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Biga is the Italian word for old dough.  To make a biga, either simply keep some dough back from the bread you are baking the day before (up to 3-4 days before).  Or, make a new biga by mixing together:
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian


  • 330 g White wheat flour
  • 250 ml Water
  • A few Grains of yeast


  • Knead this for 5 minutes or so and then let rise out of the fridge all day.  When it is done it is much bigger and frothy.  Simply use what you need there and then or pop it in an air tight container and put it in the fridge.
  • Use it up within 3-4 days.  It is not live, like a sourdough so it won’t live forever in the fridge, perking up when you refresh it.  It is just old dough and so, in most recipes you use the biga for flavour and you add yeast for rise.
  • I have had to invent a “live biga” (well, I probably did not invent it but as I have never heard of it and am adapting as I go I will claim it’s invention) by using some of the old dough from the previous recipe (Pane di Como) which I made with sourdough so I know the dough is live and, thus, can be refreshed.
  • So….to make this you need to have some dough from a sourdough loaf that you pinched off 1-4 days ago. 
  • This “live biga” is what I will use throughout this experiment when a biga is called for.  If you have any questions because I have just been utterly unintelligible, just contact me.