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Biga Based Dough

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  • Biga Based Dough

    Made some very low yeast biga last night and gave it a go this evening. I allowed a 3 hr bench ferment. No semolina - just a dry run of the traditional recipe. Made 2 pizzas and kept one dough back as the "old dough".

    Overall impression - Great. Not overproofed but definitely some bubbles from yeast activity. The dough had a lovely sweet tast despite no sugar being added. Puffing just about right for what I like. I chopped the biga up to aid mixing and kneaded it 5 mins in the mixer then 7 mins on the bench.
    Attached Files
    / Rossco

  • #2
    Re: Biga Based Dough

    Some more pics from this evening's bake...
    Attached Files
    / Rossco

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    • #3
      Re: Biga Based Dough

      Originally posted by heliman View Post
      Overall impression - Great.
      I agree! That looks absolutely yummy!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Biga Based Dough

        Fabulous crust there Rossco. I experimented with a biga last year. I seem to gravitate to poolish for some reason although I recall it was successful.

        Your pizza bread looks amazing. Your pic looks like you put your olive oil on the dough with herbs AND then cook it in the oven. Is that what you did? I always bake it plain and then drizzle the oil and herbs on after but doing it before cooking looks good. I'll definitely try it, I guess it's no different than making a pizza so I don't know why I always made mine the other way.
        "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

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        • #5
          Re: Biga Based Dough

          Hi Dino!

          Try the oil and herbs route and chop it into about 3/4 inch squares and try using it as croutons on the salad before your pizza! Works pretty well!
          Jay

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          • #6
            Re: Biga Based Dough

            That's a great idea Jay! Salad goes really well with pizza (almost always have one) so setting aside an herb'd crust for croutons is something I'll definitely try.

            I've just made an recipe and a half for overnight fermenting and a small pizza party tomorrow so I'll give it a whirl on the first pie.
            Thanks, Dino
            "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

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            • #7
              Re: Biga Based Dough

              Thanks for the feedback Brian & Dino...

              Dino, yes i added the rock salt, olive oil and rosemary before the pizza was cooked. I find that when I have rosemary which has a very "meaty" leaf (e.g. the Tuscan variety) then I put it on before.

              In the WFO I sometimes 1/2 cook the pizza then remove it from the oven, add rosemary, then shove it back into the oven and it doesn't over cook the topping. I find a bit of slightly crispy rosemary quite nice though as it still has the full flavour.

              I am very pleased with the "old dough" method and will see what the next batch turns out like tomorrow with a 48 hr brewing of the biga. The last lot was on done for 24 hrs. Will also be adding semolina and going slightly wetter on the mix.
              / Rossco

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              • #8
                Re: Biga Based Dough

                Good Year Tyres... I am a supplier of raw materials... OK, well not quite...

                Used a recipe with 40% semilina in the mix and the dough was VERY rubbery - even after a 4 hr proofing session. The dough consistence made it difficult to work with so I will have to revert back to a lower semolina formula of around 7-10%.

                I also used a piece of dough from Friday night... and I realised that it may have been the salt that killed the good stuff which prevented it from rising. Must make a new biga each time...

                No pics - to spare me the embarrassment!

                Also, made a batch of Reinhart ciabatta and have a pot of soup on the go so we won't be starving (fortunately).

                Lessons learned: go easy on the semolina and make new batch of biga before every baking session.
                / Rossco

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Biga Based Dough

                  Hi Rossco!

                  Good experiment! Like so many, the results in retrospect aren't all that surprising There is a reason Italians use semolina to make pasta and wheat to make bread and pizza (sometimes with a little semolina). I make pasta with either flour or semolina and prefer semolina but the texture is definitely different from flour. So I am not surprised the pies were different.

                  I suspect your problem may have been exacerbated by overworking the dough. Hammelman says it is very easy to overwork semolina dough and that would make it very hard to work. Still, whether overworked or not my experience with pasta would suggest it would be quite different.

                  Were you able to get the dough to rise significantly? If not, that would also be an indicator of overworked (which in the case of semolina per Hamelman) damages the gluten.

