Divide into 3 equal pieces.
Work in your filling if using by flattening the dough & sprinkling equal
amounts of filing over the dough. Turn in the sides of the dough & roll
each piece into a ball, being gentle but at the same time pulling the skin
taut. Place the loaves on floured parchment paper set on baking sheets,
cover with a heavy cloth & let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Preheat
the oven to 450F. Bake the loaves for 15 minutes. At this point the dough
should be set you can remove the paper. Slide the loaves directly onto the
baking sheets & bake until crusty & golden, about 30 to 35 minutes.