Parameters for biga hydration.
The range varies from a minimum of 40% (400g water/kg flour), to a maximum of 60% (600g water/kg flour). The biga should be more hydrated with low ambient temperatures, below 14°C, while, with higher temperatures, over 24°C, the biga should be less hydrated. A biga fermented with an optimal temperature (16/18 °C)has a hydration of 45%.
MasterBiga works in a range of ambient temperatures from 12°C to 35°C. Beyond the minimum and maximum values permitted, MasterBiga cannot guarantee a correct growth of the biga. For temperatures over 26°C, the two-steps growth is necessary: first in the ambient and then in the refrigerator at 4°C, with the timing provided by the result. Refrigerator only should be used over 30°C, with a biga hydrated at 60%, to be stoccked immediately at +4°C for 24 hours. Please read carefully the description presented in the results of MasterBiga for using the refrigerator.
Correct biga kneading.
A strong flour, at least 350W (13.5% proteins), should be used for the praparation of a biga. MasterBiga calculates automatically the yeast dose in function of user selection (fresh or dry). The yeast should be dissolved in the dough water, because the short kneading time does not allow the best absorption. The normal mixing with a spiral mixer is about 4 minutes with slow speed. In any case, verify that all flour has been absorbed, but allow the dough having a rough consistency and with the gluten shield not yet formed (see videotutorial). For ambient temperatures over 26°C, the mixing times should be longer, about 6 minutes with slow speed.
To achieve the best accuracy of MasterBiga calculations, it is very important that the kneaded biga has a final temperature not higher than 20°C. To obtain the right temperature, please follow this formula to know the water temperature to be used for biga kneading: Twater = 55 - (Tflour x 2).
Correct biga stocking.
The biga should be put into an oiled container, with high banks and not too large, so to make it developing upward and to achieve a good rising. Cover the container with perforated clingfilm to make the biga breathing.
Percentage of biga for the doug.
MasterBIga will help you also for dough calculation. With the function Full Recipe you have to simply input the total kg of flour that you want to knead, the hydration of your final dough, salt, oil and percentage of biga (e.g. 40%), then, MasterBiga will provide you the precise dosage.