Author Topic: Poolish question  (Read 586 times)

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Offline ejomby

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Poolish question
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:55:20 PM »
I've never made a poolish or worked with them for that matter.  But  I was wondering if I could use one instead of a cold fermentation?  In other words, here's my particular problem:

1. I need to make pizza for Thursday.
2. I have no dough right now, and my recipe calls for 2 days of slow cold fermentation.
3. I don't have the time to make the dough today.
4. But I do have time to put yeast, flour and water in a bowl and just stick it in the fridge.

Should I do this?  Will it be beneficial?  If so, how much?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Poolish question
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 02:45:54 PM »
ejomby,

It is difficult to know how to answer your questions without seeing the recipe. It's possible that you can modify the recipe to use more yeast and do a one-day cold fermentation, or you might be able to make a poolish or something similar the night before and finish the dough on Thursday or make a poolish on early Thursday and finish the rest of the dough the same day. However, modifying an existing recipe that does not use a poolish (or other type of preferment) to use a poolish (or other type of preferment) is not something that can easily be done. There are a lot of factors that come into play, including yeast quantities for the poolish and the final dough (which are usually governed by time constraints) and temperature relating to the poolish and the final dough.

Peter

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Poolish question
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 02:49:40 PM »
I have done 24 hour ferment both in the fridge and in a controlled temp cooler at about 60 F. Both turned out well. Longer ferments, it has been said, add flavor to the crust, but are not necessary for making a good pie. There are also emergency doughs on these forums that use even less ferment time.
I have not used poolish, YET. But plan too as part of my education.
 
Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline ejomby

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Re: Poolish question
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 03:10:25 PM »
Peter-

I'm using this version of Randy's Recipe:

Quote
Try this simpler recipe to get your feet on the ground.  I promise you it will give you a bakers window.  Then you can go Pete's recipe.

16 oz Bread flour

9.8  oz Water by weight(warm 120deg.  F

1 TBS  sugar

1 TBS Honey

1 Tablespoon  Classico Olive Oil or vegtable oil

2  Teaspoon Salt

1 1./2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Mix flour sugar and salt.  Put yeast and half the flourmixture  in the mixer.  Mix the honey and oil into the very warm water.  Pour mixture into bowl and place mixer using dough hook on stir for about 2 minutes.  Stop mixer. Add the rest of the flour, then set mixer to stir until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl then stop mixer for 5 minutes.  After the 5 minutes, go to speed 2 for 12 minutes.   On a lightly floured surface shape into a ball  Place in the refrigerator in a lightly sealed container coated with olive oil overnight or up to three days.

Remove 3  hours before panning
Remove from the fridge and flatten then fold, then shape into a ball using wet hands.
Makes a 16-18 pizza or two 12 pizzas

The way I'm looking at it now, I have time to make a simple Poolish today, or I can wait until Thursday morning to make the full dough, and then bake it by 6pm.  I've done Randy's on the same day and it's fine, but it's better if I let it slowly ferment for 2 days.  I'd prefer to get the flavor closer to a 2 day ferment.

ejomby

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Poolish question
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 03:45:32 PM »
ejomby,

Do you have any idea as to how to convert Randy's recipe to use a poolish?

Peter




Offline ejomby

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Re: Poolish question
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 04:48:23 PM »
No!  Hahaha!  I thought I'd just experiment!  I was just wondering if it would be possible.  I was just trying to get a feel for what I should try to start with if I were to experiment.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Poolish question
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 05:59:47 PM »
No!  Hahaha!  I thought I'd just experiment!  I was just wondering if it would be possible.  I was just trying to get a feel for what I should try to start with if I were to experiment.

ejomby,

A good place to start is to read the poolish section of this article: http://web.archive.org/web/20040814193817/cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food3_apr2004.htm.

In the above article, you will see that the amount of poolish can be from 20-80% of the total formula water. You will also see Chart A. That chart tells you what amount of yeast is needed for different periods of prefermentation of the poolish. In your case, once you have decided how much poolish you want to use, you should then decide on the period of prefermentation of the poolish. Chart A is based on using fresh yeast (aka compressed or cake yeast). If you are using IDY, you should divide the fresh yeast percent by three and use that.

To give you a couple of examples of how to convert a recipe to use a poolish, see Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6515.msg56131.html#msg56131 and Reply 96 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11994.msg124161.html#msg124161. In the first example, I used 80% of the total formula to make the poolish and I used a prefermentation period for the poolish of 18 hours, at room temperature. For the second example, I used 63.5% of the total formula water (20% of the total formula flour) to make the poolish. The prefermentation period was 13 hours, also at room temperature.

Your numbers will be different, of course, but I think you will see how the math is done to convert your recipe to use a poolish. To summarize, once you determine how much poolish you want to use and how long you want the poolish to preferment, you determine how much yeast (IDY) is needed for that period. The second step is to subtract the amounts of ingredients for the poolish from the amounts of ingredients in the total dough formulation. In the final step, those remaining ingredients are combined with the poolish in the final mix.

You can see another example of how the math is handled at Reply 28 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6515.msg62814.html#msg62814. In that case, I used a sponge instead of a poolish and the prefermentation period was only three hours but the math is the same as in the above examples. A final example, using a biga, can be seen at Reply 101 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg87684.html#msg87684.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 06:19:42 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline ejomby

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Re: Poolish question
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 08:40:13 PM »
Pete--

Perfect. :) Thanks a ton.  I'll read up on it and give it a try!

ejomby