The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using old dough

littlelisa's picture

Using old dough

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:

1. Make poolish tonight, as usual. Tomorrow morning, add old dough together with remaining bread ingredients and follow same procedure as usual.

2. Omit poolish step. Just add old dough to new dough, using same proportions.

3. Refresh old dough with water and flour tonight, then mix new dough tomorrow.

Any suggestions please??



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

So I'm not sure of the yeast amount.  1/100ths  (which is 1% - seems like a lot)  or  1/10000 (which is 0.01% - or too little) 

I'd go with #2  as the old dough has a chance to ferment (just like the poolish would)  

Be careful not to overproof the old dough!

proth5's picture

The answer depends on - what you are trying to accomplish? (see my other rant on the BBGA formula formatting guidelines)

You a pre fermenting 50% of your flour.  Either a poolish or old dough is a pre ferment.

While having both a poolish and old dough is an unusual choice, it may be an effective one.  You may wish to split that so that 25% of your pre fermented flour is old dough and 25% is poolish. 

(And normally "old dough" because it contains salt will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator and "refreshing" it (as though it were sourdough) is not usually how we procede.)

So, what you do is to decide what you want your bread to be and calculate your formula accordingly, remembering that the old dough will add salt where a poolish does not.  This is where the BBGA formula standards come into play.

Which coming full circle is why I keep yammering on about them.  They will provide you with the framework to make and implement your decisions.  You may come up with something extraordinary...

Good luck!