The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


hasunhats's picture

Converting from commercial yeast-based preferment to a levain/starter-based preferment

June 8, 2012 - 8:43am -- hasunhats


First, I'd like to thank this community for being so helpful! This is my first post.

I have checked this forum and many other sites, read and re-read books and have tried to find a somewhat easily understood method or way of converting commercial yeast-based preferments (biga, sponge, poolish, etc.) to a levain/starter-based preferment? Most of what I see goes a little over my head so does anyone have any tips?




Anonymous's picture

Question: How to get maximum banana flavour into a (non-quick-bread) banana bread?

May 2, 2012 - 8:44am -- Anonymous (not verified)

I'm going to make a sourdough banana (maybe banana nut) bread that's not a quick-bread.

  • Some of the banana will be dried/dehydrated banana, which has an intense banana flavour (added to final dough(and maybe the preferment))
  • Some of the banana will be very ripe, pureed banana (added to final dough (and maybe preferment))


Seb43's picture

Role of soaker and pre-ferment

April 2, 2012 - 10:09am -- Seb43

After experimenting with a few recipes from the BBA, I'm wondering what is the role of preferments (such as the poolish i mostly use) and soaker.  The author frequently mention that they are meant to extract more flavor from the grains, but this seems a bit vague.  Here are some questions I've been asking myself lately and I would love to hear the opinions of more experienced (better educated!) bakers:

littlelisa's picture

Using old dough

April 2, 2012 - 4:34am -- littlelisa

Yesterday I made my usual 'artisanal' bread. My formula is 100% flour, 85% water, 0.01 instant yeast% and 0.015 salt. I made a poolish the night before, using half the flour and water with a tiny bit of yeast. Then mixed up the remainder of the dough in the morning, did my usual folds and rests and baked. I held back 800g worth of dough to use as 'old dough' for my next batch, which I would like to bake tomorrow.

Here's my question: How should I use my old dough? I'm thinking I have several options:

PaulZ's picture


March 15, 2012 - 12:38pm -- PaulZ

Hi all,

I'm relatively new to TFL and have a question (not too dumb I hope-) about PreFerment Flour Percentages. I have just received the latest copy of Hamelman's "Bread" here in South Africa (tks Amazon) and it's (PreFerment Flour Percentage) listed before every formula. Besides gathering info in the book that a higher percentage increases flavour as well as the keeping qualities, what's the advantage of taking note of the PFFP? How does the percentage help the baker? What are the pros and cons of higher or lower PFFP? What does a PFFP indicate?

KathyI's picture

Rustic Bread

August 30, 2011 - 1:40pm -- KathyI

This is my first preferment.  I am concerned that it is just a big amount of stiff nothing in the bowl..  It has sat ther for about an hour now and has done nothing.  Is this normal.  I dont know anything about the character of a preferment so dont know what to look for.  Is it to rise or bubble it is to thick to bubble.  Its more like the bread dough itself.  Any information would be helpful.  Thanks



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