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Convert recipe to poolish

missin44's picture

Convert recipe to poolish

I'm looking for info on converting my Detroit Style pizza dough from a standard IDY recipe to a poolish. 

My go to recipe is a 73% hydration. 300 grams flour, 220, grams water, 5 grams IDY. This has served me well for a quick dough in just a few hours. I would like to do the same recipe using a poolish. My plan is to use 150 grams of flour and water, .3 gram IDY for my poolish, ferment 12-16 hrs, then finish the dough. My question is when I combine the additional flour, water, and salt with the poolish. Do I add additional yeast, I'm guessing not?

foodforthought's picture

…I create a “poolish” with 200 g water, 5 g ADY, 5 g honey and 200 g AP or 00 flour. Next day I add 60 g flour and 8 g salt, giving me a hydration closer to 75%, but not terribly unlike what you’re trying to achieve. This method works well, even though the amount of yeast in the poolish is unusual as polishes go.

So, I think you could probably get away with using the full amount of yeast in your poolish, but I would guess that your proposed low yeast poolish would work with no additional yeast provided you could extend fermentation as needed. My pizza doughs are always retarded 48-72 hours, so plenty of time for additional fermentation to take place. If you do likewise. I hope you’ll report back on how you proceed.

A bientot,


phaz's picture

Start with a little, like half, and go from there. Enloy!

CalBeachBaker's picture

I got this recipe from PizzaToday to derive the percentages of IDY in the poolish and the dough:

Poolish IDY = 1g

Final Dough IDY = 50g

Total IDY = 51g

Poolish IDY as a percent of total IDY = 1/51 = 0.0196078431372549 or .02 rounded up.

Check my math.

So for your recipe with 5 g IDY your Poolish IDY % is  5 g * .02 = .1 g


Poolish for Detroit-Style Pizza Dough Author: John ArenaRecipe type: Dough    Ingredients
  • High Protein Pizza Flour (72 F) 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds)
  • Water (65 F) 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds)
  • Instant Dry Yeast 1 gram
  1. Mix by hand in plastic tub with ample room for expansion.
  2. Cover and set poolish out at room temperature for 18 hours.
Detroit-Style Pizza Dough Author: John ArenaRecipe type: Pizza DoughCuisine: Pizza    *Note: Combined total of flour, water and poolish will bring hydration to 67 percent.Ingredients
  • High Protein Pizza Flour (72 F) 9,000 grams (19.85 pounds)
  • Water (58 F) 5,700 grams (12.56 pounds)
  • Poolish (72 F) 2,000 grams (4.4 pounds) -- RECIPE ABOVE
  • Salt 250 grams (8.8 ounces)
  • Olive Oil 200 grams (7 ounces)
  • Instant Dry Yeast 50 grams (1.75 ounces)
  1. After poolish has risen at room temperature for 18 hours, combine it with water in mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
  2. Add flour, salt and yeast. Mix for 4 minutes at slow speed.
  3. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while continuing to mix for 3 minutes.
  4. Increase speed of mixer to speed 2 and mix for 6 minutes or until dough has reached 78 F.
  5. Cover dough and allow to bench rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Divide dough and round and place in trays. Cover dough trays and place in refrigerator at 38 F for 24 hours.
  7. Dough should be removed from refrigerator 1 hour before placing in pans. Pans should be coated with softened butter or shortening. This will allow dough to adhere to the pan easily without over-working and de-gassing it.
  8. Place dough ball in the pan and gently press out slightly.
  9. Allow dough to sit in the pan for 30 minutes before completing final shaping to edge of the pan.
  10. Cover pans and allow dough to rise until airy.
  11. At this point dough can be used or placed back in the refrigerator.
  12. If you are placing back in the refrigerator be sure to take out dough 30 minutes in advance of using it.



mariana's picture

The answer is yes. You add additional (the remaining) yeast to your dough. The total amount of yeast does not change just because you use a poolish method. 

Abe's picture

I know it'll take longer to ferment if one doesn't but wouldn't the yeast multiply substantially within the poolish?  

One can make a levain, basically a sourdough poolish, and that becomes the leaven so why not with a poolish? 

mariana's picture

It actually depends on the kind of poolish, Abe.

Baker's yeast cells don't really multiply inside the poolish that much (it was determined experimentally), and even if it doubled in numbers, 0.1% compressed yeast becomes 0.2% and the difference is really negligible for 1kg of flour that we want to bulk ferment in 1-2 hours once the dough is mixed with the poolish.

The larger the amount of yeast that was added to the poolish the less it multiplies. i.e. if we add up to 2% of compressed yeast to the poolish (I% ADY or 0.7% IADY), and let it ferment for less than 6 hours at 30C (the optimum temperature for baker's yeast multiplication), the yeast cells won't multiply at all. By that I mean no increase in the number of yeast cells was detected experimentally after 6 hours at 30C. At lower temperatures (18-24C) there is even less chance even after 12 hours.

Now, some poolishes are fast, under 3 hrs of fermentation, and carry quite a bit of yeast in them. The poolish then works not only to accumulate flavor and modify gluten, it also activates yeast, brings it to the peak of its gassing power. In that case, the total amount of yeast needed in the formula is about 1/2 of what you would use in the straight dough method and either all of it or 1/2-2/3 of it goes into the poolish and the remainder is added later. 

Abe's picture

Then why does the poolish become so bubbly? And we're often told to be careful not to over ferment a poolish. Sounds like it should be very difficult to do. And why would a levain not be the same case? 

I shall need to study your reply in more depth as it's late here now. But thank you for your detailed answer, Mariana. 

How about a flying poolish? Sounds like it'll be perfect for this kind of pizza poolish. 

missin44's picture

Thanks all