The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

poolish sponge vs. sourdough ques

gretel's picture

poolish sponge vs. sourdough ques

Hello, I understand that the poolish sponge and/or biga are a compromise between the quick direct method with commercial yeast.  Over the years, I have done 90% direct method (though I never knew that was what it was called!) usually with fresh yeast as I thought that would be more natural than the dry yeast.

Anyway, now that I know more about digestion of grains and since I am not 20 years old anymore and now think about health concerns and nutrition more as I get more mature, I buy almost only sourdough artisan breads as I know they are easier to digest and have a side benfit of being lower glycemic.

As I mentioned on another thread, my first expereince with a rye sourdough was too much of a challenge, so I need to down grade to a white sourdough or go down a level to a poolish. Now, I did use the fridge retardation method of Artidan Breads in5 days a couple of years ago (tried 3 different recipes) and did not care for them greatly though they tasted fine and Ifound they did not raise well and were very little loaves. I put that book in the basement.

But I wonder if I do other recipes with a poolish or biga say from Lepard or Avner Laskin (every recipe I have tried from either always came out wonderful)-- will I get any of the same health benefits as a sourdough from the longer fermentation. Or will it not matter as there is no latic acid as in a natural starter? Will the longer fermentation breads be healthier at all than the direct method breads w/ commercial yeast either fresh or dried?

Thanks in advance,



108 breads's picture
108 breads

Hi Gretel,

Don't put Artisan Bread in 5 down in the basement. I converted their master recipe from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a day to a long fermentation time and I use only a sourdough starter - no commercial yeast. The breads come out well; very nice rising.

The advantage of their method is an easy way to make healthy breads. Not sure if my experiences will help, but you can look at the breads I've made out of the Healthy in 5 book. I've made others, but I return time and time again to an adjusted way of making their breads.

Best of luck!

dabrownman's picture

starter going i would suggest starting with the 1-2-3 SD white bread recipe on this site.  It's 1 part SD levain, 2 parts water and 3 parts flour.  It is a fine lesson in what SD is all about,  Once you get the hang of it you can move on to adding in some other whole grains, upping the hydration and putting in some seeds, nuts and friuits

The 123 method works with 100% hydration poolish  too.

Happy baking