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Old 16-11-2003, 11:59 PM
Dee Randall
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Default Biga breads - Carol Fields Bread book

Thank you Roy for your thoughtful answer.
Your answer was a little above my expertise, but I'm sure others will
benefit from it as well.
My best,

"Roy Basan" wrote in message
"Dee Randall" wrote in message

Does anyone make the breads in Carol Field's book that are made with

or poolish that include such a minimal amount of yeast for the biga,

absolutely no extra yeast added when making the dough with the biga. I
have had failures on everyone of these recipes. Can anyone help?


I am not familiar with Carols book.
But your question is related to bakery expereince .
Old time bakers usually use very little yeast when making
preferments.And if you use that fermented sponge or biga, you will
need to subject the mixed dough( the biga already in it) to bulk
fermentation for a one to a few hours before you cut it down for
rounding and molding operation.
That is if the biga or poolish use a flour which is just a quarter or
a third of the total flour used.
If you apply this system like a normal dough where you just give it a
short rest after mixing then divide and mold ,the proofing will be
long and the dough appears squat lookin,close grained and with less
Another efficient way to use it is make the biga from 60-70% of the
flour and ferment that well.
Then when the ferment is ripe( it recedes from the fermentation
container) add the remaining flour with the rest of the ingredients
and make a dough.
Give it a floor time of 15-30 minutes then divide it into pieces,
round the dough let it rest for 15 minutes then mold.
Proof properly and bake.
Making biga and poolish with little yeast in it demands that it
should be fermented well.
The yeast level will be in the range of 0.25-0.5% fresh yeast basis.
Some of these new instant yeast do not have fermentation tolerance as
fresh yeast.
Therefore if you apply long fermentation of your biga with little
yeast use the standard compressed yeast as that was designed for such
fermentation process.
Using a rapid rise yeast and many instant yeast will usually result
in poor performance as instant yeast was designed for the modern fast
breadmaking process.It does not have much tolerance to long