Author Topic: Using old dough to start a preferment?  (Read 2539 times)

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Offline djones148

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Using old dough to start a preferment?
« on: April 28, 2009, 11:15:31 PM »
I've heard of the "old dough" technique (sometimes called pâte fermentée), where a sizable portion of a dough batch is saved and used to start the dough the next time. However, I was wondering if there would be any benefits from saving just a small piece of dough, and using that to start a Poolish or other preferment for the next batch of bread in lieu of the small amount of commercial yeast typically used. 

Do you guys think any flavor benefits would be derived from this? The only time I've seen a this type of technique used was in a bread recipe from Steve Sullivan of Acme in San Francisco, which he called  "Mixed-starter bread". It was published in Julia Child's "Baking with Julia."

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Using old dough to start a preferment?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 10:33:48 AM »

I found the mixed-starter method discussed at this website: (see also the link to a related PBS video with Steve Sullivan and Julia Child). After reading about the method, I see no reason why it couldn't be used to make pizza dough. However, without actually trying the method, it is not clear what the final crust would be like. I have discovered that some dough formulations and techniques adapted from bread making can lead to a finished pizza crust that has flavors and/or textures that, while I might like them in a bread, I do not particularly favor in a pizza crust. But I love learning about the biochemistry and physics of the bread doughs/techniques. That is usually enough for me to do some experimenting. To date, I have used the old dough, poolish/sponge and biga preferments and, of these, I have tended to favor the poolish/sponge preferments, mainly because of their ease of use and reliability.