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A filone is a typical yeast bread that originated in Calabria and Tuscany and you will encounter mostly anywhere in Italy. A really great bread to go with cheese and olives.
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: filone
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: Savoring Italy


  • 1 2/3 cups tap water heated to 115°
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups plus 2/3 cup all–purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for greasing bowl
  • 2 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes


  • Mix 1/3 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, let rest for 10 minutes. Add 2/3 cup flour and mix until smooth, about two minutes. This is the biga, or starter. Put it in a bowl and let it sit in a cool oven for one hour, then transfer to refrigerator overnight.
  • Take the biga out of the fridge and let it come to room temp – about 30 minutes. Add to bowl and add 1 1/3 cup water, 1 teaspoon yeast and stir until the biga starts to dissolve a bit. Add in the remaining 3 1/4 cups flour with oil and salt. Just mix until the flour is incorporated, let rest 20 minutes. This step apparently hydrates the flour.
  • Knead the dough on your counter, adding just enough flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the counter. Knead for 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl with olive oil and let rise for two hours.
  • After two hours, divide the dough into two loaves. Let rest for another hour. Bake at 425 on a baking stone for 30-40 minutes, adding ice cubes to a cast iron skillet. Bake loaves until dark golden brown and crisp; let cool before serving.