The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Poolish not bubbling anymore

Ricardo's picture

Poolish not bubbling anymore

Hi all!
I just don't understand why poolish becomes inactive after six hours or so
It goes from bubbly and forming a kind of rims or lines to flat and not bubbly mass
What or how a poolish suppose to look and could I use the sticky mass fermented mass for breadmaking or should I throw it away? Thanks

Floydm's picture

If I recall correctly, Maggie Glezer's recommendation is to use it when it starts to pucker and fall. I think Peter Reinhart's suggestion it to use it when, if you tap the side of the bowl hard, it falls. So I think the standard recommendation is to use it after it has peaked.

I say use it and see what happens. Worst case, you end up with one batch of funky bread.

Let us know how it comes out.

Ricardo's picture

Thanks Floydm
I'll try your suggestions as per the masters and let you know

carltonb's picture

Think of your poolish, starter, levain in terms of a bell curve, that we were taught in algebra. As the little bacteria become active and grow it starts to go to the top of the curve. They then reach their peak of activity. The activity starts to decline. The reason for the decline could be varried, anywhere from a temperature change to lack of food. Some poolish's have a very short life span, somewhere between 6 and 12 hours.

At the or near the end of a poolish life cycle it should have some small bubbles in it.

I would try it again. Try two tests, putting each in different locations, change the type of water (if you are using bottled, use tap). Go for it and see what happens.

Also the flour being used may not be high enough in protein and ash to withstand a longe fermentation.

Hope this helps.

Carlton Brooks CEPC, CCE

Ricardo's picture

Thanks for your further advice Carlton
I now have 13.5 protein and 60% ash content flour to test poolish again