I was just wondering the standard procedures for a poolish and autolyse times when using different recipes?
There are so many versions and variations of poolish in recipes, both for bread dough and pizza dough, it is hard to say if there are any standards anymore. However, according to Didier Rosada, formerly of the San Francisco Baking Institute, the size of the poolish in the bread making realm was traditionally calculated based on the water involved in the total formula. For example, the poolish could be from 20-80% of the total formula water and be elaborated using equal amounts of flour and water by weight to yield a hydration of 100%. The poolish is then allowed to ferment at room temperature for a period of time depending on the dough recipe/formulation and the desired end results sought to be achieved in incorporating the poolish into the dough as part of the final mix. The amount of yeast to use in the poolish will depend on the desired period of prefermentation of the poolish, the room temperature, and the poolish water temperature. Some guidelines that Rosada has given are as follow:
3 hours prefermentation, at room temperature: 1.5% fresh yeast as a percent of the poolish flour;
7-8 hours prefermentation, at room temperature: 0.7% fresh yeast as a percent of the poolish flour;
12-15 hours prefermentation, at room temperature: 0.1% fresh yeast as a percent of the poolish flour.
The above guidelines assume a room temperature of 80-85 degrees F and a poolish water temperature of 60 degrees F. For other types of yeast, or a different room prefermentation temperature or a different poolish water temperature, it will be necessary to adjust the above guidelines. Poolish is a very effective way of getting good crust flavors and texture but one has to understand how to use and manage them properly, including knowing when they are ready to be used. Otherwise, the results can be highly unpredictable.
The matter of autolyse is also another gray area. According to Professor Raymond Calvel, who devised the autolyse method, the autolyse rest period he used for bread dough was between 13-30 minutes. That was for dough batch sizes of around 75 pounds in many cases. I have never read anything about what autolyse rest period might be used for the dough for a single loaf of bread. However, Evelyne Slomon has suggested an autolyse rest period of around 5 minutes for pizza dough made by home pizza makers. But I have seen cases where people have used autolyse rest periods of from 10 minutes to over a day in home settings. I think most of the time people just guess, maybe thinking that if a short autolyse period is good, a long one must be better.