                  Very interesting! Good learning experiment!
                  Jay

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                  • #10
                    Re: Biga Based Dough

                    Hello Jay,

                    I don't think that I overworked the dough - did it a while in the mixer then finished off on the bench. I thought that the lack of rising may be attributable to the fact that I didn't make a dedicated biga, but difficul to determine with any certainty.

                    Will crank it up again with a bit of semolina and a good squirt of olive oil and compare the difference. Gearing up for a work function on Thursday so will have to err on the side of caution with my experiments as a few of the attendees are Italians!!

                    Just had some of today's ciabatta - turned out quite well. Haven'y had a batch fail on me so far - luckily!!
                    / Rossco

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                    • #11
                      Re: Biga Based Dough

                      Hooray for ciabatta! I need to work on sourdough ciabatta!

                      Good Luck Thursday!
                      J

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                      • #12
                        Re: Biga Based Dough

                        Hi Rossco...

                        I have been working on your rubbery 40 % semolina problem. Do you know what the hydration was? With protein up to 15% or so semolina needs more water to be manageable from what I can gather. It probably needs another 5% or so hydration to give equivalent feel. (I need to check that out in an experiment!) Your description of the dough sounds a bit like what I felt my first batch of bagel dough from Sir Lancelot flour was like - somewhat underhydrated (due to the high protein) and rubbery, and minimal rise.

                        Also found that durum flour is very fine and has no graininess - so the gritty semolina - was properly semolina and not durum flour. Wish I could locate some durum flour to play with but it seems to be impossible to get in San Antonio!

                        Glad the catering went well!
                        Jay
                        Last edited by texassourdough; 04-22-2010, 03:09 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Biga Based Dough

                          For those in North America that are interested in durum flour I think I found a source. Golden Temple Durum Atta Flour is grown by Smuckers of Canada in Canada. It is about 13 % protein according to their nutritional info - a little lower than the best durum but it is available in 5.5 pound and 20 pound bags for about $6 and $20 respectively - far better than the $8.50 a pound for KA (which is almost certainly better/higher protein). So the key is to find an Indian food market and we have those!

                          Yeah! I can get some durum and experiment!
                          Jay

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                          • #14
                            Re: Biga Based Dough

                            Hello Jay...

                            From what I have read, the "fine" semolina just needs a bit of extra hydration (about double the normal time) to get it ready for use. It should work OK and I belive that it is quite widely used in the pizza industry.

                            Just to clarify, I reduced the semolina component down to 7% to minimise the possible rubbery texture developing so I don't think that this would be the main causal issue of my current rubbery problem.

                            I tried to find out if there was indeed a correlation between length of kneading and rubberyness, but I wasn't able to confirm that. I kneaded the last batch of dough for about 8 minutes (until it took on a smooth texture). Could this have been too long perhaps? What are the signs that one need to look for to get the the correct rubberyness (extensibility)? Is this where the windowpane test comes into play?

                            I have tried to the the windowpane test in the past but I believe that you need to rest the dough for 10 mins before doing the test. If this is the case then the breaks in between will greatly increase preparation time.

                            Hydration levels were around 65 - 67% and the flour had 11% protein. Durham semolina was 12% protein.

                            Hopefully the rubberyness issue will be resolved soon.
                            / Rossco

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Biga Based Dough

                              Hi Rossco!

                              I agree. I have heard semolina needs more time than durum flour. WRT hydration I was specifically referring to the 40 % semolina batch. And you are right, at 7% the semolina is not high enough to be a big factor. Rubberyness in my experience is associated with overworking/underrelaxing. (and based on your comments you should not be underrelaxed!) Also in my experience one cannot pass the windowpane test with rubbery dough. It needs to be relaxed. I would add more water and increase the hydration some more.

                              My previous comments about balling 00 flour dough balls on mixing is based on similar experience. If one balls them immediately they will be soft and extensible and wonderful but in my experience if I ball them after I take them out of the fridge they never relax and one gets a tougher, chewier dough.

                              Two suggestions - 2 minutes mixing (you can always add more later and/or folds to finisht the dough) and say 72 -74 percent hydration!

                              Good Luck!
                              Jay

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