The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough starter as poolish to delay staling and mold formation

shalooney's picture

Sourdough starter as poolish to delay staling and mold formation


I am new here :)

I just started baking bread last year. I like sourdough bread and crusty bread, my family prefers soft, light, fluffy whole wheat bread. Since I don't like throwing out my discard sourdough starter (all-purpose flour, 100% hydration), I thought I'd use it as the poolish for soft fluffy bread, instead of making another preferment. What are your opinions on that? Would a biga or a preferment with baker's yeast or another kind of preferment work better to get soft light loaves? What would work better to delay staling of the bread, mold formation, etc? Honestly, my family is used to commercial whole wheat bread - light airy loaves with dough improvers and added gluten which stay soft and don't have molds for days.. I would like to get as close to that as I can without added gluten and dough improvers.. is there any way to do that? I've experimented a lot, now I increase hydration, use one egg per loaf, sometimes put sweet potato.. I've even tried using soy lecithin, etc. It's gotten better but I want to improve it further.

If weather makes a difference, I live in the Philippines, it is very hot and humid here, especially right now because it's summer.

Motownvoice's picture

Fats like whole milk or cream are an excellent preservative that tends to soften your crumb without affecting the ability to crunch up the crust nicely.  Sandwich breads use milk to get that soft, fluffy inside.

JaD's picture


That's exactly what I am doing, i always use my "discard" starter to make a poolish with even quantity of flour and water. Way less messy and time consuming to get a starter to it peak all the time. I still get good flavor and tang with this method.

As for making sourdough softer it's totally doable. Fat will help you, milk ,oil and shorthening are all option . Also if you bake in a dutch oven you can play with the time you leave the lid on and the cooking temp.

I realized that the longer you leave the lid on, the softer the crust. Lower temp after the spring is done help too!