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Author Topic: poolish vs biga  (Read 2964 times)

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Offline PizzaioloFinlandese

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Re: poolish vs biga
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2022, 09:55:50 AM »
So, in the 100% version, thereís no other flour?   How is it poolish then (since youíre not combining it with more flour later on)?  Isnít that just THEEE pizza dough, then?

Maybe Iím misunderstanding something.

"100% poolish" sometimes refers to a dough where all the water is put in the poolish (meaning no water is added later on when you knead the final dough). With poolish there is always some flour added when the final dough is prepared meaning that only a fraction of the flour gets prefermented. This prefermentation is typically shorter than the fermentation of long bigas.

I've made a couple of 100% bigas where all the flour goes through the prefermentation step. In fact, those were my favourite pizzas so far. This won't necessarily mean that 100% biga would make a superior pizza. It just means that all the requirements and conditions for making a delicious pizza were met in that particular dough.

 You can definitely make a perfect dough with either poolish, biga or 'metodo diretto'. You just need to find the correct combination of parameters such as time, temperature, amount of yeast, hydration and the type of flour for the method of your choice.  If you are not careful the 100% (long) biga may become overfermented in which case the taste may become a bit unpleasant, dough can become difficult to handle and the gluten is no more capable to hold gas in an optimal way. When you nail the process the dough prepared with biga is going to be very elastic, able to hold large bubbles and easy to stretch. It has a nice, slightly nutty note that adds to the depth of flavor. When using biga, remember to mix it in a proper way. Even if biga is not intended to be mixed, you need to mix it slightly so that the the dryish clumps become consistent in nature and there is not much visible, dry flour. Loose flour or dough that has dried to the sides of the containers will later form dry lumps that can be difficult to get rid of. If this happens to you, don't throw the dough away. It will still make a pizza.

With proper amount of mixing and fermentation time it is possible to knead a dough from biga even by hand. Anyway, poolish is easier because it takes less effort to incorporate flour to a wet dough/poolish than it takes to incorporate water to a dry-ish dough/biga. Poolish, which is more hydrated tends to ferment more vigorously. Even with poolish, you need to experiment and find the proper conditions in order to make an optimal dough.

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