From Cookipedia

This recipe requires preparation in advance!

Biga is an Italian bread starter which helps to develop flavour and create a more open texture and chewy crust. It is often used when making ciabatta. You need to make this the day before you use it

Calories per serving:62
Ready in:1 day
Prep. time:1 day
Cook time:None
Recipe author:JuliaBalbilla
First published:10th July 2012

Best recipe review

Thanks Julia


Makes a lovely light and airy bread with loads of big holes in it.

Paul R Smith


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


  1. Dissolve the yeast and the water and place the flour in a bowl.
  2. Once the yeast has completely dissolved, mix throroughly with the flour.
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to ferment overnight.
  4. If your kitchen is hot, keep it in the fridge, but allow it to come to room temperature before using.


400g of biga

Chef's notes

The mixture does seem quite dry, but it will hold together with a little perseverance. It can be left in the fridge for a couple of days longer if you wish.

Ciabatta bread recipes

We have a number of tested ciabatta bread recipes. Some that are made entirely by hand, others where the dough is made in a breadmaking machine and then baked in an oven and some where the rising and the baking is done in a breadmaker.

Rather like a French baguette the secret to this light bread with a moist bubbly crumb is the long rise time, often with no added sugar. Using just the natural sugars found in the flour to feed the yeast .

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