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Author Topic: Need help with biga dough  (Read 650 times)

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Offline DoReiMe

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Need help with biga dough
« on: December 18, 2019, 10:18:01 AM »
I keep getting lumpy crater dough. Following the master biga app to a tee. Whatís the problem?

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2019, 11:27:00 AM »
Nothing if the picture is of the biga, if it is of your dough its under mixed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline DoReiMe

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2019, 11:44:28 AM »
Nothing if the picture is of the biga, if it is of your dough its under mixed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

If it is only undermixed how long should I mix for? I kneed for about 5 mins rest kneed and fold a few more times. I donít feel like I can get this to adequately mix. My hydration is 61%, should I up it?

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2019, 11:48:50 AM »
Please share your entire dough mixing process.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline DoReiMe

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2019, 03:00:12 PM »
Please share your entire dough mixing process.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I used fresh yeast 5 g as per master biga. I put the yeast into 100d F water, let it melt then mix together through the water. I then slowly add 500g of caputo pizzeria flour. Im using a kitchaid mixer to form the biga. Once its all mixed together I allowed it to rise over night. The temperature drops in the home overnight at midnight to 0600 from 70 to 60, so I allowed to rest another 4 hours, so 18 hours total at RT. I then took the biga added it to the rest of the water at 100d F, mixed until the water was cloudy and the biga soft. I then slowly added the remaining 500g of flour. I kneaded the dough together and ended up with the crater face dough ball I posted. I let it rest about 10 minutes before coming back to fold and knead a bit more where it has smoothed out. I let it rest in bulk for 2 hours before balling and allowing to rest for 1 hour in balls. I made my pizza and find that it is difficult to get my dough to stretch to 13 inches and would snap back easily. More so than airy, the dough ended up bready. I am not sure what I am doing wrong but thinking of allowed the dough to rest in balls at RT for the rest of the day before placing in the fridge overnight. I'd prefer the dough to be a bit more lax and thinking that more RT time will help proof it to be more lax. Thanks dough doc. Let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 03:01:48 PM by DoReiMe »

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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2019, 03:13:50 PM »
Try this, after allowing the biga to ferment overnight add the remainder of the water to the mixing bowl along with the salt (no need to mix), then add the remainder of the flour (all of it), and mix at low speed until the biga and flour are incorporated, then mix at a higher speed for at least 5-minutes. Let me know what the dough looks like.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline DoReiMe

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2019, 10:26:45 PM »
Try this, after allowing the biga to ferment overnight add the remainder of the water to the mixing bowl along with the salt (no need to mix), then add the remainder of the flour (all of it), and mix at low speed until the biga and flour are incorporated, then mix at a higher speed for at least 5-minutes. Let me know what the dough looks like.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Giving it a go tonight. Iíll try your recommendation tomorrow and show you the end result.

Offline DoReiMe

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2019, 09:33:40 PM »
Try this, after allowing the biga to ferment overnight add the remainder of the water to the mixing bowl along with the salt (no need to mix), then add the remainder of the flour (all of it), and mix at low speed until the biga and flour are incorporated, then mix at a higher speed for at least 5-minutes. Let me know what the dough looks like.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

So I did what you suggested and it came out much better and much smoother. However I could still feel the dough had areas of biga or flour they didnít mix well.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2019, 11:32:18 PM »
The dough looks like it can take another 2 to 3-minutes of mixing, but what you have is indeed much improved.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline amolapizza

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2019, 07:34:23 AM »
FWIW, I've been baking some 80% hydration ciabatta with 80-90% of the total flour used in a biga (41%).  My impression was that this would be really hard to do without my spiral mixer..

On the other hand I was recently given a solid sourdough starter and have baked some 66% hydration bread with it.  The sourdough starter is maintained at 50% hydration and when I refresh or bake with it, I've found the easiest way to do this by hand is to mix the solid starter with the flour and just work it by hand until the biga has been absorbed by the flour.  The result is let's call it grainy but not lumpy.  Once I've reached that point I add the water and knead it by hand.  Maybe worth a try.

