The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Biga Overnight

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hoshonti's picture

Biga Overnight

I have baked bread for several years now, but just a few moments ago I made my first biga. (It was supposed to be a poolish, but so much for my measuring skills. It's biga.) I want to do the "set it out on the counter overnight in a covered dish" thing with it, to use tomorrow. Question: I have put it in a large tupperware container and snapped down the lid. When I "burped" the lid it occurred to me: should the lid be on loosely? Do the yeast need oxygen? Or is there plenty in there anyway so it's not a worry? Here's hoping I find your responses if you have any comments to help me through my first time. (excited eeeee) Hoshonti

arzajac's picture

I store most of my preferments in similar containers.  They are airtight enough to prevent the dough from drying out, but they allow excess gas to escape as soon as the pressure develops inside.

Don't worry about it.

The yeast needs oxygen, but there is plenty of oxygen in the dough.  If you were to need to ventilate the dough to exchange oxygen, you'd end up drying our your dough.  I've even heard of one recipe for a biga that requires it to sit underwater for a good long while.  I reckon, once it develops enough gas, it floats to the top and that's when you use it.

Sounds like bath fun when I was a kid...



hoshonti's picture

I just read your reply, went into the kitchen to see how it was doing -- and the lid had been popped off!  Boy, you are right on the money!  I had no idea.  (This is pretty cool.)


trhoma6432's picture

I cover my biga in a 21/2qt covered plastic paint container I bought at Lowes(don't worry I only use it for my bread. These containers are handy and cheap. I have a 5gal covered pail, 2-5qt, 2-21/2qt, 2-1qt all covered). The cover does not burp like a Tupperware but I keep it covered. After about 4 hrs. I check it and see if it has started to bubble. Catch it before it falls and place it in the fridge. Take it out about an hour before your ready to mix your ingredients and add small amounts at a time to your dough.  Merry mixing!