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Author Topic: Poolish Experiment with Question!  (Read 164 times)

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Offline Mpennacchia

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Poolish Experiment with Question!
« on: November 07, 2019, 09:15:28 PM »
Hi everyone! Recently I conducted an experiment making poolish with a couple different methods.

They both had the same hydration.

165g water
50g whole wheat
115g caputo 00 pizzeria flour

Poolish (A) had 0.5g of active dry yeast (I used a mg scale)
Poolish (B) has 5g sour dough starter

I fermented both @ room temp (around 66°f) for a full 24 hours.

After the 24hr preferment, I made dough with them and immediately put in the fridge to cold proof for 24hrs-48hrs. (Ate one after 24hrs, then ate the next the following day).

I noticed the gluten in Poolish (A) didn't break down as much, it created a strong dough with good flavor. The first ball of dough with this one sat out for 7 hours at room temp (again, 66°) and it didn't have much air in it. It didn't seem to proof as much as it needed to. It was difficult to open, too.

The second ball of dough from Poolish (A) was placed in my bread proofer @ 73° for just under 7 hours. This one had a lot more air in it. It was easier to open and created a beautiful crust. (See attached) (will also add the sourdough poolish pizza)

The dough I made with Poolish (B)  was a lot different for some reason. The dough stayed a lot tackier, the gluten wasn't really forming well no matter how much kneading I did. Both pizzas I made with it resulted in a good flavor, a nice slight tang, but neither rose quite like the Poolish (A) dough did. I've also had many doughs made with the main sour dough starter culture that rose very nicely. I was trying to push fermentation longer with such a small amount of starter in the "Poolish (B)" to get maximum flavor but it seems to have had diminishing returns.

My question is, why did the two poolish behave so differently? Is 0.5g active dry yeast going to ferment significantly slower than 5g sourdough starter?

A couple of important notes. The dough with Poolish (A) ONLY used water from the poolish.

Poolish
165g water
50g whole wheat
115g caputo 00
0.5g active dry yeast

Added to the poolish:

110g caputo 00
6g fine sea salt

Overall hydration: 60%

Here are the stats for the dough with Poolish (B):

Poolish
165g water
50g whole wheat
115g caputo 00
5g sourdough starter

Added to the poolish:

125g caputo 00
20g water
6g fine sea salt

Overall hydration: 63%

Thanks everyone!

Online The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
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Re: Poolish Experiment with Question!
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 08:28:25 PM »
Unless the whole-wheat flour was malted the poolish with ADY most likely ran out of nutrient for the yeast after around 6-hours while the poolish with the sourdough starter was based on bacterial fermentation, not yeast fermentation so it didn't need a source of amylase enzyme to convert starch to sugars for the yeast to feed upon during the fermentation period. In essence you were comparing apples to watermelons since the mechanism for fermentation between the two tests/doughs is so different. The stickiness of the sourdough fermented dough was due to the acidity of the dough which breaks down the protein rendering a weaker or very poor gluten film depending upon the quality of the protein in the flour being used.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Poolish Experiment with Question!
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 08:40:45 PM »
Tom,

Out of curiosity would the whole wheat flour slow down the fermentation process because it takes longer to be hydrated?

Peter

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Re: Poolish Experiment with Question!
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 08:54:33 PM »
Peter;
Good point!
It takes about 45-minutes for whole-wheat flour to fully hydrate so both experiments should have been on an even footing BUT if the dough absorption was NOT optimized for the inclusion of the whole-wheat flour you are correct in that it might have been sufficiently low in absorption to to exhibit an inhibiting effect on the rate of fermentation in the dough made with the yeast. We typically do not see much of an inhibiting effect due to low absorption when sourdough starters are used due to the nature of the bacteria as opposed to yeast cells.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Poolish Experiment with Question!
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 09:15:04 PM »
Tom,

Thank you for that explanation. I was never a big user of whole wheat for pizza dough so I wasn’t sure what it would do.

But following up on your reply, I calculated a value of 1.7% for the poolish B starter as a percent of the total formula flour. That value presumes that the starter is 50% flour and 50% water by weight. Mpennachia said that he fermented the dough at 66 degrees F for 24 hours. When I went to Craig’s chart at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22649.0 and plugged in those two numbers, the chart said that it would take around 39 hours (between 38 and 41 hours) to get the optimum fermentation. So, maybe the dough didn’t ferment long enough and then the dough was cold fermented, further slowing down the fermentation process. I would think that the slowdown, along with the effects of the whole wheat flour, may have contributed to the problems that Mpennachia mentioned. Does that sound right?

Peter

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Offline Mpennacchia

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Re: Poolish Experiment with Question!
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 10:32:45 PM »
Tom,

Thanks for the input. Sounds like the level of acidity was too great in the dough with Poolish (B) which caused the protein breakdown. Since the poolish was such a High % of the dough, the overall strength of the dough was significantly reduced. So it wasn't actually over- fermentation via the yeast that caused the issue.

Would it be a safe assumption that if the poolish was a lower % of the final dough, the strength would have been a bit more balanced?

Seeing that I didn't have an issue with the dough from Poolish (A) after giving it a slightly warmer fermentation via the temp controlled proofer, I'd say the acidity was the true culprit to poor performance of the dough made with Poolish (B). I never knew that the acidity of sourdough breaks down the protein- guess it's a double whammy when you have the yeast feeding and the acidity breaking stuff down.

Makes sense that the dough wasn't forming a good gluten network with Poolish B.


Thanks again!

@ Peter, I think you've motivated me to check out Craig's charts. I've taken a quick look but haven't really put them to practice yet.

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Re: Poolish Experiment with Question!
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 11:06:50 PM »
Your assumption is absolutely correct. In commercial bread making where sponges rule the game we do essentially this very thing by adjusting the percent of the total flour in the sponge to balance the desired dough/finished product characteristics. For example, when making white pan bread a 70/30 sponge dough system is typically used since it provides a good balance of dough handling properties and dough strength needed to withstand the mechanical shock/impacts encountered when the fully proofed dough in conveyed to the oven for baking while still providing a finished loaf with all of the desired finished product characteristics. Hamburger buns, on the other hand, are typically made using an 80/20 sponge dough process (80% of the total flour is in the fermented sponge), this is because in the production of hamburger buns a very soft and extensible dough is needed to provide the desired symmetrical shape and since the dough is not proofed to the height of a bread dough it is less prone to mechanical shock damage (generally defined as collapse) than dough used for white pan bread production.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Mpennacchia

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Re: Poolish Experiment with Question!
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 09:06:22 AM »
Thanks for your help in explaining, Tom! This is great to know for future dough batches.

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