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Old 07-17-2006, 08:14 PM   #111
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I made the biga this morning using your proportions. It seemed to stiff to me, but I let it rise until 8 tonight. I added the rest of the ingredients and put it in the fridge until the morning, so we shall see. The one change I made was that some of the flour is whole wheat because I ran out of white. i found instruructions and recipes in a book called the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum:

A biga, an Italian pre-ferment, is close to the consistency of bread dough (from 50 to 78.7 percent water [hydration]). It is usually mixed at least 6 to 24 hours ahead and used within 3 days. Because of its stiff consistency, it is the strongest (in terms of gluten) of the pre-ferments and is particularly useful in breads with a high water content, such as ciabatta, to strengthen the network of gluten. If a biga overmatures and deflates, the bread will have smaller holes. If the biga is refrigerated for much past 3 days, it will become too acidic, weakening the gluten and adding a very sour flavor. It can, however, be frozen for up to 3 months; it will lose some yeast activity but will still con­tribute complexity to the flavor of the bread. What I most love about a biga is the flexibility of time it gives you. It takes only a few minutes to mix, and then, any time within the next 3 days, all you add is the rest of the flour, a lit­tle yeast, and the salt, and you're well on your way to fantastic bread! My biga is fairly soft, so it integrates easily into the rest of the dough. If your ' biga is stiffer, cut it into a few pieces before adding it.
To make a biga: Use at least one-third the volume of water used in the recipe (e.g., the recipe calls for 1 cup water, use 1/3 cup for the biga) and dou­ble its volume in flour (in this case, 2/3 cup). This will be about 30 percent of the total amount of flour, but it's fine to use up to 55 percent of the total amount of flour, which will add more strength to the dough (also of course adjusting the volume of water to fall within the 55 to 78.7 percent of the flour ratio). For 1/2 to 2/3 cup flour, use 1/16 teaspoon of the yeast in the recipe in the biga. If you are using a total of 1 cup to 1 1/3 cups flour in the biga, dou­ble the yeast used in the biga (1/8 teaspoon).
If time does not allow for a minimum of 8 hours fermentation for the biga, double the yeast given in the recipe for the biga (be sure to subtract the appropriate amount from the dough) and allow it to stand for at least 2 hours, or until at least doubled in volume. Stir it down, and use it or store in the refrigerator or freezer.

I'm sure the biga I made was way too stiff using your proportions.

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Old 07-24-2006, 09:23 PM   #112
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This is my first attempt. Very dense, and not risen enough.

This is my second try, much better. I let it go in the oven too long, so its a little burnt in the crust. The bread does taste very good but the dough is very sticky. It's MESSY! I am in dilemma about whether to do it again because it really is good. I do prefer to make whole grain bread though. In addition the inside is very holey. like this. It is supposed to be this way?

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Old 08-03-2006, 11:01 AM   #113
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Pane Bread Recipe for a Bread Machine


I am looking for a recipe for Pane Bread for a Bread Machine.

Linda Abend
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:54 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by DinaFine
I made the biga this morning using your proportions. It seemed to stiff to me, but I let it rise until 8 tonight.
There are 2 to 3 "biga" recipes in this thread posted by different people.

Which one did you use?
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:38 PM   #115
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I believe I used the recipe in your first post. Thats not to say that I necessarily did it right. The second time I tried was from a book called the bread bible. I have some biga now in the freezer, but I am hesitating to start another one. It is awfully messy, and I am not used to it. I also prefer to use whole grain, but since I have it, Ill just have to do something with it soon.
Thanks for starting this thread though Its really interesting
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Old 10-27-2007, 12:56 AM   #116
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i was waiting for the right time to bump this.

in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.
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wisdom is often in short supply within ones' ego.
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