Author Topic: Poolish Before or After?  (Read 180 times)

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Offline Doughboy20

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Poolish Before or After?
« on: August 20, 2016, 06:57:53 PM »
So I am trying to make a Neapolitan pizza dough with a poolish.  Question here for you experts.  I saw one recipe where the pooish once ready was mixed with water then incorporated into the rest of the flower.  I saw another recipe where a dough was made first with autolyse and then the poolish was added.

So I guess I have two questions.  Wouldn't blending the poolish with water basically destroy all the effects of the air bubbles? 

Secondly, if adding the poolish to an autolyse dough, before or after make a difference?

I guess what I am really trying to get at here is mixing two different age doughs as read here somewhere in the hopes that I get some real leapording during the cooking process assuming I fallow a 3 day fermenting process and other recommendations.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Poolish Before or After?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 12:57:11 AM »
Given a 3-day (cold?) ferment, my suggestion would be: poolish --> add rest of ingredients and mix --> 2 days bulk --> 1 day balls. I wouldn't do an autolyse. I don't think it adds anything to pizza other than an excuse to drink a couple coldbeers.

Colder dough will leopard more but it will be harder to open. I'd suggest 2 hours of tempering the balls at room temp before making pizza.
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Offline vtsteve

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Re: Poolish Before or After?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 10:17:05 AM »
Wouldn't blending the poolish with water basically destroy all the effects of the air bubbles?

Poolish isn't about the bubbles; it's done for the flavor of the compounds (sugars, organic acids, etc.) that result from extended fermentation & enzyme action, while having enough 'new' flour in the mix for good dough structure.


Secondly, if adding the poolish to an autolyse dough, before or after make a difference?

A "true" autolyse is just flour and water, but if the preferment contains a large portion of the total formula water (as poolish often does), then you add the preferment (while holding back the salt and any additional yeast).

I agree that autolyse isn't worth the trouble for a pizza dough that will ferment more than a couple hours. Calvel promoted it as a way for French bread bakers (working with relatively weak flour) to avoid mixing their dough to death.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 02:47:16 PM by vtsteve »
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Offline Doughboy20

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Re: Poolish Before or After?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2016, 11:32:22 PM »
Given a 3-day (cold?) ferment, my suggestion would be: poolish --> add rest of ingredients and mix --> 2 days bulk --> 1 day balls. I wouldn't do an autolyse. I don't think it adds anything to pizza other than an excuse to drink a couple coldbeers.

Colder dough will leopard more but it will be harder to open. I'd suggest 2 hours of tempering the balls at room temp before making pizza.

Colder dough leopards more? I thought longer room temp did this, is there an explanation why colder causes more leoparding?   Also is there a difference between a 2 day bulk 1 day ball vs a 1 day bulk and 2 day ball?

Thanks for your feedback on this.

Offline Doughboy20

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Re: Poolish Before or After?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 11:34:12 PM »
Poolish isn't about the bubbles; it's done for the flavor of the compounds (sugars, organic acids, etc.) that result from extended fermentation & enzyme action, while having enough 'new' flour in the mix for good dough structure.


A "true" autolyse is just flour and water, but if the preferment contains a large portion of the total formula water (as poolish often does), then you add the preferment (while holding back the salt and any additional yeast).

I agree that autolyse isn't worth the trouble for a pizza dough that will ferment more than a couple hours. Calvel promoted it as a way for French bread bakers (working with relatively weak flour) to avoid mixing their dough to death.

Thanks for the info, didnt know that.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Poolish Before or After?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 08:55:45 AM »
Colder dough leopards more? I thought longer room temp did this, is there an explanation why colder causes more leoparding?

I'm sure there is but there is some disagreement on what it is. However, there isn't any disagreement I know of cold dough leopards more. It doesn't have to be cold all the way through either. Just 20-30 minutes in the freezer can make a noticeable difference.   

To be clear, I'm not suggesting this. I don't think it's a good thing to do if pizza quality is your goal. If you just want stark leoparding because it looks good, that one thing. If you want great pizza you should be doing things to make great pizza not stark leoparding. In my experience, the best Neapolitan pizzas don't have a lot of leoparding, and the leoparding they have is not the high contrast type - rather is a much more gentle spotting on even browning.

Quote
Also is there a difference between a 2 day bulk 1 day ball vs a 1 day bulk and 2 day ball?

Mostly in how easily the ball opens. THe longer in balls, the more relaxed the dough gets. 2 days in balls can be so relaxed that it hard to open without getting thin spots. However if you plan to use cold dough, 2 days in balls may be better to help offset the tightening effect the cold has.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage