Some say it’s the little things, but we think Biga is better. So does Ambassador Julian Guy (@pizzaislovely), whose recipe is second to none when it comes to airy, more digestible dough that’s rich in flavour and texture. Although it takes a little longer to prepare, good things come to those who wait – and these Biga pizzas are certainly no exception.
For the Biga
1000g (35.3oz) high protein 0 or 00 pizza flour
540g (19oz) water
4g (1tsp) Fresh Yeast
For the Dough
100g (35.3oz) water
80g (2.8oz) iced water
22g (1 ½ tbsp) sea salt
22g (1 ½ tbsp) diastatic malt powder
Flour or semolina, for dusting
Spiral Mixer/ Stand mixer with dough hook fitted
NOTE: although we recommend using a spiral mixer, you can also use a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. As this is a high hydration dough, we don’t recommend hand mixing.
First, dissolve the yeast into your jug of water. Place your flour in the bowl of your stand mixer, and pour the wet ingredients on top.
With a metal spoon, roughly mix the ingredients together. Then, use your hands to firmly squeeze and grip the dough, pulling and tearing until all the flour is combined.
Transfer the mix to an airtight container, scraping down the sides of the bowl with your hands. Feel the dough for consistency: you should be left with dryish, sticky clumps. Cover and leave to ferment for 16 hours at room temperature.
Once the Biga has had time to ferment, you’re ready to prepare your dough. The ferment develops a complex structure in the Biga, which after 16 hours should be soft and stretchy.
Dissolve the salt into your room temperature water and set aside. With the spiral dough hook fitted, transfer the biga to your mixer and start mixing on low. Slowly drip the salted water in, stopping each time the bottom of the mixer looks wet. This will take around 5 - 10 minutes as the flour absorbs the water.
Next, slowly sprinkle the diastatic malt onto the dough. This provides the yeast with a new food source, resulting in lighter dough. It also adds a nice malty flavour, but it’s not necessary - so skip this step if you can’t source any.
With the mixer still running, slowly drop the iced water in. For a 65% hydration, add 10 grams, for a 72% hydration add the full 80. Check this handy video if you’re not sure what hydration you need.
Stop adding water when your dough turns silky and stretchy, and continue to mix for a further 5 minutes.
With wet hands, pull and gather the dough from the bowl. Transfer to an airtight container and leave to rest for two hours at room temperature. After two hours, place the container in the refrigerator for a further two hours.
After 2 hours, transfer the dough from the refrigerator out to a floured work surface. You should find the dough a lot easier to work with than before. Divide into roughly 240g portions. Fold and shape each portion to a ball, pinching the edges into the centre. Flip and pull the dough inwards, using the pressure to smooth out the bottom.
Leave the balls to proof for 4 hours at room temperature, or leave overnight in the refrigerator to use the next day.
Generously dust your work surface with flour or fine semolina and place your dough ball on stop. Stretch your pizza to 12”. Once stretched, top with your chosen ingredients. Using both hands, lightly drag the pizza onto your Ooni pizza peel, and launch into your oven.
Cook for 60 - 90 seconds, making sure to turn regularly. Once cooked, remove and serve immediately.