pre-ferment hydration question
I have a question about the hydration of a pre-ferment. I realize that changing the hydration makes it either a biga or a poolish, but I don't care so much about the name as I do the result! I just made Hamelman's Rustic Bread with a few changes, and the family loved it. I doubled the ww (there's not that much to begin with), and used it in the pre-ferment instead of the final dough. It worked wonderfully, but I'd like to go a little further and up the ww % even further, maybe to 50% eventually.
That much I'm OK with figuring out. The problem I have with the recipe is that the pre-ferment is really quite stiff, and since I don't have a mixer, working it into the dough is pretty hard. Still OK with that though; the problem is that I'd like to be able to make larger batches, say 6 loaves, so that I can bring it to the local food pantry. I don't think I can manhandle that much stiff pre-ferment into the final dough. If I keep all the final percentages the same, is there any reason I can't use more of the water in the pre-ferment?