Trader Joe's filone (bread) recipe

I’m new to the forum, and am looking for a recipe similar to Trader Joe’s Italian bread recipe, filone. Does Ron or anyone have such a recipe?
Many thanks to you !


Ingredients for 3 filoni:

1 ½ cup (150 gr.) Biga (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ cup water – room temperature
1 package (7 gr.) active dry yeast
3 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon gluten (if available mix with flour)
2 teaspoons salt

Dissolve the sugar in the water and then stir in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until creamy.

Place the Biga in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the Biga and stir together for about 3 minutes.

Add the flour-gluten-salt and stir together. Knead on a floured surface until the dough is firm and not sticky.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Shaping and second rise:

Place dough on a floured surface and cut into three pieces. Flatten the dough and then roll, from back to front, the dough into a log. Tuck the ends of the dough and place on a kitchen towel to rise. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise for one hour.


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Once at temperature reduce to 450. Carefully place the logs onto the baking sheet. Cut long diagonal incisions along the top about ¼ inch deep. Spray the sides of the oven with water. Be careful, steam will exit the oven and it is very hot. Finally place the logs in the oven and spray the dough with water. During the first 10 minutes spray the dough 3 more times.

Bake for 25-27 minutes until the crust is deep golden brown. Cool on a rack.

In a mixing bowl mix equal parts of flour and water, usually a tablespoon of sugar dissolved in two cups of water and 2 cups of flour and let sit in the open air for 3 days. A dark crust will form.

Scrape off the dark crust. This will reduce the volume by about ¼th. Add 1 cup of warm water, with a tablespoon of sugar, and 1 cup of flour and let sit another 24 hours. The following day, scrape the top again and reduce the mixture to ½ the original volume. Add 1 cup of warm water, with a tablespoon of sugar, and 1 cup of flour. Cover with a moist towel and let sit for another 24 hours. You now have your own yeast.

As long as you continue to remove ½ the volume every day and add additional sugar, warm water and flour, it is not necessary to refrigerate. Just keep it covered with plastic wrap and a towel. If you prefer, once the yeast is growing you can cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for about 3 days but you must take it out of the fridge at least once every three days, allow to come to room temperature and add flour and water.

To make a quick Biga, you can substitute the first 3 days process by dissolving a package of dry yeast, not rapid rise, to the sugar water and add to the flour. Never allow salt or oil to enter your Biga, it will inhibit the growth of new yeast.