The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How early can I use the poolish

Elisabeth's picture

How early can I use the poolish

I started the poolish for the Pain de Provence this morning, and was hoping to use it for dinner tonight.  (Meant to start it last night, but forgot).  What is the earliest I can use it?  The recipe says 8 - 16hrs, but I just dont know if I have that kind of time.  Any advice?

suave's picture

You can use it when it is ready - unfortunately I don't have a better way to put it.  It is ready when the surface becomes very bubbly and a wrinkled.  The exact time depends on temperature and the amount of yeast you added, for 8 hour poolish typical amount would be 0.3% of instant yeast at room temperature.  If you're concerned it might not be ready, put it in a warmer spot.

arzajac's picture

If you want your bread to rise, then use it when it bubbles.  That can be anywhere between one and five hours

If you want flavour, then wait as long as you possibly can.  For my taste, three hours is barely enough for the bread to actually taste like bread.  I find eight hours is a minimum.

But it depends on what your tastes.

JIP's picture

If you are in somekind of a big hurry to make your bread why are you evn using a bread that uses a poolish??.  The whole point of a bread like this is using long proofing times to develop flavor in your bread.  If you don't hae time for this why not move on to some kind of quick bread.