The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Abel's 90% Biga (Italian Method)

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Abel's 90% Biga (Italian Method)

A while back Abel posted his 90% Biga Loaf (Italian Method) which gained popularity. Here is my second attempt. 

Original Post: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54556/90-biga-loaf-italian-method

My pre-bake forum topic (good to read through before attempting this bread): http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/56013/did-anyone-do-abels-90-biga-using-sourdough-starter

The first time I tried it with moderate success. The temperature is very important which was a bit of a hit and miss but with the guidance I received in my forum topic yesterday I was ready to handle any obstacles. I was more ready for this bake. 

It seems more geared for yeast and while there is a sourdough option it's less consistent for good results. With the weather being warmer than usual, the biga performing better at lower temperatures and trying it using sourdough starter with no means of temperature control... the challenge was on! 

Thank you Abel, Alan, Michael and Lance for all your help and guidance. 

albacore's picture
albacore

Looks good Abe - I await the crumb shot! You are spurring me on to try the Ezio Marinato rimacinata version!

Lance

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Crumb shot to follow. Watch this space. I'm going to take a look at that recipe. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Pleasantly surprised. A very even crumb. The chewiness typical of a long fermented and high hydration dough. A lovely medium sour taste. The sour is definitely there but not overly powering. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Abe, I’ve always admired the consistency in which you shape your batards. Very nice looking.

I’ve been working with very slack doughs (because of long fermentation’s) and my shaping needs improvement.

Dan

Lechem's picture
Lechem

The finished product looks good. However it's another story when I'm shaping. Lots of panic and some bright blue words! 

It's taken me this long to even approach a high hydration dough. This dough is the same final hydration as Teresa's SF sourdough but I think it's taken to the optimal fermentation, any further an it'll be over, so it handles like a higher hydration. Gluten formation cannot be compromised at all. I think that's the key. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You’re right. If you take a dough that is 70% and do a long warm ferment, that dough will behave at shaping like a much wetter sdough. In my case I’d estimate 78% or so.

Nice crumb for eating bread, actually perfect. Very open and light. And like Alfonso commented a while back, “you won’t get jelly dripping onto your knees”.   :D

Dan

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Crumb shot now attached. We have a sourness that is more acetic but it's not overly strong. This is a long fermented low hydration biga. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Perfect crumb for everything! Glad that you are happy with the flavour!

Lechem's picture
Lechem

If anything it's been a lesson in flavour and a contrast to my last few bakes where I've worked on lactic acid flavour. I'm learning how to bring out the best from my starter. For a long while I got no discernible sourdough flavour. Although far from flavourless they just lacked that sour/tang which I wanted. This bake is definitely another stepping stone in learning how to handle a starter to gear it for different flavour profiles. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

The taste really matures nicely! 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Italian loaf!  Well done and happy baking Abe

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Pleased with this one. Will definitely have this one as a regular bake.