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Author Topic: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?  (Read 1423 times)

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Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« on: April 23, 2021, 04:35:19 PM »
I have been developing a dough recipe for a while now that is based on a straight cold ferment process. By this, I mean I am adding IDY directly to my final dough preparation and allowing it to cold ferment in the fridge for several days. My recipe evolved from the popular Glutenboy recipe, which is another straight cold fermented dough. For those curious or unfamiliar with the recipe, it can be found here: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7761.msg66669#msg66669

I think the Glutenboy recipe is an excellent place to start for beginners because it requires only the primal four pizza dough ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. After extensive experimentation and adjustment, I have developed a recipe that is uniquely my own and bears very little resemblance to the original Glutenboy recipe. In fact, the evolution of the recipe has somewhat plateaued because I have become quite satisfied with the end product.  However, in developing this recipe, I was quite singularly focused. I've spend almost 100% of my time on a straight ferment process and have almost zero experience using preferments such as poolish. So it seems mastering the poolish is the next quest on my pizza journey.

It seems that poolish-based recipes and straight ferment recipes have very much in common, as they both use commercial yeast. The only significant difference I can see is that the poolish spends a significant amount of time at room temperature before being incorporated into the final dough preparation. One might assume that this allows for greater expression of bacteria-associated flavors, but if the final dough is fermented in the fridge, does it even make a difference? My understanding is that while inhibiting growth overall, cold fermentation greatly favors yeast growth while bacterial growth is basically halted. In addition, that understanding says that cold fermentation minimizes sourness from the acid products of bacterial fermentation. I guess the bottom line is this...I want to know if I'm leaving flavor and texture on the table. Onto the big questions.

Based on your own observations, what are the differences, if any, between a poolish and a straight ferment with regard to the end product (i.e. the pizza crust).

If a straight fermented dough is allowed to ferment at room temperature, how is it any different than a dough made from a poolish?

Is one method superior than the other? If so, why? Which method do you use the most?

What are the pros and cons of each method?

If you use neither method, what method do you use and why?

If time and investment are no object, what is in your opinion the best way to ferment a pizza dough if one's goal is to develop flavor and texture?


Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 04:40:58 PM by TurkeyOnRye »

Offline jsaras

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2021, 04:56:42 PM »
Iím not going to comment on the comment on the microbiological things that occur as there are a lot of people on this forum who are much more qualified on that subject.  However, Iíve tried every imaginable way to ferment a dough ball over the years.

Qualitatively, I prefer:

1. RT sourdough (18-24 hours)
2. RT dry yeast (8-24 hours)
3. CF 48 hours (works well with al taglio)
4. All the other breadmakers preferment techniques.

I most often use #2 because dry yeast is always ready to go on a whim and the results are pretty close to #1.
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Offline HansB

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2021, 05:42:56 PM »


cold fermentation greatly favors yeast growth while bacterial growth is basically halted.


Just the opposite. Yeast activity slows to almost nothing in CF, bacteria continues, that's why you get more flavor in the longer cold fermented dough.

Edit: Actually, at temps below 40į both are essentially dormant.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2021, 08:28:27 AM by HansB »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2021, 07:37:20 PM »

Just the opposite. Yeast activity slows to almost nothing in CF, bacteria continues, that's why you get more flavor in longer cold fermented dough.
Hans,

I believe that Craig took the opposite position, as he explained in the opening post of his thread at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41039.msg409555#msg409555

See, in particular, item 3) in the section at Direct byproducts of fermentation and growth.

Peter

Offline HansB

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2021, 08:29:31 AM »
Hans,

I believe that Craig took the opposite position, as he explained in the opening post of his thread at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41039.msg409555#msg409555

See, in particular, item 3) in the section at Direct byproducts of fermentation and growth.

