The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

poolish in refrigerator?

butcher's picture

poolish in refrigerator?

I haven't been baking bread very long and when I do I've been making a no-kneed type. While that comes out just fine I wanted to try something different and that I thought might have a little more flavor so I was going to try this recipe:

I don't plan on cooking in until tomorrow but I made the rookie mistake on not reading all the directions first and jumped right in and made the poolish starter. It says leave it on the counter for up to 16 hours but it's going to be longer than that before I'm ready to use it. Is it okay to put it in the refrigerator until I'm ready to use it or can it actually stay out on the counter until then (probably about 20 hours or so total). I regularly put dough in the refrigerator to keep it but never having made any kind of starter I didn't know if doing that would ruin the bread.

Thanks in advance for any help.

BaniJP's picture

If your fridge is not too cold (I mean like 1-2°C), it should be fine. I think leaving it out for 20 hours at room temperature should also be fine still. Probably the yeast will be a little starved, but it shouldn't kill it. And it might take a moment longer to ferment the dough.

Overall, both methods shouldn't really harm the poolish too much. But I would prefer the fridge way since then you are more in control.

butcher's picture

Thank you very much.

Stig's picture

Someone has just mentioned a "poolish" on a post I posted earlier. 

May I ask what a poolish is ?


mutantspace's picture



 take up to half your flour weight mix it with same amount of water and a pinch of instant yeast (or to be specific 1/16 tsp per 250g) and leave it overnight.

Itll be ready when very bubbly and if you taste it'll be sweet. Mix in the remaining flour, water, salt, etc and off you go. I sometimes do a poolish with sourdough and finish with instant yeast due to time constraints. Its an old polish baking method. a really good one

 heres a simple example:


250g bread flour

250g water

1/16 (a pinch) IY

leave for 9+ hours



all poolish

250g flour

100g water

10g salt

3/4 tsp IY


mix and ferment for 75 - 90 minutes

preshape and shape

proof for 30 - 45 minutes



Obviously times are dependent on your climate....but that simple recipe can be adapted for everything.


Stig's picture

Thanks !!!