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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Biga, starter question
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    Biga, starter question

    Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:06 pm Groupie
    I often get the urge to make some ciabatta or a hearth bread but realize I don't have any starter or sponge available. What is the purpose of a sponge or starter and can I not go ahead and make a bread w/o any of either anyway? What do these contribute to the bread, if anything?
    Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:54 pm
    Forum Host
    The preferments (bigas, starters) help develop flavor for the bread. Slow is much better for flavor than fast where bread is concerned.These usually use either a natural yeast (sourdough) or a very small amount of commercial yeast, and the time also permits an adequate quantity of yeasts to grow for the eventual development of the bread.

    Long rises also foster gluten development. As the no-knead trend has demonstrated, you do not need to knead to get adequate gluten development, if the dough is permitted to develop over a long enough period of time.
    Red Apple Guy
    Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:09 pm
    Forum Host
    Yeah, just slowing the process down by cutting down on yeast or letting the bread rise in the fridge brings a lot of flavor too.

    Tips for Making Holey Artisan White Bread (low yeast, long rise method)
    100% Whole Wheat, Multipurpose Dough - Pizza, Buns, Bread (refrigeration rise - if you substitute white flour for part of the whole wheat, just reduce the water some)
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