Edit: Or mix the biga with the water and let your mixer run until the biga is more or less disolved.  Then add the rest of the ingredients.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 07:40:24 AM by amolapizza »
Jack

Effeuno P134H (1700W upper element), EGO 500C Thermostat (upper), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Sacorosso, Mutti Pelati Bio.

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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2019, 01:36:23 PM »
A huge risk that is run by following the above "edit" note is that of washing (separating) the gluten from the starch (this is how we "wash" gluten from the flour). If the gluten is even partially separated from the flour it is impossible to re-incorporate it thoroughly and the end result is a dough that has a lumpy appearance which is somewhat weaker too. We ran into this very issue in the bread and bun industry when using the brew process (essentially a biga) where the gluten would be separated during agitation (only 1-r.p.m. sweep agitation) resulting in dough weakness, this eventually lead to the industry, for the most part reverting back to the sponge and dough process (the sponge is essentially a 50 to 55% absorption biga) which after the fermentation period is placed into the mixer and mixed with all of the other ingredients at the same time to produce the desired dough characteristics.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline amolapizza

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2019, 02:07:40 PM »
Thanks Tom!  I'll make sure not to do that, and I won't post the advice again :D

I'm lucky in recently having bought a spiral mixer, and it seems to eat everything I throw at it.  Just add all to the mixer and let it run.  The exception being high hydration dough, that seems to work best by holding back part of the water and slowly add it after the dough has come together.

Though I must admit that even after having the mixer for more than 6 months I'm still experimenting and slowly learning what is the best way to mix various different dough types.   So much to learn and so little experience if only baking once or twice a week..
Jack

Effeuno P134H (1700W upper element), EGO 500C Thermostat (upper), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Sacorosso, Mutti Pelati Bio.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2019, 02:24:25 PM »
I believe that I've mentioned this before that high absorption doughs are the one weakness of spiral mixers, they just don't handle them quite as well as planetary mixers do. Holding back a portion of the water is the only realistic way to mix high absorption doughs in a spiral mixer. When we did it we used to add 70% absorption to the dough right up front and then gradually add the remainder of the water after the dough was partially developed. This worked well for us too.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline DoReiMe

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2020, 10:19:45 AM »
So Iím having trouble with the kitchen aid mixer when mixing biga dough. It seems to just climb up the mixing hook and spin rather than mix. If I get the mixer to mix the dough it seems itís too much work for the motor and I hear it straining to spin. I try to work the biga by hand but I honestly donít feel Iím making any kind of difference when Iím working it by hand. What can I do?

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2020, 11:04:05 AM »
Does your mixer have a reverse spiral dough arm? If not sure please include a picture of it. If it does have a reverse spiral dough arm you will need to reduce the total dough size/weight which will allow you to mix the dough at a higher speed for improved development/mixing action.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Offline morrissey

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2020, 09:20:02 PM »
A huge risk that is run by following the above "edit" note is that of washing (separating) the gluten from the starch (this is how we "wash" gluten from the flour). If the gluten is even partially separated from the flour it is impossible to re-incorporate it thoroughly and the end result is a dough that has a lumpy appearance which is somewhat weaker too. We ran into this very issue in the bread and bun industry when using the brew process (essentially a biga) where the gluten would be separated during agitation (only 1-r.p.m. sweep agitation) resulting in dough weakness, this eventually lead to the industry, for the most part reverting back to the sponge and dough process (the sponge is essentially a 50 to 55% absorption biga) which after the fermentation period is placed into the mixer and mixed with all of the other ingredients at the same time to produce the desired dough characteristics.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I have a question about this. When I look at a book like Jim Lahey's or see Anthony Falco make their dough, they mention to dissolve the starter/biga in water. This might be semantics, but is dissolving the starter different then running it in the mixer with water?

Also, I do not have a planetary mixer, is the other solution just just mixing a higher hydration dough by hand? 

thanks in advance

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help with biga dough
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2020, 09:28:18 PM »
Why not just make a higher absorption biga? Put the water in the bowl first along with the yeast and then whisk the flour into the water as well as you can. This should give you a finished biga that will incorporate much more readily.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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