The Fresh Loaf

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A Question on working with Poolish

Clemicus's picture

A Question on working with Poolish

I was very impressed with the result when I tried my hand at an artisan loaf baked in my covered dutch oven. 


My question is in how to portion out the recipe when utilizing poolish.


For example: 

With the following recipe I used a poolish made of 1cup flour, 1 cup water and 6.4 grams of instant rise rise yeast.


3 1/2 cups bread flour

4 tsp sugar

1 1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

2 tbsp margarine or butter

1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk

3/4 cup water


My question regards the use of water with the remainder of the ingredients. I’ve already used 1 cup of water in the poolish. I must also note that I winged it recently in making a cinnamon swirl loaf and kneading it took nearly 30 minutes of hard labor. Ugh! It was VERY sticky throughout. The rise was stupendous. In fact, it was slightly too stupendous. See photo.

I’m bringing the loaf to a Thanksgiving dinner so I can’t say how successful I was.

Hopefully, all this makes some sort of sense.


Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But two points to make 

1. A poolish is 100% hydration which is equal amounts of flour and water by weight. And the pre fermented flour should be maximum 50% for best results.  

2. A good amount of fresh yeast for a poolish is 1% of the flour within the poolish or if using dried yeast then a third of that.  

Preferment the poolish overnight till bubbly and sponge like. Make up the rest of the dough with the poolish and if you want to speed things up then add a little more yeast but not necessary. 

I think it best to follow a poolish recipe first then adapt for your recipe.  

Clemicus's picture

Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. I will let you know how well my loaf was received tomorrow.

Be well.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)


  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 0.6g dried yeast

Leave overnight and use when active and sponge like the next day.



  • 3 1/2  2 cups bread flour
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp 1 tsp yeast (not essential and can be altered according to your needs and how quickly you'd like your main dough to rise. I think some will help but I would reduce it, 1 tsp is an example) 
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • All of the poolish

As far as timings now go... Watch the dough and not the clock. 

Clemicus's picture

Thank You for your response. That is exactly what I was looking for. I will work on this next week and return to you.

This was a GREAT HELP!!

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

placed into a bread tin and then into the DO?  

If you want more crust colour on the lower sides and bottom, try to get closer to the heat source.  That may involve lowering the oven shelf and/or preheating the DO for the next bake.  Covering or tenting the baking loaf with foil can also be used to prevent excess browning on the top crust while the lower crust is browning.  The lid to the DO can also be left on longer before removing or the loaf can be removed from the DO altogether after initial steaming and oven spring.  Just a few different ideas to play with.

It is also possible to place the hot or cold bread back into the oven, on the shelf, naked, to brown.  Either right side up or upside-down.  Or just let a toaster brown slices individually.  

But I was wondering how the middle of the loaf turned out... did it bake through?  

Clemicus's picture

The loaf pictured was not baked in a dutch oven. The covered dutch oven baked my a different loaf and the results were amazing.

The loaf pictured was done in a traditional 9X5 pan.

I'm taking it to a Thanksgiving dinner in about 2 hours so at this point in time I have no idea what whether it baked thru and thru. Will report back tomorrow. Am keeping fingers crossed that all goes well.

Thanks for your comment and enjoy a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Clemicus's picture

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and my cinnamon loaf was well received. I wasn't k-razy about it but others seemed to enjoy it. I have a picture of it sliced but I don't know how to add it to this text.

The swirl was prominent and very tasteful. The bread itself was pale and little on the yeasty side. I believe I could have added a whole lot more cinnamon to the flour. I also think it would have tasted better if it were toasted.

Thanks for the comments.

Be well.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

And was well received then it was a success.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Clemicus's picture

You're probably right. It was a success. 

Happy Thanksgiving and a merry Christmas to all.