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Polish, biga and lievito madre, the 3 different basic, baking skills

Hi guys another important topic today.

I want to talk to you about these three different ways of using natural and commercial yeasts: Polish, biga and lievito madre.


Polish is generally used in the development of ciabatta dough and high hydrated dough. This simply consists of obtaining a pre ferment made in a proportion between 80-120% of water and a quantity of yeast of 0.5%-1%.

Mixing roughly the ingredients all together cover with a very wet towel and then leave fermenting for 12-18 hours.

Than can be used for the finale dough.

I usually prepare and autolyse over night and then add my polish Into it slowly, to increase hydration of the dough.

The Biga

The biga method is most often used to make baguettes and other white breads that require strong flavours, good exploding rising strength and slightly harder doughs.

In my experience I have always produced bigas on a 60-65% of water compared to the flour.

I used this one especially for my rosettes, baguettes and olive oil rolls.

So my recipe is this one for 1 kg of flour.

Mix 3 gr of dry yeast with 600 gr/650gr Of water add 1 kg of flour. Mix roughly. Rest autolyse overnight or for 12-15 hours.

Than mix this base called Biga with another kg of flour and 600 gr of water and 40 gr of salt.

Knead until it becomes nice and smooth and prove until the dough doubles in size.

Then you will be ready to shape your dough and bake.

Lievito madre.

We all know what the lievito madre or sourdough starter or levain is! It is a natural fermentation and it is created simply by mixing flour and water. Then Mother nature takes over and start collecting bacteria and enzymes to start the 3 different fermentation’s: alcoholic, acetic and lactic.

It can be used for any preparation. Sourdough bread, ciabattas, panini, focaccia pizza and sweets.

I suggest to use a percentage from 20% to 70% for your preparation.

Sourdough starter requires longer fermentation and proving, but the results will be stunning. Try my challenge here of making your own sourdough starter in 10 days reading this article. Try it. I promise you will be successful.

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  1. […] start by making the polish the day before, better in the late morning, so that it can generate enough bacteria and […]

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