Biga Bread 1st time

Discussion in 'Breads' started by tropics, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    To start thanks to Noboundaries and Dirtsailor

    I followed these two threads to make mine.

    Okay, here's a little backstory.  My all time favorite pizza crust was sourdough.  It takes about 5 days to make a batch of sourdough starter.  I wanted to try something different and learned of biga.  Biga is a form of fermented starter and is ready to use in as little as 12 hours.  I've used it at 12 hours, 18 hours, 24 hours, 48 and 72 hours.  Anytime between 48 to 72 hours gives me my favorite result for taste in both bread and pizza dough.  I understand people more experienced than me let it age much longer, saving dough from one batch to use as a starter on the next batch.  I don't bake bread and pizza often enough to do that.    
    Usually I make thin crust pizzas out of the dough, using 8-10 oz for about a 12-14" pizza .  This time though, since I was experimenting, I made thick crust pizzas, using 16 oz of dough for a 14" pizza.  Either was fantastic and just depends on your preference.  I actually prefer the thinner crust but my daughter and wife both went nuts for the thicker crust. 
    The following recipe makes about 2 to 2.5 lbs of dough that can be used for bread, pizza, or both.  I usually double the recipe for all ingredients so I can bake bread and pizza.  I use a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook. 
    The recipe below is my version of my Italian grandmother's bread recipe.  I have her original recipe but it has so many things missing that I had to do quite a bit of research and experimenting to get a result I loved. 
    Grandma Katie aka Nonni's Italian Pizza Dough with Biga
    You can also use garlic infused EVOO to add another flavor element. 
    Biga Ingredients
    1 cup bread flour
    1/2 cup warm water (115-120°F) if using rapid rise yeast, 110F is using regular yeast. 
    1/8 tsp instant yeast

    Dough Ingredients
    1 1/2 cups warm water (see directions)
    1 1/2 Tbs white sugar
    1 package dry yeast
    3 1/2 cups bread flour
    1 Tbs kosher salt
    2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
    1. Mix biga ingredients and let rest in an oiled and covered bowl at room temperature for 12-72 hours.  Save the unused yeast to add to the dough when ready to mix it all together.
    2. Put water in microwave with probe and heat to desired temperature.  If using "active yeast" heat water and sugar in microwave to 100°F-110°F.  If using "instant" or "rapid rise" yeast, heat water to 120°F-130°F.
    3. Add sugar to KitchenAid bowl, then the water, then the yeast.  Stir to mix then let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to get foamy.
    4. Add the biga, stir to mix, then put the dough hook on the mixer and start it on speed 2.  Slowly add the flour 1 cup at a time.   Slowly add the salt.  Let the dough turn on slow for 5-10 minutes.  Add the olive oil and let knead until thoroughly mixed.  Add additional flour if needed so dough starts to firm up and pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
    5. Put the dough on a floured board.  Knead lightly and add a little flour until the dough is no longer sticky.  Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover the top lightly with oil.  Run a kitchen towel under HOT water, twist out the water then cover the bowl and immediately put it in the oven with the light on only.  Let double in bulk, about 90 minutes.
    6. Once you remove the dough from the warm environment, pre-heat the oven and pizza stone to 550°F for at least an hour putting the stone on a rack about 6-8" below the top of the oven so radiant heat from the oven top can cook the ingredients.
    7. Gently push down, smoosh flat, fold in thirds, gently press down again, smoosh flat, then fold in thirds twice more.
    8. Form into equal balls.  Use a scale if necessary.  Let rest at least 30 minutes then you can start making pizza!
    9. If making bread, form the loaves then let double in bulk.  I like to form the loaves on parchment paper.  It makes it easy to slide on and off a stone with a pizza peel.  I like to make an egg wash with one large egg mixed with 1 Tbs of water.  Whip it up and brush on the loaf.  Then here's a trick that people LOVE!  Sprinkle the brushed loaves with kosher salt.  Bake on the stone for 8-12 minutes until the crust is nicely browned. 
    10. If making pizza dough, put the parchment paper on the peel and the dough in the center of the peel.  Using your hands and a roller form push outwards until the pizza crust is formed into a round.  Lightly coat with olive oil.  If you want a thick crust, let it rise 30-60 minutes. If you like a thinner crust start immediately building your pizza, then slide on the stone and bake for 8-12 minutes. 
    11.  If making in the smoker, the chamber temp will be lower than the oven and the pizza will take longer to cook.  It is a good idea to half bake the pizza dough on the smoker, then build your pizza and cook until the top is done.

    The Biga could also be called a sponge,because of its' look.

    This was after 48 hrs.

    Mix using a KA 

    Let it rise in an oil bowl with Olive Oil on top

    Loaves formed 

    left to rise 30 min

    Here is a change I made,I do not have a pizza stone.The temp seemed high

    so I went with 400* F oven for 30 minutes

    I should have turned the loaves facing the other way for space

    Lesson learned ! I did use a sprinkle of sea salt on the crust

    This is truly a delicious bread 

    One more 

    a better one

    Thanks for looking 

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you eat a whole loaf in one sitting ?? I would have..
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    No the Lentil Soup made it hard to do.

  4. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Man that looks good,,,, even better beside a bowl of chili on a cold/damp day Nice job Trops 

  5. shoebe

    shoebe Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Nice work, thanks
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice bread! POINTS!!!!
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    DS it is good and it stays pretty soft,we started eating the second loaf last night. Thanks for the nice comments 

  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Thank You Shoebe and Thanks for the point I appreciate it.

  9. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Case I believe all the post,with the info given.Gives anyone a chance to create some real good meals.You and Ray get a lot of credit for this.Thanks for the point I appreciate it.

  10. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking loaf, Richie. Haven't made any using a biga yet, mostly use a poolish or my sourdough starter. Thanks for posting. I may give this a try.
  11. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice! I haven't made bread in years. Something I should really find time to do, again.
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice to see there's another biga user!  Looks perfect.  Careful though, that stuff is addicting!
  13. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Jon Thanks from what I have recently learned they are very close.Thanks for dropping a line.

  14. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I am already going to make another bread today.Get back in the kitchen and bake something.

  15. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Ray Thank You Wife and I love it.


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