Tips To Make Poolish Recipe Reddit Simple

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Hey breadit fam! Today, we’re diving deep into the wonderful world of poolish, a secret weapon in the arsenal of any aspiring baker. This pre-ferment technique takes your bread to the next level, adding flavor, texture, and that oh-so-satisfying oven spring. Whether you’re a seasoned sourdough enthusiast or a curious newbie, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about poolish, from the science behind it to achieving the perfect loaf.

What is Poolish?

Neapolitan Pizza with % Poolish : r/neapolitanpizza
Neapolitan Pizza with % Poolish : r/neapolitanpizza

Poolish is a simple dough pre-ferment made with flour, water, and a touch of yeast. Unlike a starter, which captures wild yeasts from the air, poolish uses a small amount of commercial yeast for a more controlled rise. The dough is left to rest for an extended period, typically 12-20 hours, allowing natural yeasts and enzymes to break down complex sugars in the flour. This process creates a complex flavor profile, enhances gluten development for a chewier crumb, and produces beautiful air pockets for that coveted rise.

The Science Behind Poolish

The magic of poolish lies in the power of fermentation. As the dough rests, several things happen:

Yeast Activity: The small amount of yeast feeds on the sugars in the flour, producing carbon dioxide gas and small amounts of alcohol. These contribute to the rise and flavor of the final bread.

  • Enzyme Breakdown: Enzymes naturally present in the flour break down complex starches into simpler sugars that are readily available for the yeast. This increases sugar availability, leading to a more pronounced fermentation effect.
  • Acidity Development: During fermentation, lactic acid is produced by bacteria naturally present in the flour. This acid strengthens gluten, contributes to flavor complexity, and helps improve bread shelf life.

  • Poolish vs. Levain vs. Biga

    While all three are pre-ferment methods, each has its distinct characteristics:

    Poolish: High hydration (around 70%), short mixing time, moderate fermentation time (12-20 hours), creates a light and airy crumb with a slightly tangy flavor.

  • Levain (Sourdough Starter): Captures wild yeasts and bacteria, requires longer fermentation times (days), imparts a more pronounced sour flavor, promotes a denser crumb.
  • Biga: Similar to poolish but uses a lower hydration level (around 55-60%), longer fermentation times (up to 48 hours) and produces a richer, chewier crumb with a slightly sweet flavor.

  • The Poolish Recipe: It’s Easier Than You Think!

    Here’s what you’ll need to create your own poolish:


    100 grams Bread Flour

  • 70 grams Water (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast

  • Instructions:

    1. In a large bowl, combine flour, water, and yeast. Mix with a spoon or your hands until just combined. There’s no need for rigorous kneading at this stage.
    2. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let it rest at room temperature for 12-20 hours.

    Signs of a Ready Poolish:

    The poolish will have doubled or tripled in volume.

  • The surface will be dotted with small bubbles.
  • The dough will have a slightly puffy and foamy texture.

  • Making Bread with Poolish

    Once your poolish is ready, you can use it in your favorite bread recipe! Here’s a general guideline:

    1. Autolyse: Combine the flour and water from your main dough recipe in a bowl. Let it rest for 30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb water.
    2. Incorporate Poolish: Add the poolish and any additional ingredients from your recipe (salt, oil, etc.) to the autolyse mixture.
    3. Knead and Bulk Fermentation: Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Follow the bulk fermentation time specified in your main recipe.
    4. Shaping, Proofing, and Baking: Shape the dough, proof it until doubled in size, and bake according to your recipe’s instructions.

    Nutrition Facts (per 100g)

    While the exact nutritional value will vary depending on the flour used, here’s a general estimate:

    Calories: 340

  • Carbohydrates: 70g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Fiber: 2g

  • Conclusion