Peter

Thanks, it was good to read that again. It's amazing that there is so much contrary information about fermentation out there!
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Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2021, 11:09:40 AM »
The products of yeast fermentation are ethanol and carbon dioxide while the products of bacterial fermentation are acids. The products are different simply because each organism is using a different biochemical pathway to create energy from the same sugars. These products can be sensed simply by smelling the dough. I think everyone can identify the smell of alcohol when a dough or starter is sufficiently fermented. To my understanding, the sour tang of room temperature fermentations are associated with the acids from bacterial fermentation. While it's not obvious to me to what degree each microbe is inhibited by the cold, it seems apparent based on this qualitative observation that the yeast growth is favored, as I detect little to no tang when doing a cold fermentation. There is also the fact that we are usually inoculating the dough with yeast, so they are getting an instant head-start.

Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2021, 11:13:55 AM »
Iím not going to comment on the comment on the microbiological things that occur as there are a lot of people on this forum who are much more qualified on that subject.  However, Iíve tried every imaginable way to ferment a dough ball over the years.

Qualitatively, I prefer:

1. RT sourdough (18-24 hours)
2. RT dry yeast (8-24 hours)
3. CF 48 hours (works well with al taglio)
4. All the other breadmakers preferment techniques.

I most often use #2 because dry yeast is always ready to go on a whim and the results are pretty close to #1.

Hans,

I believe that Craig took the opposite position, as he explained in the opening post of his thread at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41039.msg409555#msg409555

See, in particular, item 3) in the section at Direct byproducts of fermentation and growth.

Peter


Just the opposite. Yeast activity slows to almost nothing in CF, bacteria continues, that's why you get more flavor in the longer cold fermented dough.

Edit: Actually, at temps below 40į both are essentially dormant.

I think the best thing to do would be to just get my hands dirty and try some recipes. Would you guys be willing to share any of your RT recipes? Preferably poolish and sourdough, but any RT recipes would be great. I'd really appreciate it!

Additionally, how does one avoid sour taste in the end product? I remember being put off by a sourdough-based bake a few years ago, and I think that spoiled my appreciation and inclination to use such a dough in the future. Do all sourdough and RT doughs have such an upfront sour tang to them? Because that is something I'd like to avoid.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2021, 11:31:04 AM by TurkeyOnRye »

Offline jsaras

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2021, 12:15:28 PM »
If you use your sourdough culture as a leavening agent dispersed in water (10% or less) and your fermentation temp is 70F and above, you should be getting neutral flavors (a bit yogurty, not vinegary).  If you can hold your fermentation temp in the mid 60s, I've found that to be the sweet spot.   

The sour flavors happen when people use large clumps (25% or more) and use cold fermentation.  I consider this to be a fundamental misunderstanding of how to use a culture, but that's just my opinion.
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Offline HansB

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2021, 12:22:29 PM »
If you use your sourdough culture as a leavening agent dispersed in water (10% or less) and your fermentation temp is 70F and above, you should be getting neutral flavors (a bit yogurty, not vinegary).  If you can hold your fermentation temp in the mid 60s, I've found that to be the sweet spot.   

The sour flavors happen when people use large clumps (25% or more) and use cold fermentation.  I consider this to be a fundamental misunderstanding of how to use a culture, but that's just my opinion.

^^^

I can make bread that does not taste sour at all using a natural starter. Using a young levain at 1:5:5 and 78į gives a very mild flavored end product. If my SD starter is fed every 24 hours it is very acidic, if I feed every 8 hours it's lactic flavored. Every starter is different...
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Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2021, 01:06:27 PM »
If you use your sourdough culture as a leavening agent dispersed in water (10% or less) and your fermentation temp is 70F and above, you should be getting neutral flavors (a bit yogurty, not vinegary).  If you can hold your fermentation temp in the mid 60s, I've found that to be the sweet spot.   

The sour flavors happen when people use large clumps (25% or more) and use cold fermentation.  I consider this to be a fundamental misunderstanding of how to use a culture, but that's just my opinion.

Thanks. By the way, when you say "10%" and "25%", you are referring to the percent of starter to the weight of flour just like any other ingredient, correct?

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Offline jsaras

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2021, 01:28:36 PM »
Thanks. By the way, when you say "10%" and "25%", you are referring to the percent of starter to the weight of flour just like any other ingredient, correct?

