The Fresh Loaf

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Biga vs. straight dough Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Bread experiment

JMonkey's picture

Biga vs. straight dough Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Bread experiment

I'm still not ready to write a review, but from my first hands-on experience with their work, I can confidently say that Laurel Robertson and her compatriots know a thing or two about whole wheat bread.

I started my foray into the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book with their Buttermilk Bread, a loaf that they say "keeps well (when hidden)." It's true. These loaves are moist and delicious days later, but they're so deliciously sweet and light, they won't likely stick around that long.

I made two different loaves. For the first loaf, the night before, I took 30% of the flour and mixed it with the appropriate amount of water from the recipe and a bit of yeast to make a biga. The next morning, the biga was nice and ripe, so I took the remainder of the recipe, reduced the yeast from 1 tsp to 3/4 tsp, mixed it up and started to knead.

And knead.

And knead.

Then about an hour later, I mixed up a second loaf, this time following the straight-dough recipe to the letter.

Laurel recommends a long, hearty knead for whole wheat bread if you want a light, high rising loaf, which I do. About 20 minutes or 600 strokes. A few more weekends of Laurel's Kitchen-style kneading, and I'll not only have great whole-wheat bread, but enormous, rock-hard shoulders to boot. Or a herniated disc, whichever comes first.

But it does make an enormous difference in the quality of the bread. I have never seen whole-wheat bread rise so high. It's astonishing.

Her other piece of advice, which I'd heard of second-hand long before buying the book, was to let whole-wheat doughs rise twice during the bulk rise before shaping. This step takes a lot of the edge of the whole-wheat flavor, and also helps with the final rise.

I'd wondered previously in this forum whether the double rise would make a pre-ferment unnecessary. My experiment lacks a wide enough sample (2 loaves does not a sample make) to make a conclusive finding, but ... well, see for yourself. I wasn't able to put them in the oven at the same time, because kneading them seperately takes 20 minutes a piece, but I did keep all other factors equal to the best of my ability. I can't guarrantee that they proofed for exactly the same amount of time, but the age-old finger poke test showed both loaves were ready.

On the left, the straight dough. On the right, the dough made with a biga. Now, the loaf on the right did suffer from a bit of poor shaping that left a moderate gap in the top middle of the loaf, but that gap alone can't account entirely for the difference in size. Clearly, the biga loaf rose higher.

Here's another view. I scored the loaves differently so that I could tell them apart during the tasting.

So, what about it? How did they taste?

Both breads were excellent. Nevertheless, the difference was noticeable, though subtle. The loaf with the biga had a richer, stronger aroma, a deeper sweetness and a longer finish than the straight-dough. If you plan to eat this bread primarily in sandwiches or with jam, the biga will make little difference. As a bike commuter, however, the first thing I usually do after removing my helmet after my ride home is to run to the kitchen for a slice or two of plain bread to tide me over until I can cook the family meal.

If you eat the bread plain, the biga does make a difference.

Here's my version of the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book Buttermilk Bread, with a biga. NOTE: I made this using the flour and water weights, not cups (except for the buttermilk). Laurel seems to have a heavy hand with a cup of flour, so you may need to add some if you use volumetric measurements -- let the dough be your guide. Some of the cup measurements don't match grams / ounces. That's OK. It all comes out even in the end.

Biga 5 ¼ ounces -- 150 grams -- 1 cup water 250 grams -- 8 3/4 ounces -- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 1/8 tsp instant yeast

Final dough All of the biga 1 ½ tsp instant yeast 4 3/4 ounces -- 135 grams-- 3/4 cup warm water ¼ cup honey 1 ¼ cup cold buttermilk 580 grams / 20.5 ounces -- 4 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 2 tsp salt 2 Tbs butter

The night before, make up the biga. Knead it until it forms a relatively smooth dough, and then cover it to sit overnight for about 12-14 hours.

The next day, tear the biga into about 12 pieces and mix it up with the rest of the ingredients. Start kneading -- it'll take about 600 strokes and 20 minutes, but once you're finished, the dough should stretch nicely into a translucent, whitish pane, flecked with bits of bran. This dough may start a bit sticky, but should lose the stickiness and become simply tacky about halfway through. Add water or flour as necessary.

Form the dough into a ball and put it into bowl or bucket. Cover it, and allow the dough to rise for about 90 minutes or so. Poke the dough with a wet finger. When the indention starts to fill in very, very slowly, the dough is risen.

