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What is biga (and what is it for): the secret to perfect bread and pizza


Do you want bread and pizza as good as the baker's? Prepare them with the biga technique, a pre-dough that helps leavening.

Homemade bread and pizza are able to give us great satisfaction . A little flour, yeast, salt and water are enough to obtain leavened doughs that can be declined into something different every time. It seems incredible how, always starting from the same ingredients, the result is different every time and this is especially true when it comes to bread-making. In some recipes, for example, we read about preparing the biga but what is it? What is the biga used for and above all how is it prepared?

What is the chariot?


The biga is a pre-dough , i.e. a preparation that requires leavening in itself and is then added to the actual dough, performing a leavening function. In this way you will obtain lighter and more digestible baked goods, ideal if you want to obtain bread and pizza as good as the baker's.

The biga is used above all in the recipes proposed by great bakers and white art experts who sometimes prefer it to sourdough for some recipes. Unlike sourdough, in fact, biga is prepared with normal yeast, it does not require excessively long leavening periods and is in any case a guarantee of excellent results .

How to prepare the biga

As mentioned, the biga is a pre-dough that is prepared with flour, yeast and water. Specifically, the proportions to be respected are as follows: for a given dose of durum wheat flour, 00 or 0 (the important thing is that the W, i.e. the strength, is greater than 300), add 45-50% of water at 17°C and 0.5-1% yeast .

  1. Mix everything until there are no more lumps, as quickly as possible.
  2. It is then left to mature under a clean cloth for 16-20 hours at a temperature between 18° and 20°C.
  3. Once it has matured, the dough will have an aftertaste similar to that of yoghurt and can be used for the preparation of bread, pizza and focaccia. It will be added to the remaining ingredients and the final dough should be left to rise until doubled in size (this will take 2-3 hours).

Biga for bread: ingredients

Given the necessary premises, here are the doses to prepare the biga and then the durum wheat bread.

For the biga : 300 g of durum wheat flour, 3-5 g of fresh brewer's yeast, 150 ml of water.

For the dough : 700 g of durum wheat flour, 250 ml of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, biga.

Biga for pizza: ingredients

For the preparation of the biga for pizza the proportions are slightly different and a soft wheat flour will be used.

For the biga : 500 g of flour 0, 250 ml of water, 3-5 g of yeast.

For the dough : 500 g of flour 0, 450 ml of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, biga.

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