"A biga, or 'starter', adds flavor and extra leavening power to bread dough."

Ingredients 1 d 20 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 348 cals

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Original recipe yields 5 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 348 kcal
  • 17%
  • Fat:
  • 1.6 g
  • 2%
  • Carbs:
  • 69.8g
  • 23%
  • Protein:
  • 11.7 g
  • 23%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Sodium:
  • 5 mg
  • < 1%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Place the warm water in a small bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let stand until yeast has dissolved and is foamy, about 15 minutes.
  2. Measure flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the yeast mixture and cold water. Use a sturdy spoon to mix it together until sticky and difficult to stir, but nevertheless thoroughly combined. Cover and allow to ferment for 24 hours in the refrigerator before using.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To use, rinse a measuring cup in cool water, scoop out the amount of starter needed, and bring to room temperature.
Tips & Tricks
How to Make San Francisco Sourdough Starter

See how to make San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread starter.

How to Feed a Sourdough Starter

See how to nourish your San Francisco sourdough bread starter.

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Reviews 6

  1. 7 Ratings


Biga or any other starter isn't something for the occasional baker. This recipe is simple and worked perfectly. I took it out of the refrigerator 6 hours prior to using it for ciabatta to get it to room temp and to increase the yeast activity. The ciabatta came out great!


This is the ONLY way to make bread - all breads!


I didn't have much success with this. There is only one recipe on this site that uses Biga (foccocia bread) and I didn't think it was very good. It was an interesting experience though and I am still interested in learning about bread starters, but I don't think this is for beginners. I ended up with a lot of Biga left over after I tried the foccocia bread recipe so I modified the Amish friendship bread recipe (also from this site) the best that I could and used it for that. The Amish friendship bread was good and the fermented flavor of the biga in the bread was yummy, but I think one needs to know a little about bread before trying this particular method.