The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Substituting a poolish for conventional yeast in a levain hybrid

My Daily Bread's picture
My Daily Bread

Substituting a poolish for conventional yeast in a levain hybrid

Forgive me if this question has been answered already and just point me to the post...  I am tearing my hair out over too wet dough (beyond anything workable) - I enjoy baking without yeast because it's fun.  I am trying to use Ken Forkish's hybrid recipes but to substitute poolish for the yeast (adding with the levain when he has you sprinkle the yeast and salt on) but I don't know what to do since this adds liquid.  Do I leave out some of the water to the start of the recipe? Please advise... I used to make a poolish only no knead bread every day, same proportions, totally reliable, but I want to experiment and not bake the same sort of thing every day.  Thank you.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

in his recipes. I believe his hydration is usually around 75 %. I would have to check to see what that particular recipe calls for. Get the required amount of flour and water that you need for your polish  from those amounts and save the rest for the main dough. 

My Daily Bread's picture
My Daily Bread

Thanks - I should be able to figure out the math even once it's mixed (the poolish) I guess - I'll have to experiment.  I just made a loaf that could be used as a discus (an all levain loaf... not quite sure what I did wrong... ) so I have my work cut out for me....

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

will be important here, and also building strength in the dough. make sure you don’t overferment as well.

good luck with this, an interesting bake

Leslie

My Daily Bread's picture
My Daily Bread

Thanks, Leslie.  I'm being super conservative with my levain and my poolish... watching the temp of the water closely and as you say the hydration too.  I think I can use 150 g of the poolish to account for 75 g each of flour and water, and then probably hold back a bit on the water in the recipe and see how it looks.  As long as I don't end up with a discus I'm ahead of the game.  The overferment/overproof risk is real.  This loaf will require a bit more "babysitting" than I like to do with my bread, but if I can get it down to a science, it should be fun to play with different flour mixes later on.  I'll post after I try it (probably the weekend).  Right now I'm busy finding things to do with my "discard" because I can't bear to throw away the levain/poolish while I'm reviving them...