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Author Topic: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment  (Read 171 times)

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Offline fizzymartini

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Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« on: July 31, 2021, 08:03:05 AM »
I'm a complete newbie into making neo-neapolitan style pizzas with Poolish and wanting to integrate wholewheat (integrale!), both for that unique nutty taste and to make my addiction just that tiny bit healthier :P

I did a lot of research before my last batch (80% wholemeal, 70% hydration) with "okay" results, but came across a thread somewhere (which I've since lost) asking why most recipes recommend making the poolish with plain flour rather than wholemeal flour? Layman's logic suggests giving the wholemeal flour a "head start" might result in a softer crust?? I have no idea, but with the unusual luxury of time on my hands this weekend, I decided to do an experiment - 50:50 wholemeal dough, but head-to-head wholewheat poolish vs. plain 00 poolish.

I'll share the findings as we go in this thread in case far more knowledgeable Forumites can weigh in and it can help anyone else!

So to start, here are the two starters after 24h at 24C RT. Tried to keep the controls as constant as possible but unfortunately didn't have identically-sized jars to hand! The wholewheat poolish was far more bubbly and less soupy than the 00 poolish.

Offline fizzymartini

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2021, 08:15:32 AM »
Forgot to say, we're going for 67% hydration with these doughs, 2.5% salt.

So... mixed the wholewheat flour into the 00 poolish, and 00 flour into the wholewheat poolish, then left both to rest. Not that much difference yet.

Offline fizzymartini

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2021, 08:23:05 AM »
Here's where the paths fork!

The 00 Poolish dough is way easier to work. Pretty tight and solid - can be kneaded. Could definitely have upped the hydration on this.

The Wholemeal Poolsh dough is a wet dough! Super sticky and harder to handle - can only slap-and-fold.


Offline fizzymartini

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2021, 09:41:45 AM »
About to go into the fridge for bulk fermentation and the difference cannot be more pronounced! The Wholemeal Poolish dough oozes like Slimer, while the 00 Poolish dough is springy like a rubber ball.

The wholemeal poolish dough is behaving a lot more like the 70% hydration, 80:20 wholemeal dough I made before. I've actually never handled a dough as solid as the 00 poolish dough. It's far more solid than even 65% hydration poolish dough I previously made using 00 flour only.

Given that all ingredients and proportions are identical - the only difference being whether the wholewheat was in the starter or added later for the main dough - I'm surprised by the stark contrast. My unknowledgeable mind can only guess the wholemeal starter got active fast and broke down the bran, while the fresh wholemeal flour soaked up all the water in the 00 poolish?

Offline fizzymartini

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2021, 04:45:33 AM »
Fresh out of the fridge yesterday evening, and the dough made with wholemeal poolish looked like it'd overproofed.

The one with 00 Poolish was firmer and opened easily, while the Wholemeal Poolish dough was sticky and ended up tearing.

Given that all eventual ingredient proportions were identical, I suppose the wholewheat flour gave the yeast a kick-start, the rate of which was then sustained throughout the fermentation process.

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Offline fizzymartini

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2021, 05:09:23 AM »
Final results! :chef: Both were popped into an "Original Pizza Maker" - which as far as I can tell is pretty much an identikit G3 Ferrari/Optima Napoli, except the stone has handles. Temp gun read somewhere around 340C but to be honest, that thing is never consistent and I don't know if it's the machine or the thermometer.

There was a slight difference in texture. The 00 Poolish pizza was softer and lighter; the Wholemeal Poolish pizza was a bit denser and crisper. Both turned out okay though and according to my fellow guinea-pig tester, without the other for comparison, they were equally enjoyable :P

My conclusion is, plain flour poolish is the way to go when mixing specialty flours. Far more pleasant to handle and control throughout the process. I think my next trial will be to push the hydration to 70% with a 50:50 00 poolish and see how that affects the final bake.

Well, thanks for joining me on this random little journey. All thoughts, ideas, or tips on the results would be more than welcome  :)

Offline charbo

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2021, 10:00:19 AM »
Thanks for the interesting posts.

Some recommend putting the wholemeal into the preferment since that's the weakest component, thus maximizing strength of the final dough.

Allinson's also makes a strong wholemeal flour.  It would probably give different and better results.

Offline fizzymartini

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2021, 04:35:08 PM »
How interesting that was the opposite to my experience. I took a bunch more photos I didn't share for fear of spamming, but the attached pictures show how flimsy I found the wholemeal starter dough in comparison. 

Strong wholemeal flour had never even crossed my mind. Will hunt some down and give that a shot, thank you for the tip!

Offline charbo

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2021, 05:05:39 PM »
24 hr at 24 C may be too much, depending on the amount of inoculation and the actual protein level.

Offline fizzymartini

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Re: Wholewheat Poolish Pizza Dough Experiment
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2021, 05:17:13 PM »
Sorry, typo! I meant 12h at 24C  ::)

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