Gently degas the dough, and tuck it back into a tight ball for the second rise. Fold the dough if you wish, but really, after 600 strokes, the dough shouldn't need any additional strength. Once it has risen, divide the dough into two and shape it into sandwich loaves. Place the loaves into pre-greased 8.5 x 4.5 pans. Cover the pans with plastic for the final rise.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. (I like my oven a little hotter than Laurel does -- she prefers 325). Once the dough is risen and has crested one to two inches above the side of the pan in the center, slash the loaves as you wish with a serrated knife or razor blade. Personally, I prefer a single slash down the middle, but do whatever makes you happy. Place them in the oven and steam it if you wish (I find it helps with oven spring quite a bit, even with panned loaves), and bake for about 35-40 minutes, turning once to ensure even baking.

The loaves are done when they register 195-200 in the center. Let them cool for one hour before slicing.

If you want to make this as a straight dough (no biga), just dump everything together and increase the yeast to 2 tsp.

One other point. The quality of the whole wheat flour you use will make a big difference in the quality of your bread. Whole wheat flour, unlike white flour, goes rancid and if your brand has sat on the shelf for a while at the store, it may not make good bread. Also, you want the flour to be high in gluten, so look for flour made form hard spring wheat, if possible. Hard winter will do, but it won't rise quite as high. I use King Arthur Flour, myself, and it's worked fine.

Breadwhiner's picture

Great to hear that you have tried a side-by-side experiment!!! Of course it takes more kneading time to do a side-by-side test, but there is nothing like firsthand knowledge. When I do these kinds of tests, I often try out both breads on others to see which one they prefer.

We need more of these kinds of posts because they illustrate important concepts in breadmaking. One of these days I want to compare a young sourdough starter (i.e. 2 days) with an old one. Hopefully, I'll get around to it soon:)

Great post.

JMonkey's picture

The experiment was fun -- I worked from home that day, so I was able to take a break to knead the second loaf. After the initial mixing and kneading, it takes virtually no time to make bread, which I love. The yeast does the work for you.

In a blind test, my wife could definitely tell a big difference in the aroma of the biga bread. They tasted about the same to her, though. In my blind test, I could tell a difference in aroma and taste.

Guess I'm just pickier. :-) But, really, the difference is subtle enough so that, if there are any toppings at all on the bread aside from butter, perhaps, the two breads are virtually indistinguishable.

Sylviambt's picture

Terrific posting, JMonkey. Inspires me to try a couple of side-by-sides myself.
BTW--what's everybody doing with their extra bread? There are only two of us at home (my husband's waistband is expanding and our chocolate lab's become addicted to the bread). No room in the freezer. Fortunately, the older couples in my church don't mind my experiments.
In search of the perfect crust & crumb

Darkstar's picture



I've found quite a few co-workers who are more than happy to eat my surplus breads. Moreso now that I'm getting better at making them but they all happily ate my early (and continuing) mistakes too.


JMonkey: I plan on making your recipe soon. My own whole wheat is almost gone necessitating a new loaf or three. Looking forward to my first Biga!

JMonkey's picture

Hope you enjoy! I make it a bit differently these days, though, mainly because it's easier.

Instead of a biga, I take the full 10 ounces of water (1.25 cups) in the recipe and then add 10 ounces of flour (about 285 grams or roughly 2.25 cups) to make a poolish. Either way, it tastes about the same.

I also find I have to add a bit of water while kneading to get it to the consistency that I like (not sticky, but very tacky). Probably an ounce or so.


Good luck! It rises very nicely for a whole wheat bread. I always wait until it's 1.5 inches above the rim in a 4.5x8.5 pan.


Cooky's picture

I've been stuffing my workmates with my experiments (and the bread pudding that inevitably follows). Recently I learned a friend of mine cooks dinner for a shelter every so often, so she's getting a whole bunch. I'm betting your local meals-on-wheels or food bank might be happy to accept your extras too.






"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

titus's picture


Excuse the dumb question --- but when you do the poolish method, do you still use the 1/8tsp yeast initially and then add the rest of the 1.5 tsp the next day when you are making the loaves or is the total amount of yeast reduced?

Thanks for any advice!

JMonkey's picture

Yes, that's right. I put 1/8 tsp (or a pinch, if you don't have a spoon that small) and then add 1.5 tsp the next day when I make up the final dough.
The straight dough recipe calls for 2 tsp yeast, but I find that if I use a preferment like a poolish, I don't need as much yeast to leaven the final dough.

titus's picture

I made the Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread today using the biga method. The flour I used is an organic coarse whole wheat that is milled locally, and available in the local grocery store (therefore, I don't know what the turn-over is).