Yes.  If you havenít gotten Craigís yeast charts yet, you really should.  Theyíre the ďRosetta stoneĒ for baking IMO.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2021, 02:10:58 PM »
TurkeyOnRye,

Over the years, starting in about 2004, I conducted numerous experiments using the various methods you mentioned. This included the straight dough method, natural preferments (starters), and commercially leavened preferments (such as poolish, biga, sponge, and prefermented aka old dough). I used room temperature fermentation and cold fermentations, alone or in combination. Also, some people combine natural starters and commercial yeast. I even once used a natural preferment that was unrefreshed, and I also made doughs without any added yeast at all.

Of the above methods my overall favorite from the standpoint of flavor and crumb and crust texture was using a natural starter in a room temperature setting. You can see an example at:

Reply 165 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg12644#msg12644

In the case of Reply 165, the preferment was allowed to pre-ferment overnight at room temperature and then combined with the rest of the ingredients the next day. However, it is also possible to use a preferment, such as a poolish, to make a dough that is fermented for several hours at room temperature. You can see an example of this at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6515.msg55855#msg55855

I also made a Papa John's clone dough that was based on using a natural preferment and both cold fermentation and room temperature fermentation but where the room temperature fermentation took place after the cold fermentation. From that experiment, I learned that it may not be a good idea to let such a dough ferment too long. I described my results with the PJ clone dough at Reply 38 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6758.msg60892#msg60892

Preferments can also be made in normal fashion and then combined with other dough ingredients and allowed to cold ferment. A good example of this is a formulation that I helped Norma with to create a NY style dough formulation, which I posted at Reply 149 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9908.msg88687#msg88687

You can read what Norma (and others) felt about that dough formulation in the series of posts starting at Reply 171 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9908.msg89247#msg89247

In your opening post in this thread, you mentioned fermenting a straight dough at room temperature. One of the most interesting and educational experiences I have had on this forum was fermenting a straight dough at room temperature for about 20-24 hours and, in some cases, even longer. The thread where I discussed my experiments can be seen at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7225.msg62332#msg62332

To spare you from having to dig into the thread, you may want to take a look at the post I directed to one of our members (RedSauce) on how little yeast is needed to make a long room temperature fermented dough. That post is at Reply 20 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=68947.msg668091;topicseen#msg668091

I found that the flavors of the crusts of the pizzas that I made reminded me of crusts of pizzas that I made using natural starters. I also found that to be true after conducting another set of experiments that I found immensely interesting and educational, and that was to make doughs that were cold fermented for several days, in some cases, weeks. The thread where I described what I did is at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3985.msg33251#msg33251

Again, to spare you having to slog through the thread, you may want to take a look at a post that I directed to another member (gabaghool) in the way of a summary. That post is at Reply 20 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11344.msg106401#msg106401

Again, you will see that I likened the flavors and textures of the crusts of the various pizzas I made to what I achieved using natural starters. You will also note that most of the crusts had very good crust coloration even though there was no sugar used in any of the formulations. And it was not necessary to use minuscule amounts of yeast or make any other changes outside the normal. The pizzas I made were high on my satisfaction scale. Unfortunately, most people do not want to wait around for many days or weeks to get the results I achieved.

In terms of pros and cons, I believe that a straight dough cold fermented for a few days is the easiest pizza to make to achieve good results so long as sound principles are followed. By contrast, room temperature fermented doughs are subject to potentially wide variations in room temperature, even over a single day and certainly from one season to the next. In many cases I used the poppy seed trick to monitor the development of the doughs, while other members use pluviometers for the same purpose. Natural starters are wonderful but they require attention, much like having a pet, and the different forms can have different DNAs that can lead to different performances.

I belabored a lot of my discussion in this post in large measure to give you an idea of how different doughs behave and perform under different situations. That might allow you to decide in which direction you might now proceed. You might also check the recipes as set forth at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11860.msg110289#msg110289 and also at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8297.msg71576#msg71576 since there are a few that use preferments.

I hope you will share with us whatever you now hope to do going forward.

