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    Poolish — French Preferment

    From what I have read, poolish is a French term for Polish, in honor of the Polish bakers who introduced
    the process to the French. This could be an urban legend for all I know.

    This poolish recipe calls for a mixture of equal parts water and flour plus a little yeast.
    The purpose of using a poolish, like using a biga, is to have a portion of the bread dough
    that has already undergone some of the fermentation, it is a pre-ferment.
    In other words, it is a portion of the fermentation that has preceded the making of the main dough.
    My experience is that a poolish activates quicker than does a biga, but runs out of steam quicker, too.


    Ingred Ounces Grams
    Bread Flour 10 285
    Water 10 285
    Dry Yeast 1/4 tsp 1


    1. It’s mixed up into a loose slurry and then allowed to sit, covered, on the counter for one of three periods of time:
    2. Overnight. If you do this, be sure that the container is large enough to contain the expanded poolish.
    3. My poolishes routinely pop the top off a Tupperwear container with air pressure, and sometimes overflow the container.
    4. 2 or 3 hours, then it can be used.
    5. 1/2 hour, then placed in the refrigerator overnight.

    How you do them is up to you.

    Here we go:

    Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image.
    Click on the large image to return to the discussion.

    Poolish French pre-ferment ingredients. Poolish French pre-ferment weighing water. Poolish French pre-ferment weighing flour. Poolish French pre-ferment mixing.
    Poolish French pre-ferment after 2 minutes mixing. Poolish French pre-ferment close-up. Poolish French pre-ferment after developing for 30 minutes. Poolish French pre-ferment after 30 more minutes.

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