The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

100% not the sweet spot

ReneR's picture

100% not the sweet spot

The 100% biga bake was not very successful. 

Got an OK loaf at the end, but was a little too heavy and chewy.

Used 30% wholegrain rye and 70% strong white wheat. 

Used all 400g for the biga, with 40g of liquid SD starter and 180g of water. Added the remainder of the water to the biga after 24h.

Biga smelt nice and looked developed correctly.

Surprisingly, just mixing the extra water to the biga was much harder than when I did it with the extra flour for the 50% biga bakes. Already from the mixing I could tell that the dough was not the same consistency as with the 50% biga bakes. Just never quite came together well.

Then, the fermentation was way too aggressive and fast, rising so fast it started to tare the dough and looked way too bubbly. I think there was not enough time for the gluten to form properly before the fermentation kicked in.

Then, after the initial very aggressive fermentation, the gas seemed to go out of the dough a little and it grew much less impressively, even though the fermentation activity was still strong.  

It felt as if the dough was already over fermented after a couple of hours. 

100% Biga

Got descent oven spring, however, but the loaf was quite heavy and hard once it had cooled down.

Funnily, it actually improved substantially as it aged, becoming moist and soft in day 2 and 3 after the bake. Maximum hardness was in day 1. 

Biga 100% crumb

The taste was OK. Slightly tangy but nice. Nice with cream cheese and ham or smoked salmon.

I am trying a similar bake but with only 50% biga this weekend to see how they compare, but I am sure that 100% biga is not the biga sweet spot. 

I know it is 30% wholemeal rye, but I've baked much better and softer 30% loaves, even with my liquid levain.



ReneR's picture

In conclusion regarding the 'shaggy' biga experiments, the 50% biga does seem to produce the best results.

I made pretty much the same loaf as with the 100% biga, but included 25g (pre-soaked weight) of flaxseeds.

The final dough was much easier to combine with the biga and had the strength and fermentation of the previous 50% bakes.

Rye 50% Biga

Lovely oven spring, crust, texture, and crumb. Very airy and soft and with a great taste.

Think I will be sticking with this 50% shaggy SD biga method as it makes the best bread I have been able to make since I started with SD bread making. 

Maybe the last experiment would be to make a similar loaf with the SD liquid levain I used to use to see how they compare.