### Author Topic: Poolish what went wrong ?  (Read 757 times)

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#### Gianni5

• Registered User
• Posts: 207
##### Poolish what went wrong ?
« on: January 14, 2016, 01:19:42 AM »
Can someone please tell me why this formula didn't work. First time trying a poolish. The dough came out so dry it really never even came together.

Poolish:
5 lbs water
5 lbs gm superlative flour
2 oz fresh yeast
Refrigerated overnight

Final dough:
20 lbs flour
9 lbs water
8 oz oil
11 oz salt
+ the poolish

#### TXCraig1

• Supporting Member
• Posts: 20203
• Location: Houston, TX
##### Re: Poolish what went wrong ?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 08:30:14 AM »
If my math is right, that's 14/25 = 56% HR or 14.5/25 = 58% with the oil. That's on the low side, but it should still come together without a whole lot of difficulty.

Any chance you made a mistake when weighing the flour or water?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

#### TXCraig1

• Supporting Member
• Posts: 20203
• Location: Houston, TX
##### Re: Poolish what went wrong ?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 08:33:47 AM »
FWIW, I think you defeat much of the purpose of a poolish by letting it ferment in the fridge.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

#### Pete-zza

• Global Moderator
• Posts: 25266
• Location: Texas
• Always learning
##### Re: Poolish what went wrong ?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 08:59:54 AM »
Gianni5,

Doing a few calculations, and using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded-calculator.html, and assuming the use of olive oil (even though the numbers will not change much using another edible oil or a blend of oils), this is what your total formula looks like:

Gianni5's Total Dough Formula
 Superlative Flour (100%):Water (56%):CY (0.50%):Salt (2.75%):Olive Oil (2%):Total (161.25%): 11340 g  |  400 oz | 25 lbs6350.4 g  |  224 oz | 14 lbs56.7 g | 2 oz | 0.13 lbs | 311.85 g | 11 oz | 0.69 lbs | 18.62 tbsp | 1.16 cups226.8 g | 8 oz | 0.5 lbs | 16.8 tbsp | 1.05 cups18285.75 g | 645 oz | 40.31 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: No bowl residue compensation

Typically, the amount of water to use in a poolish is about 20-80% of the total formula water, and that amount of poolish water is elaborated with an equal weight of flour, to which yeast is added based on the intended duration of the prefermentation of the poolish, the temperature of the water used to make the poolish, and the prefermentation temperature. In your case, the poolish water is 80/224 = 35.7%. So, that part of the exercise is OK, at least for a starting point. However, as Craig has pointed out, the usual practice with poolish is to preferment it at room temperature or some other controlled temperature (like a temperature controlled room). For convenience, it is common to let the poolish preferment overnight, to be ready to use the next day. I have heard of cases where cold fermentation of a poolish is used but that would mean changing the poolish--most likely using a lot more yeast and/or a much longer prefermentation time--to achieve the desired final condition of the polish (a peaking of the poolish followed by a collapse) at the end of the prefermentation time.

Under your set of conditions, a hydration of 56% (or an "effective" hydration value of 58% when taking the oil into account, as Craig also noted), coupled with a fair amount of salt (2.75%), which will add a fair amount of strength to the gluten structure, are likely to further set back the prefermentation of the poolish.

FYi, the articles that are my "bible" on preferments are these:

http://web.archive.org/web/20040814193817/cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food3_apr2004.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20050829015510/www.cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food4_dec2004.htm

Peter

#### Pokey42

• Registered User
• Posts: 2
• I Love Pizza!
##### Re: Poolish what went wrong ?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 02:08:42 PM »
Gianni 5,

I see a number of things wrong with your recipe and your procedure.

First, you never put poolish in the fridge starting out.  You want to put it in a location where the temperature do not exceed 69F.  I, personally, like to keep it between 57F to 65F.  It extends the poolish rise times but it is well worth the extra time for the little extra complexity i have in my bread.  Placing in the refrigerator immediately greatly retards if not kills the yeast outright before it can establish a foothold.  Also, you have way too much yeast.  You should have no more than 0.2 oz by weight.

Second, I'm not sure how long is "overnight" but it normally takes twelve to fourteen hours to get the proper yeast propagation you are looking for.  You're looking for volume and not time when you're measuring dough progress.  You are looking for 2.5 to 3 times volume increase with bubbles forming every five to ten seconds for your poolish and 3 times volume increase in your final dough.

Third, your hydration ratio is way off.  You should not have anything less than 65% hydration on your dough which means, in your case, 13 lbs of water.  The others are correct.  Don't count oil as a liquid.  The only thing that counts for yeast is water.  Oils is 100% olio therefore has no value in hydration ratio calculation for yeast production,

In summary, reduce your yeast by a factor of ten.  Increase your temperature to 69F.  Increase your water by four pounds.  Change your measurement of progress to volume instead of time and I think you will be very happy with the results.

Good luck,
Pokey42
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 02:10:40 PM by Pokey42 »

#### Gianni5

• Registered User
• Posts: 207
##### Re: Poolish what went wrong ?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2016, 02:32:31 PM »
Thank you for the replies guys
Craig and Peter you were right that was the formula.
I know poolish doughs are meant to be room temp but I was messing around with doing this in a commercial setting and I just don't trust doing any room temp fermentation in the restaurant. Unless I had a temperature controlled room it would just be too tricky for our staff
The reason for trying this in the first place is that I want to let the dough have more time balled. Our current process is 24 hour bulk ferment, then ball in the morning and serve throughout the day. We don't have enough walk in space to do 24 bulk then 24 balled but the dough is so much nicer to work with if it's had at least 12 hours balled. I also don't like immediately balling the dough because It just has less flavor.
I'm thinking a poolish is probably not the answer.

#### vtsteve

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• Posts: 744
• Location: Vermont, USA
##### Re: Poolish what went wrong ?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 03:16:54 PM »
"Old dough" is your friend! It's the no-fuss preferment.
In grams we trust.

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