The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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lello's picture

When is a biga ready?

June 1, 2010 - 2:42am -- lello

Hi evrybody,

this is my first message to the community so please be polite :).

Here is my problem. I was baking Hamelman's pizza and after 12 hours of fermentation my biga looked like this

Biga after 12 hours


I think it was over fermented. I can't control the temperature, it was 25 °C (75 F). I could lower the amount of yeast (which was 0.2 %)  but I don't know how much should I lower it.

LA Baker's picture

Barm in place of Levain? Confused....

February 6, 2010 - 12:31pm -- LA Baker

I want to make some of the recipes in DL's Local Breads, but I don't want to make his levain from scratch.  I have a great starter that works, do I need to start again with a Levain?

I'm sure this info is on this blog somewhere, but I couldn't find the exact answer I need.  Can someone tell me the difference between BARM/STARTER/LEVAIN/POOLISH/BIGA/PATE FERMENTE/STIFF LEVAIN?  Can you subsitute one for the other, or is one process that different from the other?  Are they basically the same thing, but merely two ways to do the same thing?

ericjs's picture

biga vs pate fermentee

October 19, 2009 - 1:59pm -- ericjs

Going with the usage of these terms in Reinhart, where they have about the same hydration, and a pate fermentee has salt but a biga doesn't (and perhaps a bit less yeast), how does using a biga vs a pate fermentee affect the outcome of a recipe? Will taking a recipe that calls for one and using the other (adjusting for the salt difference in the final dough) change the result in any noticeable way? Has anyone experimented with this?


SallyBR's picture

Bread Blues

August 2, 2009 - 2:26pm -- SallyBR

Well, sometimes I share victories, but today it's not the case. I am feeling quite miserable about bread baking this weekend.

where do I start?

I am a HUGE Hamelman & Dan Lepard's fan. Every single bread I made from their books turned out great. Then I bought Local Breads and fell in love with the book, read it beginning to end, could not wait to try my first recipe.

I picked "Como Bread", for those who have the book, it is on page222 

rryan's picture

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread Using a Biga

March 4, 2009 - 6:31pm -- rryan

I recently found a recipe by JMonkey for Whole Wheat Buttermilk bread that he posted on July 10, 2006.  A search of TFL will quickly locate the original post for you, and I would recommend that you read it.  The bread he made was based on one of  the recipes from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, but JMonkey did a comparison of baking it "straight" and baking with a biga.  His success with the biga version inspired me to try it myself.  I have had very little success with whole grain baking in the past.  Most of my breads were much too heavy, and often had a slightly bitter taste.


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