The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


Traveler's picture


I want to push the retarding of my biga as far as possible. I read that heterofermentative  bacteria thrives best at 50-65 F. However, does anyone happen to know if that bacteria would thrive , at refrigerator temps ? I want to develop as much lactic acid and acetic acid as possible. 


Dissolve 1/8th tsp of dry yeast in 1/4 cup of water . SET ASIDE.

103 gram water

36 gram W.W. flour

112 gram unbleached bread flour

Add only 2 tsp of the yeasted water. (discard the rest)

Stir until well combined, cover and allow to ferment, 13 hour, OR until it nearly triples in volume. I normally set the container in a bowl of chilly water with a few ice cubes. 

At this point it is full of bubbles, and slightly domed.

QUESTION: will the bacteria still continue to multiply and produce lactic and acetic acids, at refrigerator temps ?



idaveindy's picture

Are you using sourdough too?

Commercial dry yeast doesn't have the acid-producing bacteria that sourdough does.

There's good info on how to vary the ratio of yeast to acid-producing bacteria in sourdough here:

Lactic acid-producing bacteria (homofermentative) prefer the higher temps.

Acetic acid-producing bacteria (heterofermentative) prefer the lower temps.

Good luck, and bon appétit.

Benito's picture

"QUESTION: will the bacteria still continue to multiply and produce lactic and acetic acids, at refrigerator temps ?"

LAB reproduction will stop at 3.9*C, however, they will continue to metabolize and produce some acid.

Traveler's picture

No. I am not using sourdough. I am only using a biga and I also retard the bulk fermentation by refrigerating the dough.

idaveindy's picture

If no sourdough, then not much acid.  A biga made with commercial yeast is not going to have acid-producing bacteria.

Yeast can produce a lot of flavorful stuff, but not much lactic and acetic acid, maybe just a teeeensy bit.  For lactic and acetic acid, you need sourdough, or else cheat and add some lactic acid and vinegar (acetic acid) yourself.

User mwilson posted a yeast-metabolism diagram showing a lot of outputs from yeast, including a teensy bit of acetic acid, but not enough of what you seem to be looking for.

It was further discussed here:

Traveler's picture

Perhaps I am totally misunderstanding Daniel T. DiMuzio's book "Bread Baking", see pages 65-66 re discussions about the development of bacterial formation and the production of organic acids. 

He claims that homofermentative and heterofermentative bacteria both produce lactic and acetic acids. And, that those bacteria and acids are what gives bread its flavor.  

idaveindy's picture

those bacteria don't come from (or come along with) commercial dry (or fresh) yeast.

"Homofermentative and heterofermentative bacteria " come from, or are found in, _sourdough_ starter/levain.

Your commercial dry yeast, doing their thing in a biga, and again in the dough, will create wonderful flavors, but they won't create any noticeable lactic/acetic acid.

Are pages 65-66 talking about a biga made with commercial dry yeast, or a biga made with sourdough starter?