The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bakers math..?.. trying to use sponge

macette's picture
macette

Bakers math..?.. trying to use sponge

hi bakers, I have been baking what is my perfect loaf for a few months and it’s going well. As a newbie I am now wanting to explore poolish/sponge ? I would like to try it to see how much my bread will improve ....the recipe for my bread is...

450 flour

2 tsp yeast

1-1/4  tsp salt

255 milk

I tbls honey

15g butter

this works really well with the tin I use and works every time. Could someone help with quanties I need to make a sponge and is all the yeast used in the sponge. I will make up the sponge the night before and leave sitting in my microwave overnight . Really curious to see the difference it will make. Advice greatly appreciated....

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

You can use upto 50% of the flour and it's weight in water.

Then use 1% of the flour in the sponge for fresh yeast or a third of that if using dried yeast.

Then you can make up the rest of the dough when the sponge is ready. You don't have to add in anymore yeast but you can add in an extra pinch if you wish. Then carry on as normal.

Your recipe re-done with a sponge using 30% of the flour for the sponge, as an example...

 

Your Recipe:

450 315g flour (30% goes in the sponge = 135g)

(2 tsp yeast)

1-1/4  tsp salt

255 120g milk (135g liquid in the sponge but I'd use water for the long ferment)

I tbls honey

15g butter

 

SPONGE:

  • 135g flour
  • 135g water
  • 1.3g fresh yeast or 0.4g dried yeast

Prepare the night before and use in the morning.

 

RECIPE:

315g flour

120g milk

1 tbsp. honey

15g butter

A pinch of dried yeast

All of the sponge

macette's picture
macette

Thank you so much Lechem...maths and me don’t get on...now when I do the final mix with 120g of milk can I just add what the dough needs..?and not end up with very wet dough. And will the rising time change due to less yeast.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Add enough milk in till the dough feels right.

If you don't add in any extra yeast it will take longer so if you want a quicker bread then so to add in enough extra yeast according to your needs.

I normally just use the sponge but I do find it takes a while. You might have to play around when adding in the extra yeast to get your timings just right to the way you like it. So start off with a pinch or two and watch the dough, not the clock. Then with later bakes you can adjust up or down.

macette's picture
macette

trying to reply....

macette's picture
macette

Great help thank you so much Lechem...can’t wait to try it. I am working my way up to sour dough...one day, baby steps...lol many thanks..

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

We want to see results and hear what you think of using a poolish.

You're progressing the correct way and it's something I should have done.

Best of luck.

macette's picture
macette

Followed your poolish recipe Lechem except for the yeast could not weigh 0.4g anyway I put in 1/2 tsp in the poolish and added 1 tsp in the final mix next day. That was 1/2 tsp less than I was using in the recipe. So could try less next time. The dough was beautiful silky best ever. The bread had good lift and nice crispy thin crust. The crumb lovely soft and light. i couldn’t detect much flavour difference maybe because I put butter on it , but so light and lovely to eat. The measurements you worked out were perfect. I will keep making this version and see if I get consistency. Thanks again Lechem ..--

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Couldn't get better. Lovely loaf inside and out. 

Enjoy! 

Biga next...

macette's picture
macette

what is biga ?..guidance needed....in a wee bit...just coming to terms with poolish....

 

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Is the same as a poolish just lower hydration. More of a dough then a sponge. Good for weaker flour. 

macette's picture
macette

will read about Biga....does this improve my simple white sandwich loaf..or is it more geared to a sour dough..

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Are both yeasted preferments. Sourdough is naturally flavoursome but when bakers yeast came into being these preferments were a way to get more flavour which was missing.  

Biga also benefits weaker flours. Both increase flavour and shelf life. Whether you prefer one or the other you'll have to try both and see. 

These are not sourdough though. 

macette's picture
macette

sounds good to me..was just watching Biga video....I can cope with that...will keep watching ... what’s your recipe...

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

From what I've seen you should have no problems. I have no special recipe as it depends on a few factors. With poolish band Biga I just keep the prefermented flour under 50%, the water in a poolish (of course) is the same weight as the flour used, with Biga go lower so that it's around 60-65% hydrated, otherwise the principle is the same. With a biga you should allow it to peak and the dome should just be beginning to flatten out. That's the optimal time to use. Ferment at room temperature.

The con of a Biga is its going to be more difficult to incorporate into the dough. So break it up in the water the best you can.

macette's picture
macette

Have been reading up on biga and will progress to that when I absorb the info bit like Biga...lol will work with poolish for a bit and see how it goes. But looking forward to BIGA and better things...lol

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

V. Good :)

Also try poolish at different percentages. I gave you an example of a 30% prefermented flour within the poolish. By all means experiment and use different amounts. Just keep it under 50% prefermented flour for best results. 

Enjoy!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I can’t imagine any baker not being proud of that bread!

Great job.

Dan

lechem - it’s got to be nice when someone succeeds to that degree...

Elsasquerino's picture
Elsasquerino

That's a perfect classic white tin loaf... Great work.

macette's picture
macette

Thanks , I am delighted , poolish is new to me and yes it’s worth it..lol

 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Wow, that's a beauty, Macette! You must be very pleased.

Just by way of comparison - I regularly make a poolish bread that uses 1/8 tsp of yeast (per loaf) in the poolish (which sits for the day on the counter), and then another 1/8th tsp in the final dough. The dough ferments for a couple of hours at which time I either shape it and put it in the fridge to proof overnight, or I put it in the fridge before shaping and let it bulk ferment in the fridge overnight, then shape, proof for a couple of hours, and bake. It has no problem rising with that little yeast in it!

macette's picture
macette

I was worried about the rising time thought I would be waiting for hours...lol it took a little longer but I could try less yeast next time...I do like the texture so will be doing it again for sure.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But don't forget it's multiplied in the poolish