Biga is a starter, almost similar to sourdough but not quite. The bread has a flavorful, yeasty beery quality. Italian Country Bread with Biga is a joy with soups or pastas.

Italian Country Bread with Biga

Italian Country Bread with Biga
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2 baguettes
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/8 Cups warm water
  • 2 Cups bread flour
  • Biga (above)
  • 1 1/4 Cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 Cup water
  1. About 10 to 12 hours before you want the bread, mix the 1 teaspoon yeast in the water and let it bubble and foam.
  2. Mix in the flour gradually to make a soft almost soupy dough. Cover and it will rise and triple in volume and then fall back and re-rise during the 6 to 8 hours you let it be.
  3. Then make the bread.
  4. Stir the salt right into the biga mixture, mix in the additional water ( cold or cool not warm ) until it is a thin soupy quality.
  5. Mix in the flour to make a firm but soft dough which leaves the sides of the bowl.
  6. Turn out to a floured surface and knead dough, adding additional flour if necessary to make a smooth dry dough.
  7. Place dough in a bowl, greased with olive oil, cover and let rise doubled about 2 hours.
  8. Punch dough down and knead it into a flat oval. cut in half and form each half into a baguette and let them rest covered with a towel for 30 minutes, then stretch them into longer baguette shapes and place them in a baguette baking tray if you have it.
  9. Let rest for 20 minutes. then slash tops and place into a preheated 450 oven for 20 minutes or done.
  10. If you don't have a baguette tray any baking sheet or baking stone will do. You also could shape the breads in one large round loaf instead of 2 baguettes. Bake the one large loaf 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  11. Note: since this bread is fat free eat the same day or freeze as it stales quickly.

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