Biga, not just better

So I’ve already given you a preview cartoon-teaser of the starter that I’ve been making. I thought a picture might be even more helpful.


Isn’t the little starter just adorable? I can’t wait to see what type of bread he turns into! The starter is really quick and takes less than 5 minutes to make, including clean up. The actual bread baking is more involved. Save it for a weekend activity. Hopefully tomorrow will bring plenty of hanging-out-at-home-baking-bread-time, so I can see what the starter can do.

This is a traditional Italian starter that I found in The Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli. I made half of the recipe below, because it seems like this will start a lot of breads. Better to begin small. Extra biga can be frozen in 1/4 cup portion sizes for future use.

Traditional Starter
3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
3 1/2 c. unbleached bread flour
1 1/4 c. cool water

1. In small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside for about 15 minutes, until creamy.
2. Measure flour into large bowl.
3. Add yeast mixture and cool water to flour.
4. Use wooden spoon to stir ingredients together.
5. It will be sticky and a bit difficult to stir, but keep going until it is all well incorporated.
6. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours.

You can store your biga in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To use, rinse measuring cup in cool water and scoop out desired amount. Bring to room temperature before using in your recipe.



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