Everything seemed to go well until the final proofing stage: The dough was smooth, rose well and looked great.

I shaped it and put it into loaf pans and under a misted proof box in my laundry room, which was at a temperature of 74 degrees. To make a long story short, the loaves just didn't rise. After an hour they had just come up to the level of the top of the pan. Not only that, but the tops of the loaves were torn.

Reluctantly, I let them rise 20 minutes longer, but they didn't rise much more. I put them in the oven and baked them.

They turned out to be squat little loaves with a pronounced alcohol smell. They were inedible and had a coarse, grainy crumb (even though I had kneeded the dough for the full 600 strokes -- 20 minutes).

Any ideas of what went wrong and how I can remedy it the next time? I'm really confused, because I followed the directions to the letter.

JMonkey's picture

Hmmm. From the alcohol smell and torn loaves, I'd say it sounds like the loaves got overproofed during the bulk rise. Not sure how long they went for, but I usually use the finger poke test to see whether they're ready for the next stage.

Basically, wet your finger, and poke about 1/2 inch into the dough. If it starts to spring back, let it rise some more. If it doesn't come back or if it starts to come back vvveeerrrry slowly, it's ready for the next stage. If it sighs, which means it just seems to collapse when you poke it, you've let it go too long. That's probably OK, but if it goes too long you get a loaf that poops out and won't rise any more.

Sorry about the loaf not working out. If you try again, let us know what happens!

titus's picture

Thanks JMonkey!

I didn't think I proofed them too long at the time, but obviously, something sure went wrong! I'm planning to try again this weekend with a finer grind of whole wheat flour and I'll be watching the proofing closely. I really do seem to have a problem getting it at that Goldilocks spot -- "just right".

Thanks again, and I'll let you know how it transpires. I'm determined to have this come out.

titus's picture

I made the bread again today. Sifted the WW flour this time and made the biga the night before. Raised the dough in our waterbed (82F) instead of the 72F laundry room. The dough was still on the sticky side, despite my having added at least 1/2-3/4 cup extra flour during kneading; and it still tore a bit. I put it in 8x4 pans this time, instead of the 9x5s I used last time.

The loaves turned out OK! Not as great looking as yours, but a tremendous improvement over my last efforts. The crumb is a little raggedy, but the bread tastes great.

I think one of my problems is that the flour over here is so different from that in the US; I'm really having a challenge in trying to make adjustments and just accepting the differences. I think I will add a bit of vital wheat gluten next time and see if that prevents the bran in the WW from tearing the dough.

titus's picture


When you wrote about your experiment with the Buttermilk WW Bread that you said you used 1/8 tsp yeast for the biga, but then reduced the yeast in the remainder of the recipe from 1 tsp to 3/4 tsp.

But in the written recipe you provided, you have 1.5 tsp of yeast. I'm confused. Was this a typo?

When I made the bread today using your version, I had made the biga with 1/8 tsp of yeast, but then I used the 1.5 tsp for the rest. I guess that's why I didn't get a good third rise and also had the alcohol smell. I'm supposing that the coarseness of the ww flour caused the gluten strands to tear. But why only on the third rise?I don't really want to sift out the bran as I want the full nutritional effect of the whole wheat.

Anybody with any ideas?

JMonkey's picture

Sorry that wasn't clear. In the comparison recipe, I made one loaf with a biga and the other as a straight dough. In the single biga loaf, I used 1/8 tsp yeast for the biga and 3/4 tsp for the final dough.
The recipe is for two loaves, so that's why the amount of yeast is doubled for the final loaves. That make sense?

jolynn's picture


JMonkey, thank you so much for your side by side post and wonderful recipe.  I am a hard core sourdough baker, so I tried your recipe, substituting about 15 grams of firm sourdough for the yeast in the biga and another 25 grams of the same starter in the final dough.  I used white whole wheat flour (KA) because I was after a more mild sandwhich style loaf but otherwise followed your instructions to the letter. I was not sure about a sour dough starter AND butermilk but the results were fabulous! The lightest, most delicious whole wheat bread I'ver ever made (and I've been at ths for more than 35 years!) Many thanks!

