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Author Topic: Sourdough Biga/Poolish?  (Read 840 times)

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Offline thelorax121

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Sourdough Biga/Poolish?
« on: December 19, 2022, 01:32:59 PM »
I have had a hard time getting proofing right when using my sourdough starter for a direct dough and was curious if there wauld be any advantage to doing a biga or poolish with the starter first.  Would that help to get a stronger, stepped feremntation and hopefully more oven spring?  I have an Ooni Koda 16 and do mostly 'amercian' Neopolitan pizzas (between NY and Neo I guess). Any recipe input using this technique would be much appreciated, thanks!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough Biga/Poolish?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2022, 01:47:16 PM »
Using a larger amount of fully active starter, such as a poolish, will reduce variability by shortening fermentation time. The shorter the fermentation time, the less time there is for inconsistency.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline thelorax121

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Re: Sourdough Biga/Poolish?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2022, 02:52:57 PM »
Using a larger amount of fully active starter, such as a poolish, will reduce variability by shortening fermentation time. The shorter the fermentation time, the less time there is for inconsistency.

Thanks, that makes sense.  I am a professional brewer by trade and slowly working to translate that fermentation knowledge to baking.

Since I keep my starter at 100% hydration, it is essentially acting as a poolish then.  I typically aim for around 65% hydrration for my pizza dough, what bakers percentage would you reccomend for the starter assuming a 24hr bulk ferm time?

I assume this will result in a fairly clean tasing dough as there is not enough time for the acid producing bacteria to do thier work.  I would also be interested in techniques that give you a bit of tang to the flavor while maintianing a consistent rise.

Cheers!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough Biga/Poolish?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2022, 03:08:20 PM »
This table can help you find a starting point for your poolish quantity: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22649.0

For anything over maybe 5% or so, I'd include the poolish flour and water in the total dough HR% calculation.

It should be a fairly mild dough but your starter will have something to say about that. Some produce much more acids than others.

All other things being equal, longer fermentation and lower fermentation temp (would encourage you to stay out of the fridge) will yield more sour flavor.

You might also find this interesting: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41039.0

I'd encourage you to forget what you know about brewing when focusing on pizza. There is pretty much zero similarity between the two.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline thelorax121

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Re: Sourdough Biga/Poolish?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2022, 05:48:51 PM »

For anything over maybe 5% or so, I'd include the poolish flour and water in the total dough HR% calculation.


Thank you so much, I now realize I probably should have put this in the starter/sponge subforum, but sincirely appreciate your input here.

The remark about over 5% is something I have been curious about also.  When I make sourdough loaves, I use my 100% starter and that keeps hydration equal overall.  I have Gemignani's Pizza Bible and in his section about starters the recipes that follow uses 'tiga'/biga and poolish at the same 20% baker's percentage and that seems like a big difference in hydration between which one you are using......

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough Biga/Poolish?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2022, 07:57:14 AM »
I don't understand what you mean by "at the same 20% baker's percentage?"
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline HansB

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Re: Sourdough Biga/Poolish?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2022, 08:40:31 AM »
The biga/poolish water and flour should be taken from the total formula, so the hydration should not change. If you use a 5% or 30% poolish the overall hydration is the same.
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