Back to work on the tortano. If you haven't done so, you will want to read Part I first. As listed in Part I, for the baking day you will need :
unbleached bread or King Arthur All purpose flour 3 3/4 cups, plus substantial extra for handling
warm water 1 3/4 cups, plus 3 tbsps-(include potato cooking water in total)
pre-ferment from day before
mashed potato 1/4 cup
honey 2 tsps
salt 1 tsp
Mix the flour and water in the bowl of your mixer, using a wooden spoon. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. This is called the "autolyse", or something of the sort. (unsure on spelling). Many bread mavens, especially french ones, insist that this rest, before the addition of yeast or salt, is important for flavor and texture development. I will not pretend that I understand why this would be true. However, my feeling is, since I am already devoting a ludicrous amount of time to a single (albeit enormous) loaf of bread, how could another 15 minutes hurt?
Add the remaining ingredients, and mix at medium high speed with dough hook for about 15 minutes. Yes, that's right, there's no more yeast, only the wee bit in the pre-ferment. Stay in the vicinity, because unless your mixer is very powerful, it may decide to travel. If so, you must hold it in place to keep it from plunging off your counter. I must do this with my Kitchenaid, which is not the most powerful, largest model. According to Ms. Glezer, this bounciness will probably not destroy your mixer, short-circuit your kitchen, or cause you to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow. I lie. She makes no promises as to your physical condition. I choose to believe her as to the survival of my equipment, and have not been disappointed so far.
I have included a photo of the dough, after kneading, sheeting off the dough hook, so you will know, when you see it, that it has not fallen victim to a curse. It is supposed to look like this. Now, you must cover the bottom and sides of a Very Big Bowl with a pile of flour. Scrape the dough onto the top of the flour. Flour your hands. Pull the sides of the dough mass up and to the centsr, all around. Now, the top of the dough will look floury, as it is coated with the flour from the bowl. Flip the dough over, so the bottom, also floury, is now on top.
Cover the bowl with saran wrap, and let rise for about 4 hours. For the first hour, repeat the manoever of pulling, stretching and flipping the dough ball-gently,every 20 minutes, trying to stretch the dough over any developing airiness, so as not to compress air bubbles. Yes, there is a lot of unincorporated flour making its way to the inside of the bread. This is intentional.
Once the dough has doubled, you are ready to shape it. Put a sheet of parchment on a dough peel, or upside down cookie sheet. Sprinkle the surface pretty thickly with flour, and turn your dough out on it. Flour your hands. Gently shape the dough into a circle, if it is not already circular. Plunge the index and middle fingers of both hands into the center of the dough, until you get to the bottom. Going round with your fingers, stretch the center opening until the bread resembles a buoy, or giant lifesaver. Cover loosely and let the dough rise for about an hour and a half, whilst you preheat your oven insanely high- to 500F if you can. You will, of course, have a baking stone in place.
When you are ready to bake, with a very sharp knife, make 4 slits in the top of the bread,like a plus mark, as you see in the photo.Slide the bread and parchment onto the stone, close the oven, and reduce heat to 450F. After about 20 minutes, carefully turn the bread round, and slide the parchment out from under it. Discard parchment. Continue to bake until very dark brown, probably 20-30 minutes more. Cool totally on a rack. Do not eat this warm, the crumb will not have finished forming properly until the bread has cooled.
Yes, there is a fair amount of hoop jumping involved, but it works if you do it all, and it is a delicious, bread, chewy and crusty. It is so big and grand (you can get some idea of the size when you compare it to the bricks in the picture) that I can hardly believe I made it.
Addendum: Would you like to see someone else make the same bread? Check out the comments section, and then have a look at Bake My Day, which is mostly in dutch, but partly in english, and has more pictures of the process,also in 2 parts, as well as the finished product! You can follow Baking Soda's link to a website with another baker's version. (It's all in German, but there are pictures there too.)