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Author Topic: Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?  (Read 763 times)

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Offline yelloworange

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Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?
« on: March 19, 2021, 02:27:22 AM »
I don't know much about pre-ferments, but I've heard using a poolish adds flavor so I want to try it.

For my typical recipe I do a 3 day cold bulk fermentation, and then ball a few hours before baking. These are the percentages: 70% water, 0.3% IDY, 2% salt, 3% oil, 2% sugar.

For the poolish my plan is to start with all of the water, add an equal amount of flour, and then add 2/3 of my yeast. I will let that sit at room temperature for 4 hours, and then finish making the dough with the remainder of the ingredients.

At that point should I continue with the 3 day cold ferment as normal or should I do a shorter cold fermentation because of the poolish?

Thanks

Offline Yael

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Re: Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2021, 04:01:35 AM »
Hi,

4H for your poolish may not be enough, try more (8 to overnight, and adjust the yeast accordingly). Also, I like to use 50% of the flour (and equal amount of water) so I keep some room for mistake (if the poolish had fermented for too long, I still have the other half of flour to correct the problem).

72H CF may not be that relevant with a preferment as its purpose is to bring flavor/reduce total fermentation time, so after the final mixing you can make same-day RTF or CF (24H, 48H...).

The most complicated thing will be finding the right amount of yeast according to the duration and RT; however the poolish fermenting more or less a few hours will not be a big problem.
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

Offline yelloworange

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Re: Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2021, 04:43:04 AM »
4H for your poolish may not be enough, try more (8 to overnight, and adjust the yeast accordingly). Also, I like to use 50% of the flour (and equal amount of water) so I keep some room for mistake (if the poolish had fermented for too long, I still have the other half of flour to correct the problem).

How do I tell when the poolish is ready and when it is over-fermented? And as a starting point for my experimentation, what yeast percentage do you like to use in your poolish?

Thanks

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2021, 10:05:46 AM »
yelloworange,

You might want to take a look at the Poolish section of the article at:

http://web.archive.org/web/20040814193817/cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food3_apr2004.htm

Unfortunately, the photos in the original article did not make it into the Wayback Machine.

Peter

Offline Yael

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Re: Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2021, 03:07:41 AM »
How do I tell when the poolish is ready and when it is over-fermented? And as a starting point for my experimentation, what yeast percentage do you like to use in your poolish?

Thanks

-over-fermented: like any fermented dough, the poolish will rise/inflate and then deflate. So you'll see dough residues on the sides of the bowl if it happened. But IMO you can still use it (the other 50% of flour will help to correct);
-ready or not: I usually verify with the smell: as long as it's not slightly acidic, I think it's not ready.

Recently, I've been working on a dough using poolish, and we were doing like this:
- phase 1 (poolish)
Flour 50%
Water 50% (= 100% hydration of the poolish)
Yest 0.12%

6 to 8H at 25-27°C (my RT here)

-phase 2 (final mix)
Flour 50%
Water 10% (total 60% hydration)
IDY 0.08% (total 0.2%)
Salt 2 to 2.5%
Oil 3%

Balling, CF overnight, then the next day take the dough out of the fridge 4 to 6H before baking.
The flavor result is quite good.

The link share by Peter is very interesting, you can also start with its suggestions!
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Offline yelloworange

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Re: Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2021, 11:17:10 PM »
Water 10% (total 60% hydration)
IDY 0.08% (total 0.2%)

Thanks. I notice you use a very small amount of total yeast. Is this because the yeast multiplies in the poolish so it counts as more?

I normally use 0.3% IDY for my 3 day CF without poolish. With the poolish I am planning to only do a 24hr CF, so I wasn't sure if I should increase or decrease total yeast. I guess I will stick with 0.3% and see what happens.

Also your hydration is much lower than mine. Is that just your preferred hydration or is that the ideal hydration for a poolish dough?

Offline Yael

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Re: Should I reduce total fermentation time if using a poolish?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 09:13:01 PM »
In France/Italy we widely use CY, and a standard amount in classic Italian pizza dough would be 4g/kg, that's to say 0.4% CY in the formula. As I use IDY, I divide by 3 and get 0.167%. Sometimes I use 0.2%, sometimes 0.1%, sometimes 0.15%... 0.2% IDY would be 0.6% CY, so this would start to be on the high side for me. I always try to stay lower than that and let time operate the magic (lol).

Hydration will depend on the flour; from my experience I just find the dough to be softer (like more hydrated) with a poolish so I lower the HR a little bit (with a classic direct dough with this flour 63% HR is nice, and I get the same dough texture with a poolish at 60% hydration).
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

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