The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough & Poolish ferment together anybody ?

  • Pin It
jameslee's picture

Sourdough & Poolish ferment together anybody ?

Has anyone out there ever tried using a part poolish and part sourdough ferment together to make white bread? I thought I'd like to give it a try.

I follow the Bouabsa recipe for baguettes, with dash of dark rye - and a little firm sourdough starter to it, approx' 300g for a kilo of dough, the results were even better. However now I'm thinking of usng some poolish (say 300g) alongside the 300g of sourdough ferment, just for a try. Bouabsa's recipe calls for bulk fermentation of 21hr's.  Is this heresy and / or insane? I'd greatly appreciate any advice.

Many thanks.. James




proth5's picture

a number of fine bakers who use two pre ferments in making baguettes.  Inspired by them, I have been working on a formula that uses a poolish and a liquid levain.  The formula was just posted in my blogs.

I have found that a higher amount of levain pre ferment and a long, cold bulk ferment produces a dough that fights back during the shaping process and for my hands and my preferences, I like the results of "same day" baking better.  Your results may vary.

I also was unhappy with equal amounts of the two pre ferments, preferring a smaller percentage of the levain than of the poolish. Again, your results might vary.

My official bread tester prefers my current formula over the ones with higher percentages of flour pre fermented, again, though, tastes may vary.

I don't use any rye in my baguettes because, well, it's "against the rules."  But I have been thinking of doing a country bread using a rye sour as one of the pre ferments.

Hope this helps.

jameslee's picture

thanks. Will do as you do I think, and use more poolish than levain. So the dough was too resistant after a long fermentation? That makes me think I should let it ferment for about 8 hours in the fridge...As for the inclusion of a little Rye, I got the idea from Richard Bertinet's book"Crust" , it's pretty much undetctable but just gives the baguettes a slight nuttyness. I'm talking a fraction, about 100g Rye to 1.5 Kilo's of white flour.

Will try and put some pic's of my results up here, but can't figure out how to do it as yet.

Thanks for the advice ..


amolitor's picture

What's the difference between a poolish and a liquid sourdough levain?

Does "poolish" mean a liquid levain made with commercial yeast? (that's a reasonable usage, but I want to be sure that's what you mean!)

I do this sort of thing from time to time. I'm not sure I've gone liquid in both ends, usually one or both of the commerical/sourdough perferments is firm, but I don't see any reason it wouldn't work.

You'd probably be looking at a commercial-yeast-raised bread with some sour flavor, in the end (commercial yeast is just so much more vigorous it tends to dominate) but there's nothing wrong with that. There's a couple things I do that use a sour sponge for flavor.


jameslee's picture

exactly what it is. Thanks for the advice.