Bread started from a "biga"

Heidi Hoerman


Unlike a sourdough starter, a biga is a fresh starter made the night before you intend to make bread. Biga is Italian; the French equivalent is poolish.

As with anything bread, there are literally hundreds of recipes and learned discussions of these fresh bread starters on the web.

This is my simple experiment that resulted in a wonderful light white bread.


★★★★★ 1 vote

1 large loaf, two small loaves or 8-12 rolls
15 Hr
1 Hr


Add to Grocery List

--for the biga--
1 c
bread flour
1 Tbsp
course salt or 2 teaspoons table salt
1 pkg
fast rising yeast
1 c
--to complete the bread--
3 to 4 c
bread flour (increase or decrease as needed)
1 c
2 Tbsp
olive oil

How to Make Bread started from a "biga"


  • 110-12 hours before you intend to make the bread (longer if the room is cold), start the biga by stirring together the first four ingredients in a large bread bowl.
  • 2Cover with plastic wrap and allow the biga to sit at room temperature for 10-12 hours. It will double in size and be full of holes, looking similar to the raw side of a pancake ready to be flipped.
  • 3Stir 3 cups of flour and the second cup of water into the biga until a raggy mass develops. Flop this onto a well floured counter and knead (push and fold) about 100 strokes, add flour as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands and the counter. Try to add as little flour as possible. Too dry a dough results in heavy bread.
  • 4Form the dough into a ball. Put 1 tablespoon of oil into the bread bowl and roll the ball of dough in it to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and put someplace warm and still to rise. An oven with the light on is a good rising environment. Allow to rise about 2 hours until doubled in size.
  • 5Punch the dough down, knead briefly and form into one large loaf, two small loafs, or rolls. The pictured loaves were made in a French bread pan lined with parchment paper.
  • 6Allow the formed loaves to rise another hour or until doubled in size.
  • 7Preheat the oven to 350F. Brush the risen loaves with the other tablespoon of olive oil. Bake about one hour. Longer for a large load, less time for rolls. As ovens differ, you will want to check the bread for doneness by rapping it on the bottom with your knuckle. It should sound hollow. If it thuds, cook ten more minutes and check again.

Printable Recipe Card

About Bread started from a "biga"

Course/Dish: Other Breads
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

Show 25 Comments & Reviews

Put Your Tastebuds In A Twist With 10 Perfect Pretzels Recipe

Put Your Tastebuds in a Twist with 10 Perfect Pretzels

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Soft and buttery, there's nothing better than a warm pretzel and they're not very hard to make at home. Skip the ones in the frozen food aisle and make a...

15 Moist Zucchini Bread Recipes

15 Moist Zucchini Bread Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Perform magic with these delicious homemade zucchini bread recipes by making them and then watching them disappear!!

Easy To To Make Quick Bread Recipes For The Holiday Season

Easy to To Make Quick Bread Recipes for the Holiday Season

Kitchen Crew

With the holidays fast approaching, quick bread recipes are great to keep handy in your recipe box. Since they require no yeast or rising time, they are easy to make...