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Author Topic: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)  (Read 910 times)

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Offline TangoDancer

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Some recipes which use Biga and Poolish (Elements of Pizza/Pizza Bible) have instructions on making the final dough which I find a bit puzzling.  In the Pizza Bible it says to add additional dry yeast to the flour/starter mixture when making the dough and in TEOP, there is no addition of dry yeast.  Trying to think this through on my own, I can't see the benefit of adding dry yeast to the mixture with Biga/Poolish added already.  Seems like there would be enough yeast cells in the starter so that dry yeast would not be necessary to add again.   The advantage of adding additional dry yeast might be to provide a faster rise as you're well...adding more yeast cells.  As I look at a few other recipes, most do not add additional yeast.

Part of my reason for asking is that I seek a great tasting pizza, but also simplicity.  If I can eliminate the rehydration and additional step of yeast addition, it's one less thing to do.  I haven't done a bench trial as of yet, but thought I'd ask here as others might have pondered this as well.

thanks


Online scott r

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Re: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2020, 10:51:00 PM »
if your using your biga/poolish at the right time, and you dont mind waiting longer for your dough to be at its peak of fermentation, you dont have to add more yeast.    It will work perfectly fine with the single addition.   Good luck and have fun!

Offline Rolls

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Re: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 10:49:52 AM »
TangoDancer,

I have also wondered the same thing and there don't appear to be any hard and fast rules as to whether any additional yeast should be added to the final dough mix when using a preferment.  I've also seen recipes from reputable sources that use either method.  One thing that I've noticed however, is that if additional yeast is added, the amount used is based only on the REMAINING flour in the dough mix, not on the TOTAL flour weight in the formula.  Another thing is that malt is often added to the final mix to help with crust coloration.  When I'm using a preferment, I just follow the specific formula and workflow of an established recipe.  I've had success both with and without the addition of yeast in the final mixing stage.  A side-by-side "bench trial" should give you some definitive answers.


Rolls
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Offline Arnaud

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Re: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2021, 03:21:57 PM »
Hi Rolls. 
I am having the same question as you had.  Is additional yeast required after mixing dough with the Biga.  And like you I have seen reputable chefs doing it both ways.   
Have you learnt anything more and would you now advise adding additional yeast or just using the Biga only?
Thanks, Arnaud

Online scott r

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Re: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2021, 03:34:17 PM »
Biga alone works fine.  If you want your pizza sooner add yeast. There is no better or difference if you time things properly.  To add or not is just about how much time you want to spend waiting for your dough to proof.

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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2021, 03:39:48 PM »
I think you'll find the biga a fermentation bomb, a biga based dough can move really fast!
Jack

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Offline Rolls

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Re: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2021, 08:29:38 PM »
Hi Rolls. 
I am having the same question as you had.  Is additional yeast required after mixing dough with the Biga.  And like you I have seen reputable chefs doing it both ways.   
Have you learnt anything more and would you now advise adding additional yeast or just using the Biga only?

Hi Arnaud,

As mentioned in my older post, there really aren't any rules set in stone regarding the use of additional yeast in the final mix.  Even in the recipes of Piergiorgio Giorilli, some require additional yeast while others don't.  The important thing to consider is that the final dough reaches an optimal level of fermentation when it's ready for baking. If your final product hits the trifecta of proper visual appeal, taste and texture, you'll know that your formula and workflow are on point, irrespective of whether or not any additional yeast was used.

My suggestion is still to follow the formula and workflow of an established source.  In my own personal baking, I use biga mostly in bread dough and add some yeast in the final dough mix based on the REMAINING flour weight in the formula.


Rolls 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 05:26:01 AM by Rolls »
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Offline drainaps

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Re: Biga/Poolish & the *Additional* addition of dry yeast (or not)
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2021, 02:32:38 AM »
Boosting your dough with some yeast is technically not necessary, but it gives the dough predictability, something that both the occasional and the professional baker might need.

Whereas commercial yeast always works like clockwork and there are minor deviations in proofing unless you've made mistakes with your recipe, starters are far more finicky.

 In the starter world, 1+1 is not always 2. It might even be a lot less than 2 if you don't know your starter well. Book recipes for starter doughs are always a good guess at how to help a less experienced baker get the results he needs, in a way.

 In the commercial yeast world, 1+1 is  always bigger than 2, you always have that extra horsepower under your foot to get you there on time.

In a bakery (less so in a pizza shop) you can always  handle a bad day with your starter by managing temperatures. You have the equipment and that, when you make bread and pizza doughs, is a huge advantage. It's far more difficult to do at home.

In conclusion, lacing your biga dough with some commercial yeast will give it predictability and additional horsepower, without greatly affecting taste if you keep the dosage low. It's your call as a baker / pizzaiolo to do so. If you're experienced, it's never a yes or a no, it's always a maybe.

 It's exactly like the pilot who loads extra fuel for the flight because he has flown the route many times and he knows in today's weather it might be helpful.

Hope this helps.


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