So, remember the biga I started yesterday? It’s about ready to go!  And now that it is, I can throw it into the freezer until I need it next week!  (See, that’s the awesome thing about this starter.  You can freeze it in the freezer for up to three/four months, and then thaw it for three to five hours when you need to use it again so it can reactivate.)  Yay for making your own bread!

Italian Biga
Makes appx 2 c of starter

Ingredients

  • ¼ t active dry yeast
  • ¼ c warm water
  • ¾ c plus 4 T water at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 c flour

Stir the yeast into the ¼ c water and let stand ten minutes, until it looks almost creamy. While this is happening, let the other 3/4ish c water stand so that it reaches room temp. Once the ten minutes has passed, add the remaining water, and then the flour, one cup at a time, mixing with a plastic or wooden spoon for 3 to 4 mins.  (If you’re lucky enough to have a food processor or stand mixer, those instructions are at the link.)  Cover the bowl with either a towel or plastic wrap, whatever you have handy, and let stand between six to forty-eight hours, depending on how sour you want your bread.  Starter should be approximately triple the size it was (compare yesterday’s photos with the final product).

Once you’re satisfied with your starter, you can either use it right away, refrigerate it for up to five days, or double wrap it in plastic wrap like I did and store in the freezer for up to four months.  If you choose to freeze it like I am, let the starter thaw either in the fridge for up to five hours, or at room temperature up to 3 hours, so that the yeast reactivates.

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