Peter


Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2021, 02:37:22 PM »
TurkeyOnRye,

Over the years, starting in about 2004, I conducted numerous experiments using the various methods you mentioned. This included the straight dough method, natural preferments (starters), and commercially leavened preferments (such as poolish, biga, sponge, and prefermented aka old dough). I used room temperature fermentation and cold fermentations, alone or in combination. Also, some people combine natural starters and commercial yeast. I even once used a natural preferment that was unrefreshed.

Of the above methods my overall favorite from the standpoint of flavor and crumb and crust texture was using a natural starter in a room temperature setting. You can see an example at:

Reply 165 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg12644#msg12644

In the case of Reply 165, the preferment was allowed to pre-ferment overnight at room temperature and then combined with the rest of the ingredients the next day. However, it is also possible to use a preferment, such as a poolish, to make a dough that is fermented for several hours at room temperature. You can see an example of this at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6515.msg55855#msg55855

I also made a Papa John's clone dough that was based on using a natural preferment and both cold fermentation and room temperature fermentation but where the room temperature fermentation took place after the cold fermentation. From that experiment, I learned that it may not be a good idea to let such a dough ferment too long. I described my results with the PJ clone dough at Reply 38 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6758.msg60892#msg60892

Preferments can also be made in normal fashion and then combined with other dough ingredients and allowed to cold ferment. A good example of this is a formulation that I helped Norma with to create a NY style dough formulation, which I posted at Reply 149 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9908.msg88687#msg88687

You can read what Norma (and others) felt about that dough formulation in the series of posts starting at Reply 171 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9908.msg89247#msg89247

In your opening post in this thread, you mentioned fermenting a straight dough at room temperature. One of the most interesting and educational experiences I have had on this forum was fermenting a straight dough at room temperature for about 20-24 hours and, in some cases, even longer. The thread where I discussed my experiments can be seen at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7225.msg62332#msg62332

To spare you from having to dig into the thread, you may want to take a look at the post I directed to one of our members (RedSauce) on how little yeast is needed to make a long room temperature fermented dough. That post is at Reply 20 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=68947.msg668091;topicseen#msg668091

I found that the flavors of the crusts of the pizzas that I made reminded me of crusts of pizzas that I made using natural starters. I also found that to be true after conducting another set of experiments that I found immensely interesting and educational, and that was to make doughs that were cold fermented for several days, in some cases, weeks. The thread where I described what I did is at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3985.msg33251#msg33251

Again, to spare you having to slog through the thread, you may want to take a look at a post that I directed to another member (gabaghool) in the way of a summary. That post is at Reply 20 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11344.msg106401#msg106401

Again, you will see that I likened the flavors and textures of the crusts of the various pizzas I made to what I achieved using natural starters. You will also note that most of the crusts had very good crust coloration even though there was no sugar used in any of the formulations. And it was not necessary to use minuscule amounts of yeast or make any other changes outside the normal. The pizzas I made were high on my satisfaction scale. Unfortunately, most people do not want to wait around for many days or weeks to get the results I achieved.

In terms of pros and cons, I believe that a straight dough cold fermented for a few days is the easiest pizza to make to achieve good results so long as sound principles are followed. By contrast, room temperature fermented doughs are subject to potentially wide variations in room temperature, even over a single day and certainly from one season to the next. In many cases I used the poppy seed trick to monitor the development of the doughs, while other members use pluviometers for the same purpose. Natural starters are wonderful but they require attention, much like having a pet, and the different forms can have different DNAs that can lead to different performances.

I belabored a lot of my discussion in this post in large measure to give you an idea of how different doughs behave and perform under different situations. That might allow you to decide in which direction you might now proceed. You might also check the recipes as set forth at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11860.msg110289#msg110289 and also at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8297.msg71576#msg71576 since there are a few that use preferments.

I hope you will share with us whatever you now hope to do going forward.