JMonkey's picture

Hey, that's fantastic! I'm glad you did that -- I've been wondering about using buttermilk in my sourdough as well. Seemed like it might be redundant, since buttermilk is so acidic anyway, but apparently not.
I'm not sure why, but my whole wheat loaves made with buttermilk seem to rise higher than any other whole wheat loaves I make. Luckily, buttermilk is just plain tasty as well. ;-)

lakshmi's picture

dear J monkey

the recepie sounded good and the loafs looked tempting. i tried it to the maximum possible detail. i did not have two loaf tins and so i put the whole dough in to a large flat pan 22cm*9cm that is where i feel the problem arose.

the third rise was not much about 1/2 an inch

and then i kept it on the last shelf of my oven which i had preheated to 180deg celcius.

the loaf cooked for 40 min but in the first 10 min in the oven it did not rise.

i turned out edible but slightly less spongy.

would u help me with the measurements for a single loaf.

does/ the biga still ahve to contain 1/8th tsp of yeast? then what amount would the final dough contain ? i would also like it a bit more sweeter can i add more honey, and decrease the water in it?

do let me know.



JMonkey's picture

I'm not sure why your loaf didn't rise the last time, but the most common problems are

  • Flour that's rancid: Whole wheat flour, unlike white flour, goes bad in a month or two after it has been ground. I grind my own now, but before that, I always had good luck with King Arthur Flour Whole Wheat. Then again, they're local, so it may just be that it moves off the shelves pretty quick.
  • Overproofing: If you let the dough rise too longin the bulk rise, they'll poop out and won't do squat in subsequent rises. Use the poke-test as your guide. Wet your finger, push in about 1/2 inch into the dough, and watch how it comes back. If it comes back vvverrryy slowly, go on to the next stage. If it springs back, let it rise some more. If the dough collapses and "sighs", you've let it go too long.

    For a single loaf, just cut everything in half. For the biga, don't worry about trying to measure 1/16 tsp of yeast. Just get a tiny pinch between your thumb and finger -- should be plenty.

    Good luck!
  • lakshmi's picture

    will try a single loaf next time and let u know.

    im from india, where we eat a lot of chapattis, is basically a unleaved dough toasted on the pan/ we have a lot of flour handy at home, always. we get fresh flour from  the mill every 15-20 days, so nothing off the self here.




    mse1152's picture

    I made JMonkey's biga version today. I've made the straight dough version before, and both are family favorites now. It's a sticky dough, and I punked out before putting in the full 20 minutes of kneading, thinking a couple of stretch and fold cycles would be a good substitute (my wrists are getting sorta creaky). I've had it rise higher before, but the flavor is still wonderful and sweet.

    I have tried both photo upload icons to include a picture of what I baked, but I cannot make it work, and I'm about to pitch this PC across the room. I use Mozilla Firefox on Windows XP. When I try to insert a photo, all I get is the 'broken' icon (little square with blue/purple shapes in it). I have accounts containing those photos on both Photobucket and Webshots. Neither URL works. I.....give.....up!!!!!!!!


    MissyErin's picture

    And if so... have you modified it yet again since about a year ago that this post was last active?  I'm leaving for Cancun tomorrow and can't wait until Tuesday to try it!  But, I'm the that the margaritas will help me pass the time...  ahh...

    Thanks, JMonkey!!

    Melissa in Atlanta

    Salome's picture

    Uuh what a rise! I followed your recipe (except that I had to substitute 100 ml of buttermilk by a yoghurt-water-mixture, because I was short on buttermilk) and kneaded 30 minutes by hand (bertinet method) until I had finally the feeling that the gluten was well developed.

    It's a pleasantly warm day today, around 75° F - maybe that's the reason why this dough rised so beautifully. It was a real pleasure to watch it. It rose as high as many white flour doughs do! First rise: ~1 h 45 min, second rise ~1 h.

    Here in Switzerland we don't have the American loaf pans, ours are somewhat longer and narrower. Anyway, I took two pans which should be about the same volume. It took the dough less than an hour to rise up to two inches over the pan! I slashed it and put it into the oven, where it again experienced a fantastic oven spring. The only mistake I made was that I took the loafes out of the pan somewhat to early. (otherwise they turn out very soft on the bottoms with the Swiss pans.) One of them stands now somewhat slanted because the crust wasn't strong enough yet.

    One change that I'll make: When I checked the loaves after 30 min of baking, the crumb was still very soft. The next time I'll bake them at a higher temperature to start with, probably around 200°C. This time I increased the heat to 230° C (when I checked after 30 min) and added 10 minutes to the baking. Now the loaves are nicely brown and have at least somewhat a crust. It will soften for sure, though.

    Now I'm very curious to cut into it. I'll wait until dinner, though, and probably post pictures later. I think this bread will make great sandwiches for tomorrows hike!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!


