White bread with BIGA-preferment

This is a long-fermentation bread recipe suitable for hobby bakers who do not have sourdough or for those who want to diversify their baking program. For me, this bread is an equal alternative to a sourdough bread.
When creating the recipe, I used white flour (bread flour) with a 12% protein content. In addition, an option with mixing the flour is also possible – equal amounts of flour with 14% and 12% protein content. In the first case, the crumb is more delicate and airier, and in the second – with slightly smaller pores and denser. In the second case, it is necessary to extend the fermentation time. As a result of the long fermentation, an extremely aromatic bread is obtained.

Overall formula

400 g (100%)Bread flour
290 g (72%)Water
8 g (2%)Salt
 1 g (0,25%)Yeast, fresh
699 gTotal yield


200 gbread flour
90 gwater
1 gyeast, fresh
291 gtotal

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the flour and mix everything until the flour is no longer visible. Let it to ferment at 18°C for 14-16 hours. Option: 2-3 hours at room temperature and 14-16 hours in the refrigerator.

Final dough

200 gbread flour
291 gbiga
200 gwater, cold
8 gsalt
699 gtotal



Place all the products without the salt into the mixer and mix for five minutes at a slow speed. Switch to a higher speed and after the dough starts to pull off the mixing bowl, add the salt and knead until the gluten develops.
The desired dough temperature is around 22-24°C.

Bulk fermentation

Put the dough into a lightly oiled container for bulk fermentation, which lasts approximately four hours at room temperature of around 23-24°C.

The dough is then shaped and placed into a banneton for final proofing.

Final proof

The final proof lasts 12 to 16 hours in the refrigerator at 4°C.

Preparation for baking

Transfer the bread to a pizza shovel lined with baking paper. Make cuts as desired – one lengthwise or two cross, or diagonal cuts.


Preheat the stone or the baking steel well for at least half an hour at 250°C with a fan. After putting the bread in the oven, turn off the upper heat for the first 15 minutes. Then turn it on and bake until done (about 20 minutes at 220°C). Do not forget to generate steam in the oven.
Of course, baking can be done in a dutch oven or other pot suitable for the purpose.

How to bake with steam:


(times are approximate)

Day one
21:00 – preparation of the biga

Day two
13:00 – mixing the final dough
13:15 – start of the bulk fermentation
17:15 – shaping the dough
17:20 – putting the dough into the fridge

Day three
07:15 – preheating oven with plate or the pot
08:00 – baking

2 thoughts on “White bread with BIGA-preferment

  1. Силвия Илиева says:

    Здравейте!Имам питане:когато тестото се постави в банетона,поръсва ли се съда с брашно-за по лесно обръщане и какво?Слага ли се памучна кърпа,поръсва ли се кърпата с брашно -за по лесно обръщане.
    Благодаря ви предварително!

    • User Avatar
      VladTheBaker says:

      Здравей,Силвия. Преди да постаниш оформеният хляб в банетона е добре да го поръсиш със светло ръжено или оризово брашно. Ако нямаш банетон може да използваш подходящ съд, покрит с памучна или ленена кърпа, съобразен с големината на оформеното тесто. Кърпата може също да поръсиш с малко брашно. Успех!

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