The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Poolish Question

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frogg's picture
frogg

Poolish Question

How does everyone create their poolish? Is it ok to be fairly random about it ? Just mix flour, water, add a bit of yeast and a bit of salt, and leave in the fridge? How long will it keep and do you need to do anything to it ? 

I've fiddled a bit with poolish and tried using it up by adding to bread dough, but then I get very muddled over my quantity of flour and water as I've  no idea how much flour and water is in the poolish I'm using ! Any tips would be really welcome.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Like you wrote only I mix before going to bed and let it stand covered on the counter top. I think the flavour improves at room temp. I only refrigerate it if I can't work it into dough within 16 hours after mixing it up and then it has set out all night. I have pasted a basic recipe to my scales so I don't have to think, just mix and cover. I like to work with rounded numbers so it is easy to subtract or add the rest of the recipe. Right now it is 200g water, 200g flour and a 1/2 tsp yeast. (The teaspoon sits in the yeast jar.)

I think if you mixed up a poolish and set it in the refrigerator right away, it would keep for a week maybe. 

Mini O

holds99's picture
holds99

Frogg,

If you aren't working from a recipe I would suggest that you get a good bread baking book with a recipe using a poolish (Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible; ciabatta recipe or Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice; ciabatta recipe) and work on it until you have perfected the recipe.  Once you are successful with ciabatta you will understand poolish and high hydration dough.  Also, King Arthur offers some excellent videos for sale on their web site's home page.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL