Thursday, 1 March 2012

IT'S all ABOUT the BIGA baby!

The biga
I very recently successfully made my first loaf of Sourdough and was very pleased with the results. Behind every good loaf of Sourdough is the biga, which is also called a 'starter', 'ferment' or 'mother' -  this is the way bread has been made for centuries, making use of the wild yeast spores that are found on the surface of sugary ingredients. The starter is made using strong flour, water and something sweet, such as fruit. The idea is to introduce simple sugars, which the wild yeast spores and natural bacteria can ferment easily, and bubble quicker. The starter is a fermenting dough or batter, the term sourdough broadly applies to breads raised with wild yeasts. When you make a dough on this starter, the acid produced by the lactic bacteria helps to strengthen the elastic gluten and intensifies the flavour of the finished bread. The first time you make your starter, you need to be patient, as you will need to feed it every day, and it could take a few weeks until it is bubbling happily and smells sweetly acidic before it is ready to use with your first loaf.

My first Sourdough Bread

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