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Author Topic: Lumpy Biga  (Read 432 times)

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Offline caltheide

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Lumpy Biga
« on: November 29, 2021, 01:42:56 PM »
Help!  I just made my dough using a Biga of 100% flour, 50% water and all the yeast.  I put in the refrigerator for 24 hours then out at room temp (65 degrees) for 18 hours.    I just got done kneading the dough after adding the rest of the ingredients (1% salt, remaining water for 65% hydration and oil), hand kneaded for 20 minutes, but the dough has lots of small lumps in it.  Why does it have lumps and can I still use it?  Thank you for any help!

Online scott r

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2021, 06:44:49 PM »
There are a number of things that can cause this, but the usual suspect is a biga that is under mixed.   The no stress biga video has helped to create this problem.  Other factors are... keeping the lid of your proofing container for the biga too open (you just need a few very small air holes.... mixing by hand makes it very difficult to incorporate a biga and spiral mixers are the best for it. 

Offline photosvein

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2021, 11:50:40 AM »
There are a number of things that can cause this, but the usual suspect is a biga that is under mixed.   The no stress biga video has helped to create this problem.  Other factors are... keeping the lid of your proofing container for the biga too open (you just need a few very small air holes.... mixing by hand makes it very difficult to incorporate a biga and spiral mixers are the best for it.
So that method is not the correct/best one?
There is so much conflicting info out there when it comes to biga... :(

Offline Rolls

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2021, 01:26:44 PM »
So that method is not the correct/best one?
There is so much conflicting info out there when it comes to biga... :(

I agree with Scott on all points mentioned above.  In my opinion, a "no stress biga", as in Vito Iacopelli's video, is undermixed and can lead to a whole host of problems, especially for the home baker who mixes by hand.  In fact, on a recent podcast with Paolo Spadaro and Piergiorgio Luigi (the man who codified the process of using biga) they discussed how many of the bigas posted on social media are undermixed. 

Bigas can be tricky to use correctly, so it's always best to follow the standard recommendations set out by Giorilli:
  • use relatively strong flour
  • mix to 44-45%hydration
  • use 1% compressed yeast (adjust for ADY or IDY)
  • final temperature of biga after mixing should be around 20C
  • storage temperature should be around 18C for around 24 hrs

The biga needs to be mixed long enough to absorb all the loose flour in the mixing bowl, but not so long as to develop the gluten matrix to any significant degree.  Here's a video, featuring Giorilli himself, that shows a properly mixed biga:




Rolls
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 01:28:34 PM by Rolls »
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Offline photosvein

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2021, 08:27:48 AM »
I dont speak Italian and the auto-translate did not pick up much on that video  :-\ but I saw how long it took so going to try that and see how it works :)

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Offline Rolls

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2021, 09:41:39 AM »
I dont speak Italian and the auto-translate did not pick up much on that video  :-\ but I saw how long it took so going to try that and see how it works :)

I know it's a poor quality video in a foreign language but I wanted to post it because it gives a good visual display of a properly mixed biga by the man who codified it.  Whether you mix by machine or by hand, try to achieve the same look as the biga in the video, respecting the parameters in my previous post. When done mixing cover the biga with cling film and puncture a few holes.  Make sure the biga doesn't exceed 24C.  Use a camping cooler and gel packs to achieve the 18C storage temperature, if necessary.


Rolls
Parmigiano-Reggiano doesn't come in a green box!   - Chef Jean-Pierre

Online scott r

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2021, 04:16:08 PM »
at home I use this to keep my biga temp where I like it... or to proof dough balls, or to hold wild yeast where I want it.   I love this thing because it can keep things cold or warm... a home bakers best friend if your into experimenting with different doughs.

Offline photosvein

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2021, 12:33:34 PM »
at home I use this to keep my biga temp where I like it... or to proof dough balls, or to hold wild yeast where I want it.   I love this thing because it can keep things cold or warm... a home bakers best friend if your into experimenting with different doughs.

I found that kind of incubator in a pet store here in Norway, but offcause here its 2x the cost  :-\
https://lucky-reptile.de/en/products/incubation-and-breeding/incubators/436/herp-nursery-ii-incubator
This is the one I can get here, its 27 x 24 x 37 cm inside, that mean I wont be able to fit an GN 1/2 tray  :-\

How many balls you get in yours?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 12:55:45 PM by photosvein »

Offline Duje

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2022, 06:34:03 AM »
I have same problem now. My mixer died yesterdey so I have to incoporate biga by hands, but didnt see any video or instruction so my dough has lumps in it. Wheter this dough is still good to use?

Offline 02ebz06

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2022, 11:00:01 AM »
at home I use this to keep my biga temp where I like it... or to proof dough balls, or to hold wild yeast where I want it.   I love this thing because it can keep things cold or warm... a home bakers best friend if your into experimenting with different doughs.

Have you tried putting dough trays in it ?
Bruce here... My cooking toys --> FGM 800-B Pizza Oven, Pellet Grill, Pellet Smoker, Propane Griddle, Propane Grill

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Offline Monkeyboy

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Re: Lumpy Biga
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2022, 02:28:01 PM »
Going thru this right now...Tried that same method "no stress" Biga.  Very lumpy after adding (slowly) the rest of the water.  Small batch so doing it by hand.  I went apes$hit on it for awhile, still lumpy.  Letting it rest now - will do another session soon and hopefully salvage this.

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