Author Topic: Poolish starter  (Read 711 times)

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Offline sallam

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Poolish starter
« on: June 06, 2015, 01:00:21 AM »
I've read about Marlon "bakeshack" and Chau "Jackie Tran"'s experiments of maintaining a poolish as a starter, either in the fridge or in RT, here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=16227.msg179094#msg179094

Very interesting. I was wondering where can I read the outcome of their experiments?

I started maintaining my own poolish in the fridge, as I bake once every 2-3 days, and I have a few questions that I need help with. I made a poolish that consists of 40g water, 40g flour and a pinch of CY. I'll use half the amount, 40g, to make a 1000g flour dough, then replace that by stirring 20g water and 20g flour in the remaining poolish each time..
  • If I'm keeping my poolish starter in the fridge, as I'm using it to bake every 2-3 days, at what stage should I put it back in the fridge after feeding it? immediately? when it doubles? when it peaks or triples? when it starts to collapse?
  • When taking it out of the fridge, should I use it to mix my dough right out of the fridge, or should I wait until it warms up? any procedures to be made before mixing in the dough? Bakeshack mentioned that the poolish would be ready in 2 hours. Is that for warming up the poolish? or to feed it before using?
  • Bakeshack mentioned using 2% of that poolish. How long does it take such dough to double in RT?
  • After maintaining that poolish for months, did the flavor profile change, and has the leavening power stayed the same over time?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 04:44:39 AM by sallam »
I'm a home baker.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Poolish starter
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 01:17:00 AM »
For the most part, It's been years since I've maintained and used any starters but will answer what I can based on what I remember.
Keep in mind there are many different methods of maintaining a poolish or starter but these are my own personal preferences.
-once you replenish the poolish, place it in the fridge right away.  If you forget, and leave it out a while just put it back in the fridge as soon as you can.
-once you take it out of the fridge, I like to let it warm up to room temp before using.  I like to use a poolish when it is at the height of its peak or even starting to collapse a bit.  If the poolish has already risen and collapse, you can still use it at this point.  Being that it is a CY poolish it shouldn't  sour on you.  If it was a natural starter, and it has collapsed, I would discard half, refeed, and wait for it to peak  again to use.
-I don't recall exactly how long it will take a dough with 2% poolish or starter to double at room temperature but I would expect it take around 18 hours?  That's a complete guess on my part.  Craig has a sour dough starter prediction time chart around here somewhere. 
-after maintaining your CY poolish for months, it shouldn't change flavors but I think it is fair to say that ongoing maintenance of such a poolish is prone to contamination or other yeast or bacteria to develop changing the flavor of the original poolish.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 07:01:47 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline sallam

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Re: Poolish starter
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 03:47:16 AM »
Thanks Chau for your detailed reply.
If I detect any hint of bacterial contamination, I'll discard it right away and make a new one.
I very much like the idea that a poolish starter can save much time whenever I bake. 2 hours instead of 12 for a preferment is great.
I'm doing my first dough today with that poolish starter, and I'll report the results here.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 03:51:19 AM by sallam »
I'm a home baker.

Offline sallam

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Re: Poolish starter
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2015, 06:27:52 PM »
I've made my first bread from that poolish starter
poolish:
1g CY
40 water
40 flour

final dough:
1000g AP flour
900g water

poolish was used right out of the fridge.
3 S&F every 20 minutes , then poured in pans where it proofed for 7 hours

« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 06:29:26 PM by sallam »
I'm a home baker.