How to Make Easy Artisan Bread at Home – the Biga Technique

The most important ingredient for tasty bread is patience! We all want to make some loaf on the run and expect it to look like the ones on the shelves of Artisan bakeries. Unfortunately, it is a bit difficult to attain a well-risen bread with crispy crust if you don’t provide the necessary fermentation period and then some steam while baking.

Today, I would like to share an easy Artisan bread recipe with you. I am not saying that you can do this in a snap as it involves overnight fermentation and some folding the next day. However, do not be discouraged as it is really simple if you follow the steps below.

I recommend trying this recipe when you have some time. It will relax your mind. And as a bonus, you will get to eat some extra yummy loaf!

Most bakeries either use some form of Biga or Poolish (liquid biga) as a starter for their bread flour. Poolish is made by blending equal amounts of water and flour the day before we actually make the bread dough. Biga, on the other hand, works the same way but contains more flour. This recipe makes use of the Biga method. I will also provide recipes with poolish in the upcoming articles. If you ask me, both methods yield spectacular loaves of bread. Of course, no starter can be better than sourdough. But biga seems to give the best results at home.

What you will need:

It might be easier for you to use a stand mixer when forming the dough. Feel free to use your hands if you like. If you tend to make bread, pizza, and other yeast-fermented dough regularly at home, it is best that you get yourself a quality stand mixer to save time. Hamilton Beach makes some of the best dough mixers in the market. The below item provides the same action KitchenAid stand mixers, but only at a fraction of the cost. It comes with a 300-watt motor and can mix thick batters and doughs. The stainless-steel bowl has a 4-quart capacity. This stand mixer includes a dough hook, whisk, splash guard, and flat beater.

Artisan bread can absorb more water than regular bread recipes. So, the dough will be much stickier at first, but it will get softer and lose the stickiness as you work it out. This technique results in a chewier texture with a better crust. However, the yeast and the fermentation process give the actual taste and aroma. That is why we try to prolong the fermentation process as long as we can without killing the yeast. You will notice that we fold the dough several times. This folding method is crucial. We improve the gluten and help the leavening process by doing so.

I recommend preparing the biga with a spatula as no kneading is necessary at this step. Feel free to form the dough in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment after you add the fermented biga the next day.

If you bake the fermented dough in round glass casserole bakeware with a lid, you can provide the best environment for the dough. The glass casserole with lid will create all the steam necessary for making quality Artisan bread.

How to Make Easy Artisan Bread at Home – the Biga Technique

Recipe by OzgurCourse: BakingDifficulty: Medium


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  • Biga:
  • 300 g bread flour (use all-purpose flour if you like)

  • 225 ml water

  • 2 pinches of yeast

  • Dough:
  • 50 g bread flour (use all-purpose flour if you like)

  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 g yeast

  • 50 ml water


  • Biga:
  • Add yeast and water to a medium size bowl.
  • Stir well to incorporate the yeast.
  • Add flour and blend with a spatula.
  • Do not knead the dough, just blend with a spatula until there are no dry parts left.
  • Cover the bowl with stretch film.
  • Let it rest at room temperature for 12-14 hours.
  • Dough:
  • Preheat the oven to the maximum setting.
  • Add yeast and water to a small size bowl.
  • Stir well to incorporate the yeast.
  • Add the flour and continue to knead until you form a dough ball.
  • Take off the stretch film from the biga starter bowl.
  • Sprinkle 1 ¼ teaspoon salt on the biga.
  • Stretch the newly made dough on biga, and blend them by folding.
  • Cover the bowl with stretch film.
  • Let it rest for three hours. We need to fold the dough from the four corners every hour during this period.
  • Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted counter.
  • We will stretch the dough from the corners to form a rectangular shape.
  • Fold the rectangular shaped dough from the sides to the center (like an envelope).
  • Brush oil in a bowl, and place the dough in it.
  • Let it rest for 45 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour on top and transfer it to the flour dusted counter.
  • Place a kitchen towel in a round, medium size bowl.
  • Dust flour over the kitchen towel.
  • Fold and shape the dough (form a round boule).
  • Place in the medium size bowl with a kitchen towel (for fermenting).
  • Let it rest for 60 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough onto parchment paper.
  • Score the bread with a sharp knife.
  • Place the dough in a glass casserole (Pyrex) bowl with a lid, or a large saucepan with a lid.
  • Bake at the maximum setting for 25 minutes, reduce the temperature to 400 °F (200 °C) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes without the lid.
  • Let the hot bread rest for 20 minutes before slicing.


  • If you do not have glass bakeware with a lid, spray the dough with warm water before putting it in the oven. Alternatively, you can fill an oven tray halfway with warm water and put it in the oven 5 minutes before you place the bread dough in the oven.

What is special about artisan bread?

There is no doubt that artisan breads are superior to mass produced commercial factory-made breads. This is simply because that artisan breads are made with traditional baking methods and use natural starters. The aroma and flavor develop effectually with longer fermentation periods.

Who invented bread?

Apparently, Egyptians were the first to produce the bread we know of today according to current historical records. They used special grinding tools and made flat breads. Egyptians also produced beer, but they did not invent it.

Why is my artisan bread gummy?

If you undercook artisan bread, you may end up with a gummy loaf. It is best if you use a quality food thermometer to determine if the bread has reached the optimum level of 180 to 200 °C. Check the temperature from the center of the bread loaf.


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