The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

when is poolish ready

theo's picture
theo

when is poolish ready

Hello all,

what are the visual cues to look for creating optimal poolish?  

Advanced Bread and Pastry states:

"... The goal is for the baker to obtain a poolish that is perfectly matured at the time of mixing the final dough. Full maturation is indicated when the poolish has domed slightly on top and has just begun to recede, which creates some areas on the surface that are a bit more concave. A poolish that has not matured adequately does not provide the full benefit of the acidity..." 

 

Hamelman states in a video that its before poolish recedes.  From your experiences which is best?  Im looking to make the best bread possible.

BTW my poolish percentage  100%/100%/0.08% @ 74ºF

 

 

Thank you as always for everyones great help


Theo

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

It is hard to tell from the images. The color variances on the top are confusing. Either poolish imaged above should raise a nice loaf. I say this because the yeast only subside and die back because the nutrients in the flour become exhausted. Once the poolish is introduced to the final dough flour it will begin it’s feeding frenzy once again.

As with a sd culture, commercial yeast (CY) has an active life span. CY is probably more tolerant and forgiving. For maximum effectiveness, try to use it at or just before it peaks out. I seldom use CY, so others will more experience may be more informative.

When you say poolish you should be using commercial yeast and not sourdough. Is this correct?

Far be it from me to go against Advanced Bread & Pastry, but as far as I am aware, commercial yeast is not a substancial (if any) source of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB). I haven’t considered commercial yeast for a sour or acidic flavor. So the statement about acidity is questionable, IMO. If that is incorrect, I am eager to learn differently.

Since a poolish uses commercial yeast and not sourdough, it seems you are safe to following the timing instructions, considering your ambient temp is somewhat normal. The strength and activity of various sd cultures are extremely variable. Not so much with commercial yeast.

Danny

theo's picture
theo

Danny.. Yes commercial yeast. IDY to be exact.  Im still a beginner baker. I want to get the basics better before i venture into sourdough.  The color difference must have been from the lighting.

My poolish more than doubled in volume since i mixed it.

suave's picture
suave

Bacteria are not the only source of acid.  Fermentation produces CO2, some of which will dissolve, forming carbonic acid and lowering the pH of the preferment.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sauve, that confirms my lack of knowledge concerning CY :-) Never considered acids in commercial yeast.

Is it possible to produce a bread with noticeably sour flavor using CY?

Dan

suave's picture
suave

It is also entirely possibly for a preferment to sour up - happened to me a couple of times. 

suave's picture
suave

The second photo is when I would be using it.

theo's picture
theo

Thank you suave..  thats when I used it. Ill post pics in a few hours.  What cues helped you determine photo 2 was ready. Just for future reference.  

 

Thank you!!


Theo

suave's picture
suave

I look for mottled, foamy surface completely covered with small, thin-walled bubbles. 

theo's picture
theo

my crumb has nice deep holes but is super uneven