    Salome's picture

    I wrote about this bread on my blog. There are some pictures as well:

    "Oven TV" about this Buttermilk Whole-Wheat Bread.


    ngabriel's picture

    Hello!  I have your bread in my oven as i type... and would like your help understanding something.  After the last rise, this is when you slit the top right? Does this cause the bread to deflate??  so, is that right, you deflate the loafs right before putting them into the oven??  


    thanks for any help


    Nim's picture


    Can we make this bread with a starter instead of yeast. I have made Laurel's buttermilk bread too but without the biga and it turned out very well. But I'd like to try the biga method but with a starter instead. Any suggestions for modifying the recipe for a starter?

    ciabattaventi's picture

    I was looking for a way to use up the last of the buttermilk, so I tried this. Intstead of biga though, I had a white sourdough starter ready to go and used that. And thanks to Shiao-Ping, I tried a stencil, which is one part of the word Friendship (I think).

    Russ's picture

    Hi JMonkey, Very nice post, I plan to make this bread now that I've found your recipe. It is a little unclear to me though.

    Some of your weights don't match your listed volumes, specifically when referring to liquid measures. Normally a cup of water weighs 8 oz or 227 grams. You list a cup of water as 5 1/4 oz or 150 grams

    I had planned to just ignore this  and use the weights since I use scale myself, but your buttermilk and honey only list a volume measurement and I'm not sure whether to use actual cup measures for those or to be consistent with the the weight conversion you used above. Can you help me to figure out which measures to follow to duplicate your recipe?



    TopBun's picture

    I have the Laurel's book, and the original recipe calls for only 10 oz water (1 1/4 cups) total. So I think that the 1 cup water measure for the biga in JMonkey's version above must have been a typo, since he calls for adding another 3/4 cup in the final dough. The other water measure of ~ 5 oz. or 150 grams in the biga seems more like it.

    I like a higher hydration biga in whole grain loves a la Reinhart so I adjusted accordingly. This is a truly spectacular bread.

    cognitivefun's picture

    Have you used a food processor to knead this after the biga is ready?

    I might try that as I prefer food processor breads to kneading by hand.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    TopBun's picture

    I made this recipe today and used my KA food processor to mix the biga with the rest of the ingredients for the final dough. Since it's just a standard capacity unit, I divided the biga exactly in half and mixed up 1 loaf's worth at a time. The loaves didn't rise quite as high as JMonkey's, but they were still light and delicious. I also did some stretch-and-fold through the rises, since I don't like to knead too long in the food processor.

    I will say that the tallest and lightest version of this recipe I've ever made was using white whole wheat flour (today I used hard red wheat) and adding 2 tablespoons of potato flour plus 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten. On that occassion I mixed the dough by hand and simply did stretch and fold instead of extended kneading. That produced a loaf that was almost like white-flour dinner rolls in its texture. Unsurprisingly it didn't have the robust wheat taste I got with the flour used today. It really depends on what you're in the mood for -both varieties are delicious.


    suchatravesty's picture

    Hi. I just started baking bread in the last few weeks. I'm slowly learning the tricks of the trade. I made this today with my kitchenaid. The middle is nice and fluffy and I've never seen such ovenspring before! It just went POOF. I have a couple of questions:

    1. I still have trouble knowing when to add more flour/water to a recipe prior to kneading. Is there a specific texture or look the dough should have before I knead?


    2. I actually saw your video on youtube about shaping a loaf and you kept brushing the flour off each time you rolled the dough over. I find that the flour sticks to my kneaded dough when I shape a loaf. Am I doing this wrong? Does this matter? Should i wipe it off with a little bit of water?


    3. The crust. First, I couldn't get it this lovely brown color on top until I decided to brush a little butter on top near the end of baking. Second, I feel like the crust is so stiff compared to the inside, making the two separate. Is there a way to fix this?


    4. I like my whole wheat slightly sweeter. And with nuts. Could I add another quarter cup of honey and maybe some walnuts without killing my bread?

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

    patman23's picture

    Ok, I'm not new to cooking nor am I new to baking bit I am still a noivce in the bread world.  I have ALWAYS had a difficult time making 100% Whole Wheat bread.  It was tough, heavy and never rose well.  So far this is the nicest dough that I've worked with.  Amazingly smooth and quite light.  I'm on my final rise and it's looking great.  The first rise took about an hour, the second took only 30 min.  I expect that the final will take about 40.  For a proof box I use my oven wit the light on and I add a kettle of boiling water. In my final rise I use my microwave with two cups of boiling water.  These really work well for me.  That way I can preheat the oven while I'm on my final rise.  If this comes out as well as I hope, I'll be making this weekly. 