Peter

Fantastic post Peter! I really admire your dedication to documenting your work. It is a great way to learn...and teach. This post should give me plenty to chew on for awhile. Sincerest thanks.  :chef:

Currently I am cold fermenting a poolish recipe (It is a variation on my standard recipe that I shared in the NY forum). Today is day 4 of the ferment and I will very likely be documenting one or more of the bakes in the next few days. That thread or post will likely fall in the NY forum, so keep your eyes peeled if you're interested in the results. Moving forward, I'm very excited about the prospect of experimenting with RT fermentations, and that is something that I will hopefully have more time to do in the next couple weeks. I am also planning on releasing a version 2.0 of my standard recipe too.

Thanks again.  :pizza:

Offline wb54885

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2021, 12:58:44 PM »
Turkey, I also really like the flavor development in a long cold ferment (>5 days) with a direct dough, but I usually lack both the patience and the fridge space to do them at home, where I do NY bakes on steel. In trying to shorten my wait time and lessen my holding space for that flavor development, Iíve put together a workaround method where I use a sourdough starter to make a ďpoolishĒ that spends 12hrs at RT and then goes into the fridge for another 12hrs. The next day, the poolish gets mixed into my final dough along with a small but non-trivial amount of ADY, and my dough is ready to bake 5-6 hours later.

Using mostly bread flour, baking at ~560F on the steel for 6 minutes, I get a savory, slightly funky crust with a shattering crunch. For my tastes, itís what I want from a long CF without the hazards or the potential overpowering flavor of 100% SD, and itís ready the day after I start it instead of a week later.

Peterís post has everything you need to dig in and see whatís possible. Heís done it all. But since you asked for examples, for my part, this is the formula and workflow Iím currently using:

SD Poolish mixed @ 11am

100g KABF
50g KAWW
150g H2O
13g ripe starter

At about 70F, this takes approximately 12 hours to be bubbly and beginning to approach collapse. If my ambient home temp is in the mid-60ís, Iíll bump the starter amount up to 15-20g. It goes in the fridge when itís ready, which means a little bit before itís ready to fall, between 10pm and midnight that night. Because Iím not counting on the SD alone to leaven the dough, Iím a little loose in how long I need it to go. I just want the poolish to be near its height of activity for flavor development, and then it goes to the fridge overnight.

Final dough mixed @ 11am next day

450g KABF
300g poolish
234g H2O
15g olive oil      (2.5%)
13g salt            (2.3%)
8g sugar           (1.3%)
.8-1.2g ADY      (.13-.2%)

Final hydration 64%. Hand-mixed, 30-min rest, then balled. Balls rise at RT until ready, usually 5-6 hrs. I vary the ADY a bit based on temperature, preferably erring on the light side, but as long as I donít go above .2% it works as intended (so far!).

Because the percentage of SD in the final dough is pretty high and adds a proofing punch on top of the ADY, this dough will get close to blowing out past the 7 hour mark at much above 72F. In a colder room, itís been in good shape up to about 8 hours. I built the whole routine around wanting to have pizza night start at 4-5pm the second day, so thereís not a lot of room for waiting around or speeding things up. I get 3 pizzas and some garlic knots out of this recipe, and have been using it in this form for several weeks after spending a couple months tweaking it.

25% of the total flour is prefermented/sourdough, and because itís not a super high inoculation to start (about 1:10:10 in the poolish) it doesnít go too far in the sour direction before refrigeration, like Hans and Jonas mentioned. The SD also has to deal with 1/3 of the poolish flour being whole wheat, which helps a bit to minimize the development of tartness. The 12 hours in the fridge does develop some acidity, but not more than I want. Adding ADY to the final mix the next day ensures that, because I donít have to wait for the SD to leaven the dough by itself, the dough doesnít take so long to proof that the sour flavors can develop too much further and/or that the enzymatic activity can render the dough unworkable.

