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Author Topic: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?  (Read 919 times)

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Offline drimkunas

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poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« on: October 21, 2022, 11:42:08 AM »
Hi All,
If I am doing a 2-3 day cold fermentation, is there any benefit to also doing a poolish for my dough? My thoughts are that the poolish adds flavor to doughs that are used 24 hours, does the 2-3 day CTF do the same thing? or are the complimentary or is it redundant? Thanks in advance. (making NY Style, btw)

Offline scott r

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2022, 01:46:46 PM »
In my opinion, it is still worth doing a poolish for a 2-3 day ferment. 

I have found that a dough fermented perfectly and made with a properly timed poolish, given a decent amount of time to ferment, will always have more flavor than a direct dough. I feel this way no matter how long that direct dough sits in the fridge.  There is a point where the direct multi day fridge dough will have a lot of flavor, but at that point the texture suffers.

The bigger question is... how important is that flavor boost to pizza?  For bread I think its a no brainer.  For pizza, a lot can be said for char and toppings.  For pizza I think texture is the most important thing to get right, and thats easier to nail down with a direct dough unless your an experienced baker.

Offline JWFPIZZZA

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2022, 07:49:18 PM »
Well said Scott.

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2022, 11:15:40 PM »
Once your method is perfect I am sure it would benefit, but in my experiences, I've always ended up with an over fermented dough every time I've tried this, so I steer clear.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2022, 11:52:35 PM »
QJ...Its definitely a bit tricky and when seasons change, things sometimes go awry, but I find flavor advantages no matter the time frame, and im usually at approximately 5 days CF.

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Offline Samson

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2022, 10:11:59 AM »
I found that I get a better crumb with doing a poolish and a 2 day ferment than if I do a direct 3 day ferment. I'm not sure if it's the poolish itself that contributed to that, or other changes I've inadvertently made in my process when doing the poolish, but for my dough I have seen a difference. It's been on my list to do a side by side comparison, so if I do that in the next few weeks I'll post pictures comparing the two results.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2022, 10:28:49 AM »
In my opinion, it is still worth doing a poolish for a 2-3 day ferment. 

Scott - it's everything you mentioned and more. The biochemical products of the microflora vary with the temperature. It's simply not possible to develop the same flavors with all CF. Doesn't make it necessarily better given personal preferences, but I believe most people will prefer all RT or Poolish+CF vs. CF only.
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Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2022, 10:15:25 PM »
Scott - it's everything you mentioned and more. The biochemical products of the microflora vary with the temperature. It's simply not possible to develop the same flavors with all CF. Doesn't make it necessarily better given personal preferences, but I believe most people will prefer all RT or Poolish+CF vs. CF only.

I agree. I prefer a long room temperature ferment. It's just so hard to pull off in a commercial kitchen.

Offline scott r

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2022, 11:04:00 PM »
Its not quite as easy as one batch a day and a fridge, but all room temp isn't too hard. You just have to get used to trashing some dough here or there, so your food cost may go up (ever so slightly). 

I was doing all room temp doughs some years ago and it was easier than I thought it would be to dial in.  Its surprising how large of a window your sweet spot for room temp fermentation can be when you are using a tiny amount of yeast.  Also, I will admit that I learned a little cheat in Naples to help and I figured... if they can do it, I can do it.   

I would make 2 batches of dough a day. One batch I started using around 1:00 in the afternoon the day after it was mixed that would get me to around 6:00.  Then my 2nd batch of dough mixed the day before would be used from 6-11:00.  A few trays from the night batch were put into the walk in to be used the next morning from 11-1. Thats the naples trick.. To use the fridge lol!.  How ironic is that!  Those doughs were great too, and I didn't find that they were a step down from the previous day.

You should try it sometime and you might be surprised at how easy it is (other than necessitating 2 batches a day rather than 1).  If you have a really long span of hours that your open you can do 3 batches a day, and Im sure there are some in Naples that do this, as they were eating pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2022, 11:14:25 PM by scott r »

Offline Swinger-mike

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2022, 08:10:10 AM »
does anybody ever coldferment their poolish or is that pointless? 

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Offline foreplease

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2022, 08:14:52 AM »
does anybody ever coldferment their poolish or is that pointless?
I try to use it before it would need to be slowed down by refrigeration. For my limited use, it has a 5-6 hour window of usability.
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Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2022, 11:56:47 AM »
I learned from a post by Peter that the fully RT fermented poolish can be held at fridge temps for up to 2-3 days. I  ften do that for timing. It works great after it's warmed to RT before mixing. On the other hand, I think timing is the only advantage.

Offline scott r

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2022, 12:14:48 PM »
im surprised at this, but its good to know.

Fridge poolish still develop lots of flavor, no issues there and the dough turns out great.  I should do an a/b comparison with a room temp and fridge poolish some day. 

Offline Swinger-mike

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2022, 12:19:40 PM »
So in theory most important is to use it at its peak for max flavour benefit.

How much better is lets say a 2h compared to a 4h or 10h poolish in flavour and then yeast activity in the final dough mix?
wouldnt the final dough with a 10h poolish made at its peak ferment be signifcantly slower than a dough made with a 4h poolish simply because of the more or less yeast in given poolish?

Does a "cold fermented" poolish have any benefits, 1-2h room temp and let it rise to its peak in the fridge and then make the final dough mix or is that too short at room temp to have any benefits if you cold ferment the dough afterwards for 2 days anyways?

Offline Swinger-mike

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2022, 12:30:01 PM »
im surprised at this, but its good to know.

Fridge poolish still develop lots of flavor, no issues there and the dough turns out great.  I should do an a/b comparison with a room temp and fridge poolish some day.

Thats exatly what I am doing now.

I have 2 identical measuring cups and made 2 poolish 200gr flour and 200 gr water and monitored them with tape every few hours in the fridge and then every 20 minutes out the fridge just to see exactly where it peaks at.

So I made 2 new batches today, one that spent 1.5h at room temp and then put it in the fridge with 0.5% idy and and one I will leave at rt all the way with 0,05% idy.

My plan is to make dough with each one of them when they are at their peak and cold ferment for another 2 days.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 12:31:59 PM by Swinger-mike »

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Offline Oberon

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2022, 10:57:34 AM »
I think it's pretty difficult to generalize, as any potential benefit might be increased or decreased depending on your formula and process...any RT bulk before CF? flour protein %? % of flour in poolish, etc.  So, yes, a theoretical benefit that may or may not be noticeable in your particular reality.

I really like a poolish and use it for all my baguettes, but work-flow wise, I've cut it from my pizza dough, and haven't really missed it at all so far

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: poolish needed if also doing 2-3 day ctf?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2022, 11:26:03 PM »
You're describing exactly the process I used to go with regularly. I've since moved on to trying for shorter fermentation times at RT with poolish, but there's definitely nothing wrong with doing a poolish and a CF period of 2 to 3 days, I'd say.
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