This recipe will explain how to make home the most basic 100% Biga pizza dough. This Biga Pizza Dough recipe is ideal for any pizza enthusiast wishing to create flavorful, fluffy crusts.
Not only that, you can make this authentic Neapolitan Biga dough pizza at home with an electric oven. Learning how to make Biga is like learning a new art; your hands are the best tools you can use.
Keep reading to make the 100% Biga Pizza Dough at your home.
What is Biga dough?
Biga is a type of yeast starter or preferment made with flour, water, and yeast, but no salt. It is a hard preferment because it only absorbs 50–60% of the water it comes in contact with. Poolish is to the French what biga is to the Italians.
Italian bakers invented this sort of condiment. Biga manufacturing techniques were established a few years after the baker’s yeast was discovered.
It offers strength to dough due to its rigid consistency (low hydration level), which is its original purpose. Biga bread has a rich flavor due to the extended fermenting period.
The long fermentation happens because the yeast’s mobility and metabolic activities are hampered or inhibited by a lack of accessible free water. Yeast also grows more slowly and eats some carbohydrates in the dough.
Biga is utilized for:
- Using fewer yeast to reduce final fermentation time
- Improving gluten functioning and dough strength
- Increasing the consistency of the dough
- Increasing scent and taste
- Bread storage life extension
Essential guide for perfect Biga pizza dough
Using Biga dough is the most pleasing way to dramatically improve your pizza. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to make Biga and what problems you might run into.
Don’t worry! Everything will make sense, and you’ll see that it’s not that hard.
For making Biga:
- 500g Flour
- 250 ml Water
- 1g dry yeast
For making the Pizza:
- 500g flour
- 500g biga
- 400 ml water
- 30g salt
For making the toppings:
- As you wish. Choose your favorite meat, cheese, and pizza sauce combinations.
- Large container to prepare your Biga
- Pizza peel
- Your both hands!
- Optional: This pizza it’s easier if made using a dough maker
- Mixing bowl
- Table/Bench or Large marble/wooden board
- Home electric oven (better if you have a wood pizza oven)
How to make pizza dough with biga
- In a mixing dish, stir until the yeast is completely dissolved.
- Add flour to a separate big container (at least three times the size of your dough to allow for expansion), then gently pour in the water, a tiny quantity at a time, all over the flour.
- Lift the container and shake gently for around 3 minutes. Do not rush; it’s crucial!
- Place the lid on top and shake it violently a few times, scraping down the edges with a spatula if any gets stuck.
- You may also mix it lightly by rubbing it through your hands.
- Shake the container until the flour has absorbed all the water, and your Biga has formed.
- Place the container in the fridge for 14 hours (4°C) or outside the fridge at room temperature (18°C), keeping in mind that the temperature must remain stable!
- After 14 hours, unscrew the cover and smell it. You’re on the right road if it smells like yogurt. If it smells acidic, you might have to start over.
How to use Biga to make pizza dough for a Neapolitan style pizza:
- Break off 500g/17.6oz biga and place it in a basin. Begin breaking it down and slowly pulling it apart.
- Slowly pour in the water with the Biga, reserving 50ml for a later stage.
- Next, gently mix the Biga with the water (in a massaging motion) until it turns white. Start incorporating the flour after you’ve done this for about 2 minutes, and it looks pretty milky.
- Add the optional yeast (highly suggested) and mix it with your hands or a spoon.
- Mix this for a few minutes until everything comes together, then place the dough on your worktop.
- Drizzle some of the (leftover) water on top to help dissolve the fine salt. Once again, thoroughly combine.
- You may roll, work, and press down on the dough using the palms of your hands as well as your fists.
- Repeat the process, manipulating the dough with both hands and becoming quicker as you go, adding additional water to the Neapolitan pizza dough with Biga.
- Lift and fold the dough several times before slapping it down on the bench.
- Drizzle your preferred oil over the dough and massage it thoroughly before setting it aside for 20 minutes. Use canola oil for a crisp texture and extra virgin oil for a softer feel.
- Break off a piece of dough and weigh it with your hands until it weighs 250g/8.8oz. Using this, make Neapolitan pizza dough with biga dough balls by shaping it on your bench, then pulling it up, compressing it in one hand, and eliminating the excess with the other – effectively producing a ball!
- Repeat the process until all of the dough balls are created, then place them in a container/tray and cover them with a lid or kitchen tea towels.
- Allow them to rest at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight in the fridge at 4-6°C for 12-24 hours.
- Uncover the dough balls when the appropriate time has gone.
- And your Biga Dough is complete.
Biga Pizza Dough Stretching Instructions:
- Sprinkle plain flour or semolina on either side of your Neopolitan pizza dough with a Biga ball.
- Leaving it on the bench, start molding and stretching the dough with the sides of your hands into a circular form, then gently stretch it out with your fingertips.
- Next, master the Neapolitan method of raising the pizza dough with one hand, twisting and slapping it with the other (see the video to learn how!).
What percentage of dough should be Biga?
Biga has a ratio of 55% Water: 100% Flour: and 0.25% Yeast; which makes it stiffer. Biga usually ferments at room temperature, like poolish, so you can’t add too much yeast.
Biga will appear shaggy and unfinished when first combined but will relax dramatically during fermentation, resembling bread dough.
Is Biga or Poolish better for Pizza?
Biga and Poolish are preferments utilized for a unique way of producing leavened doughs termed the Indirect Method.
Poolish can be used to make bread with a crispy crust and tray-baked or thin-crust pizzas. A poolish is generally quicker and easier to make, and it may be produced using medium-strength flours. A Biga takes longer since it requires more fermenting time and more precise temperature management.
Can I make a dough with 100% of Biga?
Yes, in this case, we will prepare a biga by kneading all the recipes’ flour. For this technique, I advise using a Biga that has been fermented at most 18-20 hours.
Once the Biga is prepared, you will knead it with the water (added slowly) and the other elements in the recipe.
What kind of flour should I use for Biga?
For a good Biga, use flour rich in proteins, like Bread Flour (if you are in Europe). The longer the fermentation, the stronger the flour should be. If you only have all-purpose flour, I suggest opting for a Poolish rather than the Biga.