Firstly I have to apologise, my camera reformatted itself and I lost all this weeks photos, I shall have to add photos once I have some again but I didn’t want to miss out with this weeks recipes, especially as they are so good.
This is a little time consuming but again it is not difficult and what I like best with the Biga is that it will taste different with each person that makes it.
About 10 years ago now I had some friends round and we had a pizza making party and at the end I gave everyone some Biga to take home and I know that that Biga is still in use and that the bread made is totally different to mine. Really delicious but different.
Don’t stress that you are not actually adding any yeast, it is created using the wild yeast naturally present on the grapes.
So go play, have fun. This time next week you’ll be munching some of this down
Biga Starter (Grape Sourdough starter )
12 organic grapes (red or white)
300g/ 10 oz white bread flour
500 ml/1 pt water
Crush the grapes slightly and add to a glass bowl. Add the flour and water.
Mix well with a wooden spoon until all blended together well.
Cover the bowl with a clean towel or cling film and let it sit at room temperature overnight.
The next day, check for bubbles coming to the surface, then you know the fermentation has started. Be patient: This can take as long as 5 days especially if you are doing this in the winter or it is just generally cold. Once the starter has begun to ferment you can lift out the grapes and now the ‘feeding process starts’. Don’t worry about this, all it means is that everyday you add about 90g/ 3 oz (1/2 cup) of the bread flour and about the same of water. You still want it to have a sticky dough that is on its way to being a thick batter consistency.
The Biga will be alive so the more of it you have the more you will need to feed it, so every 3 days you may want to take half of the Biga and either make bread or throw it away (I have never thrown any away). Or freeze it ready for when you want to make more bread or you need to create more ‘Biga’ – just defrost on a bowl and feed for a few days until you have enough for what you need and enough to freeze again 🙂
This can go on for up to 2 weeks depending on what you read, but I think that at about day 4, as long as the process is established then you can start to use the Biga. The longer you carry on with the feeding the stronger the flavor of your bread, you can try it out and see what you like best.
Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)
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