I am making a loaf of bread using a Biga sponge of 2C + 2T of flour, 1.5t of yeast and 1.25C warm water. Sit for 18 hours.
THEN, I add it to 2.5 cups of four and stir ?? Nothing is stirring as this dough is solid. THEN, I'm supposed to add another 2C of flour which is never going to happen as dough will not accept anymore flour and is definitely not smooth and elastic.
Anyone notice a major typo in the recipe that is causing this. I wouldn't notice as this is the first time I've used a sponge for bread.

Thanks, June

  • 3
    Hi. Welcome! Can you show the recipe. It's impossible to see a typo if we can't actually read it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 10:55
  • 2
    Just for clarification: we are looking at a total of 6.5 cups of flour and 1.25 cups of water? There’s no other liquid anywhere in the recipe?
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


A biga is a dough which is generally hydrated to the same level as the loaf you are going to make, perhaps a little higher hydration, but not so high that it is a liquid. You shouldn't be able to stir it. It's not a sponge. Just knead it with a spoon in the bowl, or use your fingers.

A sponge is more like a batter or poolish, a liquid basically. Maybe the recipe is just wrong or perhaps your expectation of what a biga actually looks like is wrong.

What I generally do is use around 70% water to flour ratio. Add a pinch of yeast to the water. As an example, something like 70 grams of water to 100 grams of flour should be sufficient for one loaf. Knead it a little. Put the dough in a covered bowl. Leave 12 hours or over night in a cool place, (or longer in the fridge).

To use it, make your bread dough as normal with flour, water, salt and yeast, then add the biga by kneading it into the dough to distribute it evenly throughout the dough.

  • 2
    +1. And applied to this particular case, 70% hydration would mean a total of 545 grams of water (about 2 1/4 cups) for the 6.5 cups of flour, so one extra cup after the biga.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 11:57

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