The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)



  • 26g rye starter @ 100% hydration

  • 97g water

  • 127g flour (durum/bread flour mix)



  • 250g flour (225g durum/bread flour mix, 25g whole wheat flour)

  • 202g water

  • 7.8g salt

  • All of Biga


This was the final recipe I've adapted for a sourdough "biga" preferment (yes, I know it's not technically a biga but it was adapted from a yeasted recipe).

Picked up a lovely pasta flour by Dove's Farm which is a bread flour and durum flour mix. It's still very yellow so the durum percentage must be very high. The protein percentage of this flour mix is 14.3%. If anyone who lives in the UK finds it difficult getting hold of durum flour but has access to Doves Farm flour then this would be the next best thing.

The final hydration came to 80% and perhaps it's the flour, me or both but I developed the gluten so well I could grab hold of the dough and lift the whole thing up. 80% hydration with a very high percentage non wholegrain flour is well into the range of handling issues but it seems to be getting easier. It's all in the developing of the gluten. If developed well it behaves better. Still sticky but not impossible.

Made a makeshift couche with a kitchen towel and when finished proofing I flipped it over onto some foil. I made two and baked them one after the other. The first one (pictured) I accidently folded the ciabatta slightly when flipping it over. Wasn't sure how to go about it and it was my "practice run". The second one I flipped it over perfectly but it was over proofed. I should have refrigerated it but my makeshift couche made it difficult to pick up and manoeuvre.

While not perfect the taste is excellent. Lovely toasted (ignore the burnt bit in the photo). This as a recipe for ciabatta is a keeper. I might even try this as a loaf of bread.

Thank you to everyone in my first post for helping me on my way.

Ru007's picture

Looks wonderful and I'm sure they taste great!

Nice way to adapt a regular yeast dough to sourdough. 

Happy baking! 


Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I was nervous at first but with all the advice here it turned out very well.

It was an enjoyable bake.

dabrownman's picture

I'm going to follow the rules next time and use a couche, bread flour mixer hydration etc:-).  If yours taste as good as mine it was a success.  Happy baking

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

It is a tasty recipe and when I try this again I think a tweak here and there to the method should produce excellent results. It'll take a few more bakes to get just right. It's a new technique I have to learn.