All in all, the workflow is quite simple, quick, and predictable, and it gives me great crusts in the timeframe Iíve laid out for it. There are many paths to the same end experience of eating pizza with the characteristics you desire. To me, the excitement of dough discovery is all about deciding on a workflow that fits your schedule and adapting your fermentation toolkit to that schedule without sacrificing the qualities youíve decided to aim for. RT fermentation and preferments expand your toolkit, making you a more flexible and inventive baker. Good luck on your quest!
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Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: Poolish vs Straight Ferment. Opinions?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 07:35:10 PM »
Turkey, I also really like the flavor development in a long cold ferment (>5 days) with a direct dough, but I usually lack both the patience and the fridge space to do them at home, where I do NY bakes on steel. In trying to shorten my wait time and lessen my holding space for that flavor development, Iíve put together a workaround method where I use a sourdough starter to make a ďpoolishĒ that spends 12hrs at RT and then goes into the fridge for another 12hrs. The next day, the poolish gets mixed into my final dough along with a small but non-trivial amount of ADY, and my dough is ready to bake 5-6 hours later.

Using mostly bread flour, baking at ~560F on the steel for 6 minutes, I get a savory, slightly funky crust with a shattering crunch. For my tastes, itís what I want from a long CF without the hazards or the potential overpowering flavor of 100% SD, and itís ready the day after I start it instead of a week later.

Peterís post has everything you need to dig in and see whatís possible. Heís done it all. But since you asked for examples, for my part, this is the formula and workflow Iím currently using:

SD Poolish mixed @ 11am

100g KABF
50g KAWW
150g H2O
13g ripe starter

At about 70F, this takes approximately 12 hours to be bubbly and beginning to approach collapse. If my ambient home temp is in the mid-60ís, Iíll bump the starter amount up to 15-20g. It goes in the fridge when itís ready, which means a little bit before itís ready to fall, between 10pm and midnight that night. Because Iím not counting on the SD alone to leaven the dough, Iím a little loose in how long I need it to go. I just want the poolish to be near its height of activity for flavor development, and then it goes to the fridge overnight.

Final dough mixed @ 11am next day

450g KABF
300g poolish
234g H2O
15g olive oil      (2.5%)
13g salt            (2.3%)
8g sugar           (1.3%)
.8-1.2g ADY      (.13-.2%)

Final hydration 64%. Hand-mixed, 30-min rest, then balled. Balls rise at RT until ready, usually 5-6 hrs. I vary the ADY a bit based on temperature, preferably erring on the light side, but as long as I donít go above .2% it works as intended (so far!).

Because the percentage of SD in the final dough is pretty high and adds a proofing punch on top of the ADY, this dough will get close to blowing out past the 7 hour mark at much above 72F. In a colder room, itís been in good shape up to about 8 hours. I built the whole routine around wanting to have pizza night start at 4-5pm the second day, so thereís not a lot of room for waiting around or speeding things up. I get 3 pizzas and some garlic knots out of this recipe, and have been using it in this form for several weeks after spending a couple months tweaking it.

25% of the total flour is prefermented/sourdough, and because itís not a super high inoculation to start (about 1:10:10 in the poolish) it doesnít go too far in the sour direction before refrigeration, like Hans and Jonas mentioned. The SD also has to deal with 1/3 of the poolish flour being whole wheat, which helps a bit to minimize the development of tartness. The 12 hours in the fridge does develop some acidity, but not more than I want. Adding ADY to the final mix the next day ensures that, because I donít have to wait for the SD to leaven the dough by itself, the dough doesnít take so long to proof that the sour flavors can develop too much further and/or that the enzymatic activity can render the dough unworkable.

All in all, the workflow is quite simple, quick, and predictable, and it gives me great crusts in the timeframe Iíve laid out for it. There are many paths to the same end experience of eating pizza with the characteristics you desire. To me, the excitement of dough discovery is all about deciding on a workflow that fits your schedule and adapting your fermentation toolkit to that schedule without sacrificing the qualities youíve decided to aim for. RT fermentation and preferments expand your toolkit, making you a more flexible and inventive baker. Good luck on your quest!

Thank you very much for the detailed recipe and insights. Much appreciated. You've actually incorporated many things into this procedure that I've been considering, such as combining RTF and CF as well as adding a bit of whole wheat flour to the recipe. Looking at other people's blueprints is also helpful.

You all have given me a lot to work with. Thank you.

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