The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza Dough with poolish

Serial Griller's picture
Serial Griller

Pizza Dough with poolish

I watched Diners Drive-ins and Dives last Sunday. A pizza place made dough with poolish.The pizza dough took two days. I bet the dough flavor was amazing.

Does anyone have a recipe for pizza dough with poolish?



dwcoleman's picture

I made some focaccia dough last Friday, I made pizzas almost 40 hours later.  The crust was speckled with lots of micro bubbles, the flavour and look was awesome.

I prefer to retard ferment my dough in the fridge.  I find poolish/biga to be lacking in flavour comparatively.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I've chased the pizza crust flavour gremlin for years with little to show for it.

I've done poolish, biga, long ferments, really long ferments, really, really long ferments, sourdough, and everything in between.

I've come to the conclusion that texture is the more important quality.

Perhaps it's just me (and perhaps I put too flavourful toppings on the pizza), but I've seldom (never?) found that the work I put into the pizza dough justifies the flavour I get out of it because the toppings always mask whatever flavour's in the crust.

If the texture's right, the pizza follows. If the texture's wrong, it's a ruined pizza.


If you want to try a poolish dough for pizza, try the dough used for Pain Beaucaire in Bernard Clayton's "The Breads of France". You'll want to cut the recipe by 2/3. It makes a lot of dough.

mr_goodwrench's picture

I have also been on a quest for the perfect pizza crust and have been tweaking my main recipe for the past several years. At the moment, I try to make pizza at least once a week. My current recipe involves a poolish and a retarded ferment in the fridge.



250g bread flour

1.5 cup water

1/2 tsp yeast



312g bread flour

2 1/2 tsp sugar

2 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp yeast

1 tbsp olive oil


Depending on how much time I have, I will let the poolish work for 1 - 12 hours. Mix and knead the dough and then let it ferment in the fridge overnight. Since my wife stays home, I have her take it out roughly 2 hours before I get home. This recipe will make 2-3 pizzas depending on your proficiancy at throwing the dough... I am not that proficient.

I like to experiment with other ingredients such as replacing some of the bread flour with white whole wheat, adding in some dry malt extract (I am also a hombrewer... that particular one came out really flavorful.) 

Serial Griller's picture
Serial Griller

Thanks to all for your input. I'll have to try Mr. Good wrenches recipe

I think a combination of poolish set out on the counter for an hour then put in the frigde for 24hrs, then mixed with the final dough and put back in the fridge for another 24hr might do the trick.I make pizza every week on our Big Green Egg ( almost like a wood fired oven)set at 500'.

If you like your crust a bit thicker and chewy. Here's a recipe from TASTES OF ITALIA that makes two 12-14" pizzas.I like my crust a bit chewy and the big green egg gives it a nice crunch on the bottom. I might just modify it with a poolish.


2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1-cup warm water

1 tsp sugar

1 tbls flour

Let sit 15 minutes covered


1-sponge recipe ( above)

4-1/2 cups flour, sifted

1 cup warm water

2 tbls olive oil

1- tbls salt

This is a wet dough.Mix in a stand mixer.

Divide dough into two balls ( you can freeze one at this point)

Let rise in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in a warm place ,2-hours

Stretch dough and then place on a piece of parchment and using your fingers press dough out to about 12-14' circle.

Add toppings and bake 8-10 minutes at 500'


LindyD's picture

I fail at pizza so I took a class offered at a terrific bakery. We were introduced to three types of crust: thin, New York style, and deep dish. It was an amazing experience and I ate the best pizza I've had in my life. While all the pizzas were great, my favorite was the New York style, which was dressed with a fabulous Béchamel sauce the baker had made. Nirvana. We made our own pizzas, baked them in his deck oven, then took them home. I ate half of mine during the hour drive home.

I’m quoting his formula for the NY style crust, which is made with a poolish - but I have to note that we don’t use mixing bowls in any of the classes at this bakery. The dough is always hand mixed on the bench. Have a bench knife handy, or a plastic dough scraper. If you’re not comfortable with that, use a large bowl - or your mixer - for the final dough.


112 grams unbleached white flour
108 grams warm water (80F)
2 grams (½ teaspoon) instant yeast

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Combine with flour in a large nonreactive bowl until smooth. Allow to rise in the refrigerator overnight. When ripe, the poolish should be almost rubbery with a sweet, yeasty smell.  [Naturally the poolish needs to be covered]

Final dough:

All of the poolish
288 grams of unbleached white flour
164 grams of 85F water (warmer if your work surface is cold)
2 grams (½ teaspoon) instant yeast
8 grams salt

Pile the flour onto your work surface. Make a “well” in the middle of the pile (volcano style) and widen it until there’s a ring of flour with walls high enough to hold the mix water. Pour the warm water into the well, then add the salt and yeast and lightly mix it in. Slowly mix flour from the sides into the well until the water becomes pasty. Add all of the poolish to the well. Gradually mix flour from the sides of the well into the slurry until everything becomes to combine. Add the reserved water as needed to produce medium-soft dough

Knead vigorously for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth with no lumps. When done kneading place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap or place the bowl in a large plastic bag and move it to a warmish place to rise for two hours, or until it has visibly grown by at least one-third.

Divide the dough into two pieces and lightly round them into balls. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, then gently shape into a pizza. Add your favorite toppings and bake at 450F.

Makes two 12-ounce crusts.

Serial Griller's picture
Serial Griller

Thank you Linda,

That sounds like your class was fun.I would love to find a bakery that offered that class.I'm always looking for a new pizza dough recipe. and I'm looking foward to trying yours.

Thanks for taking the time to post. I'll try posting a pic here of pizza on the Big Green Egg.