The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Poolish yeast percentage and duration in Harvest Bread with Poolish (Forkish)

roboboticus's picture

Poolish yeast percentage and duration in Harvest Bread with Poolish (Forkish)

I just made my second attempt at "Harvest Bread with Poolish" from Ken Forkish's Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast and I'm curious about his instructions for the poolish.

The poolish ingredients are:

  • flour (white): 500 g
  • water (80°F): 500 g
  • yeast: 0.4 g

Given an overnight temperature between 65°F and 70°F, he says,

When fully mature, 12 to 14 hours later, the poolish should be bubbly and about tripled in volume...

In my attempts, it has doubled but not tripled.

The first time, my room temperature started at 73°F, dropped to 70°F overnight, and gradually climbed to 73°F the next day. After 11 hours, the poolish had doubled and the bubbling seemed to have slowed, so I called it done. I suspect that was a mistake and that it would've benefited from additional time.

The second time, my room temperature started at 72°F, dropped to 67°F overnight, and hovered around 69°F the next day. I decided to hold out for more volume increase. After 13 hours, it had doubled, and over the next few hours it went from a level surface with lots of small bubbles to a lumpier surface with somewhat larger bubbles, but the volume didn't increase any further. I finally called it done at 17½ hours.

I'm not sure what to make of this. Any advice or observations?


gavinc's picture

For comparison, when making an overnight poolish at (70F/21C) my poolish is ripe and fully risen at about 14 hours. It doesn't triple, but doubled. The amount of IDY in the poolish is 0.1%.



WatertownNewbie's picture

For three different batches of this bread my poolish began at about 3-1/2 cups and overnight expanded to 8 cups in one case and about 9 cups in the two others.  Those occurred in about twelve hours.

If the poolish is bubbly and has expanded significantly, it is ready.

Happy baking.


roboboticus's picture

My second attempt got some really nice oven spring, but the crumb is pretty tightly packed, i.e. small holes, so I suspect I overshot. Still tastes great.

Rock's picture

Your poolish appears to be at about .08%. My normal poolish is at 0.10% so not much difference. 

Here's mine at the beginning.

Beginning Starter

Here it is at about 11 hours. This is about when I start using it.

Final Starter