Old 03-13-2012, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 36
Default Re: Biga Help!!!

It appeared to me that the preferment would rise and be highly aerated and then collapse to about half the maximum volume.

On refection me opening the lid may have given the yeast more oxygen that sped the fermentation.

I had the mixture in a airtight container and room temperature was about 30 centigrade (85F)

it may be part of living in hot dry conditions that the moisture content of flour seems quite variable

next time I will have make a dry bigga and see if there is a difference.

I just assumed the water quantity was wrong because there seemed to be flour that was not wet.

I have never seen this style of bread made and so thought that if it is not damp/wet the yeast will not work.

On reflection just because it is not wet at the beginning doesn't mean that it may not get wet as the yeast works.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:48 AM
Faith In Virginia's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 720
Default Re: Biga Help!!!


"The primary purpose of the biga is to give the final dough more strength than a wetter preferment."

I understand what your saying here but it's a bit confusing to those of us that are not bread geeks like us. Biga and poolish primary purpose is for flavor. Your statement above addresses it's effect on the dough properties biga vs poolish. In turn dough properties have a direct relation to the finished bread. But none the less the Primary reason is flavor.

Personally, any yeasted bread I make will use a preferment. It is just tasteless without a preferment.

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:01 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Biga Help!!!

Well said, Faith! And I agree!

I was focusing on the use of the term "biga" and on the impact on the final dough relative to poolish... The purpose of preferments is definitely flavor.!

One comment on humidity (or lack thereof), Petanque! It is not unusual for dough humidity to vary by at least 5% and 10% is feasible...so a "wet" flour (high humidity) mixed at 45% hydration could easily be the equivalent of a "dry" flour (desert) mixed at 55% humidity. If you mix your biga at 60% you should be safely wet enough to give the proper quality.

Also...you are probably correct... Yeast needs oxygen so it should not be in a sealed jar for it won't develop as far as it should. Your removing the lid would let in new oxygen to give it new "life". With plenty of oxygen it should peak only once. Better to only loosely cover it.

Good Luck!
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