    I almost forgot.  I let my Biga rest for 1 1/2 days.  Not on purpose but I just got sidetracked and didnt get a chance to me the bread when I wanted to.  I'll see how it turns out and be srue to let y'all know.


    Patti Y's picture
    Patti Y

    I saw this recipe in The Fresh Loaf Handbook and on this post. Can you tell me which recipe is the final recipe?   This post has a date, but the recipe in the handbook did not.

    1. Which do you prefer now that you have made the recipe many times? Biga? Poolish? Regular?


    The recipe on this post was confusing. On the Biga (below) I can't tell which measurement goes to which ingredient. I added ( )  and commas to try to figure it out. Please let me know if I have it wrong. 

    "Biga (5 ¼ ounces or 150 grams weight of biga???? )-- use (1 cup water  or 250 grams) -- (8 3/4 ounces or 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour) 1/8 tsp instant yeast"

    2. Did I get the Biga measurements and ingredients grouped correctly?


    On this post you typed...

    "Final dough Add all of the biga,    1 ½ tsp instant yeast ,   (4 3/4 ounces -- 135 grams-- 3/4 cup warm water) ,             ¼ cup honey,    1 ¼ cup cold buttermilk,    (580 grams / 20.5 ounces -- 4 3/4 cup) whole wheat flour,    2 tsp salt,     2 Tbs butter`

    3. Did I get the final dough ingredients right? This is for 1 loaf with Biga, right?


    Later, you  posted that you NOW do it a different way. You typed...

    "Instead of a Biga, I take the full 10 ounces of water (1.25 cups) in the recipe, and then 10 ounces of flour (285 g or 2.25 cups) to make a poolish."

    Here is where I get lost. 1 c water = 8 ounces. So if you use 1 cup (8 oz)  of water in the Biga and 3/4 cup  (6 oz) of water in the final recipe, that equals 14 ounces not the 10 ounces that you are using in the poolish. 

    4.Which would be best? 14 oz or 10 oz of water?



    In the Biga final recipe you also said, " 4 3/4 ounces -- 135 grams-- 3/4 cup warm water " ...

    3/4 c of water = 6 fl I don't know if I should use 4 3/4 oz or 6 oz (3/4 c) of water. 

    5. Which is correct amount of water for the final dough on the Biga? 



    In the Biga for 1 loaf, you used 1/8 tsp yeast, then added 1 1/2 tsp yeast in the final. So 1 5/8 tsp total of yeast for the Biga.  I know nothing about poolish.

    6. Do you use yeast in the poolish? If so, how much yeast? Do you treat ithe poolish like the Biga and refrigerate it or  overnight it in a cool room? Then just add the rest of the ingredients for the final dough? 



    For the Biga, you used 8.75 oz flour plus final dough 20.5 oz flour = 29.25 oz of flour.

    7. If I use the poolish, I would subtract the 10 oz of flour from the 29.25 oz from the recipe's total flour which would equal 19.25 oz of flour? I think maybe I have this right.....?


    I am so sorry this post is so long, but I really want to make your recipe exactly like you make it. I doubt my loaf will look like yours on my first (or 100th) try. ? 

    Thanks for posting the recipe.  

    Patti Y's picture
    Patti Y

    I just found another question...

    When you answered someone's question about the typed...

    " Sorry that wasn't clear. In the comparison recipe, I made one loaf with a biga and the other as a straight dough. In the single biga loaf, I used 1/8 tsp yeast for the biga and 3/4 tsp for the final dough. "

    7/8 tsp of yeast for the Biga, right?       Same amount for the regular loaf???

    " The recipe is for two loaves, so that's why the amount of yeast is doubled for the final loaves. That make sense? "

    So, on the Biga part that you typed, keep all of the measurement amounts for 1 loaf of Biga???

    But, on the Final Dough amounts you typed, divide them in half because the Final amounts equals 2 loaves????


    elizam's picture


    This may be a UK vs US thing, but my 1 cup measures are all 240ml/g. Your cup measurements seem to be very different. For example, the biga quantity is for 1 cup or 150ml of water. This is such a big difference that I’m not sure what to use. It might be safer to stick to grams, but some of your ingredients are only given in cups. Are the  cup measurements of the other ingredients also 150ml rather than 240ml?

    thanks very much