The biga


by: Stacia

Most of the breads we make in the restaurant are done with a biga, which in other countries is called a "starter", "ferment" or "mother" — this is the way bread has been made for thousands cf years, making use of the wild yeast spores that are found on the surface of starchy or sugary ingredients. The biga is made using flour, water and something sweet, such as fruit — grapes are classic, but we like to use pear viagra genérico precio. The idea is to introduce simple sugars, which the wild yeast spores and natural bacteria can ferment easily, so they bubble quicker. When you build a dough on this biga, the acid provided by the lactic bacteria helps to strengthen the elastic gluten and intensifies the flavor of the finished bread. The first time you make your biga, you need to be patient, though, as you will need to refresh it every day, and it will take a few weeks until it's bubbling happily and smells sweetly acidic.


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serves: 1

1 pear (grated)

1 cup water at 68°F

1 3/4 cups strong white bread flour

Then each day until the biga is ready:

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water at 68°F

2 3/4 cups strong white bread flour

Nutrition Facts
The biga

Servings Per Recipe: 1

Amount per Serving

Calories: 2329

  • Total Fat: 10.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 26.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 474.7 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 20.3 g
  •     Sugars: 19.4 g
  • Protein: 74.5 g

how is this calculated?

Download Nutrition Facts Widget Code


1.  Grate the pear and leave in the water fer 24 hours in a loosely covered container.

2.  Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, reserving the pear water. Whisk in the flour. Pour into a tall 2—liter jar or clean plastic container that will allow plenty of room for expansion and put a mark on the outside to indicate the level of the mixture.

3.  Leave for around 3 to 4 weeks at room temperature (70—75°F). Every day you need to take away about three-quarters (1 1/2 cups) of the mixture (discard the rest), put it in a bowl and whisk it for 5 minutes. Then mix in 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water and 2 3/4 cups flour as if you were making a dough. Wash and dry your glass or plastic container each time and don't allow anything to touch it that might contaminate the biga before you put it back. After a while you will see it begin to bubble up.

4.  The biga is ready when, in the space of 8 hours, it triples in size — this could take 3 weeks or more, but eventually the mixture will ferment. After refreshing it for the last time you can put it in the freezer, then take it out the clay before using. Any that is left over, refresh as before and return to the freezer in a large clean container for using next time (you need a large container because as it defrosts it will again triple in volume).

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