Many of the recipes for the classic regional breads begin with a starter dough made from small amounts of flour, water, and yeast Allowed an initial fermentation and then used to infuse the actual bread dough. The starter, known as biga in Italy, not only gives Strength and force to what in Italy are weak flours, but also produces a secondary fermentation from which come the wonderful aroma, natural flavor, and special porosity of the final loaves and wheels of bread. I keep some biga on hand at all the times- the contents of our refrigerator and freezer is edible contents. Still, by having it on hand, I can decide to make different type of regional Italian bread like, pane toscano or ciabatta in the morning and have it for dinner that night. In Italy, bakers save saltiness dough from the previous day’s bake to start new dough. Because the first biga must come from somewhere, you may make it following the links below. This biga is remarkable. It freezes very well and needs only about three-hour at room temperature until it is bubbly and active again. It can be refrigerated for about a week; after that, it gets a bit strong. When using it in recipes, it is best to weigh it, rather than measure it, for it expands at room temperature. The bakers I admire most advise ten to eleven hours for the first rise and then another three hours after adding more flour and water, but others are very happy with the twenty-four hours it takes for dough to become truly yesterday’s dough. If you like sour dough bread, allow your biga to rest For twenty-four hour to seventy-two hours. The important point about a starter dough is that it very close to natural yeast and the breads made with it develop a wonderful taste because their rising are long and bring out the flavor of the grain. Another benefit is that the loaves remain fresher and taste sweeter than those made with large amounts of commercial yeast.