Focaccia with tomatoes: recipe with biga


After the nerdy post of Tuesday, time to be more practical! Today, we will prepare a focaccia with tomatoes, using biga. Better to give a little introduction to biga, don’t you think so?

Definition of biga: leavened dough, made out of flour, water and regular yeast, and used as leavening agent for baking.

Together with poolish, biga is one of the indirect leavening methods. For the sake of clarity, direct methods are the common ones, where regular yeast is added directly to the other ingredients and the dough is left rise. The indirect method employs a pre-leavened dough made out of flour, water and regular yeast. The difference between biga and polish is in the percentage of water used: low with biga and high with poolish.

Which are the advantages of the indirect method? It allows to get a “mature” dough, which is enriched of new compounds giving a more complex fragrance to the final product. Biga is a sort of very young sourdough, which, as such, can’t offer all the benefits of a mature sourdough.

Biga must rest at least 12h. Just keep that in mind and start your recipe a while ahead.


Tomatoes focaccia with biga

(For 8 persons)

For the biga

  • 200 g of all-purpose flour
  • 150 g of lukewarm water
  • 5 g of dehydrated regular yeast

For the rest of the dough

  • 200 g of all-purpose flour
  • 160 g of durum semolina
  • 300 g (300 mL) of water
  • 20 g of extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 g of salt


  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • 2 pinches of salt

Prepare the biga the evening before (mine rested 16h). Dissolve the dehydrated yeast in the lukewarm water and add it to the flour. Knead the biga with your hands, without overworking the dough. Place the biga in a bowl, cover it with a film paper and a clean kitchen cloth and let it rest for at least 12h.

The day after put the 200 g in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the durum semolina, the water and the biga. Knead with the leaf-shaped hook first, at low speed, till the dough torques. At this point, stop the mixer and change the leaf-shaped hook with the regular one. Knead at speed 2, till the dough torques. Add the oil mixed with the salt and let the dough torque.

Stop the mixer, remove the bowl and cover it with film paper. Let the dough rising for 2h at 30-35 ˚C (I placed everything in the oven set on bread proof, about 35 ˚C with the lamp on).

After that time, spread the dough on baking sheet, covered with parchment paper. Garnish with the tomatoes, and dress with oil and salt.

Bake the focaccia in convected preheated oven at 200 ˚C, for about 30 min or until the surface gets golden-brown.