The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My attempt at a poolish is a soupy mess

Jacrockett's picture
Jacrockett

My attempt at a poolish is a soupy mess

ive tried Ken Forkish’s poolish white bread twice and it’s been a total fail. When I mix the final dough with the poolish, it’s like pancake batter. It can’t be folded because it has no structure at all. The poolish doesn’t seem to rise well either, even after 12-14 hrs at 70deg With yeast That works well in other recipes...--

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

try using less.  The poolish doesn't have to rise, although it usually does.   The whole point is to get some advanced flavour from yeast fermentation to flavour the rest of the dough without letting it ferment too long.  Poolishes have a wide range on them from 8 to 14 or even 16 hours depending on the temp and the amount of yeast thrown into the batter or very soft dough.  It can ferment too long so don't let it go stringy and beery on you or start to separate.  Try fermenter for a shorter time or part time at a lower temperature.

That reminds me, I let a poolish rise for a few hours and tucked it into a cold fridge ... a few days ago.  I need to check on it before using it.  It might be spent.  Would make some great white rolls if it's still got some shape.

Jacrockett's picture
Jacrockett

The poolish is 100% hydration and the final dough is 75% so it doesn't seem like it should be so wet.

Poolish: 500g of flour, 500g water with yeast. Add 250 gm of water to another 500g of flour with yeast and salt and Voila!!!  Pancake batter.......

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Brand and Type? 

Jacrockett's picture
Jacrockett

King Arthur White Flour

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Dissolve some yeast in a little warm milk or warm water with a little sugar in it. Leave for 10 minutes. Does it froth?

If it does then make sure you're measuring correctly. Could have missed something.  

Finally, perhaps only make a sponge from 300g flour + 300g water and reduce the yeast accordingly.  Less pre fermented flour should add more strength. 

What's the protein % on the packet per 100g? 

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

"King Arthur White Flour"

KA makes a dozen white flours. All purpose flour? Bread flour?

Jacrockett's picture
Jacrockett

All purpose

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

on the poolish,  or less yeast, and  

knead/blend well after hydrating to develop poolish gluten.

JustJoel's picture
JustJoel

Sorry, could t resist the pun! I made a poolish on Friday to bake some French bread yesterday. It was 30% of the flour, an equal weight of water and a pinch of yeast, which I subtracted from the dough amounts. It rose like some kind of alien sponge monster! It was also very wet (I had to pour it out of the container). The resulting bread was delicious, though a bit dense and moist. I’m thinking I hydrated too much? Or let it rise too long? Who knows, I’m a newbie when it comes to starters!

JustJoel's picture
JustJoel

I‘ve had the same problem with my poolishes. They make a very wet dough. So I’m thinking of switching to bigas, which are only 60 to 70% hydration.

JustJoel's picture
JustJoel

make a small poolish, like 10% flour. This worked really well for me with a rye bread recipe.

JustJoel's picture
JustJoel

if I’m making, say, a rye bread with a blend of bread flour and rye flour, do I mix both the flours, and then measure out the poolish, or di just use the bread flour for the poolish? I set up one last night with the mixed flour, and I can’t seem to get a rise out of it. I don’t know if that’s simply because rye flour inhibited the yeast, or if the water I used to prepare it was too cold, or I didn’t use enough yeast to compensate for the rye flour’s lack of gluten.

To be perfectly honest, I was out of bread flour and it was two in the morning, so I used AP flour.

Merry Christmas to all those celebrating! And a happy Monday to those who don’t!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

first before the flour although it doesn't hurt to taste the flours for rancidity.  Very cold water would slow things down and so would chlorinated water.   How is the yeast?   

If can also be that you missed the rise if it went overnight.  Depends on the amount of yeast.  When wheat and rye are combined, it's like putting the °wheat on steroids.° (to quote a fellow loafer)  

I don't particularly  like  a wheat poolish with rye in it, the resulting bread tastes too sour to me.  I would keep the rye in the main dough. If there is over 40% rye flour in the dough, then I would switch to a sourdough recipe to make the most of the rye flavours and natural sweetness.