The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Grain Poolish/Biga Formula

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Whole Grain Poolish/Biga Formula

Looking for a formula that does not use a mature sourdough starter but instead a biga/poolish type of preferment, but also has whole grain flour or at the very least whole wheat flour.  I have looked through the site and can not really find much whole grain/whole wheat breads that use a non-sourdough starter preferment.  Maybe there's a reason for this?

Formulas with any of the following flours would be appreciated:

Spelt, Stone ground whole wheat, Whole wheat, Rye



Franko's picture

Hi John,


Funny you should ask as I just happen to have made something along that line earlier this week. Not sure if the formula below is exactly what you're looking for, but adjust the ingredients and percentages any which way you see fit. The formula as is makes a good everyday loaf for sandwiches, is fairly quick to make and has excellent flavour. Hope this helps, and if you have any questions just ask and I'll get back to you.

All the best,


Multi-Grain Loaf with Preferment  
AP Flour100.00%107.3
ripen 12-16hrs @ 70F  
Multi-Grain Soaker  
7-Grain Cereal Mix100.00%180
Final Dough 1350
AP Flour80.00%378
Whole Wheat Flour20.00%94
Malt Syrup2.50%12
Sea Salt2.50%12
Multi-Grain Soaker80.00%378
DDT- 76F BF- 60-90 minutes Bulk Ferment  
with 1xSF in bowl at 40 minutes  
Total Formula  
Total Flour100.00%580
AP Flour83.70%485
Whole Wheat Flour16.30%94
7-Grain Cereal Mix31.04%180
Malt Syrup2.04%12
Sea Salt2.04%12
Total % and Weight232.88%1350
Total estimated hydration74.34%431
Total prefermented flour18.5%107


mini_maggie's picture

I've made the sponge recipe on page 8:

I like it best with yogurt or buttermilk, IMO.  Haven't tried keeping the sponge longer than overnight.

Forkish has a 50% whole wheat with biga, with all the white flour in the biga and all the whole wheat in the final dough...

dabrownman's picture

loaf looks killer.  You can also convert any SD recipe you like to  poolisj by dropping the SD and taking 15 % of the total flour and water to make the poolish.  Once the poolish is near ripe, just autolyse the rest of the flour and water and go about making bread like you always do - things will just happen faster is all - probably no need for a retard.

Happy baking John 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.  I think I will go with Franko's formula less the malt.  Maggie, your spelt idea sounds nice too.  Dabrownman, thanks for that info...does poolish act any different with whole grain flours than a sourdough culture?  I think I am over thinking this poolish thing.