Poolish is understood as a French preferment although some say that the word "Poolish" has its origins in Vienna where it was a method used by Polish bakers.
The poolish style preferment is the most common approach used by enthusiasts and professional bakers alike, mainly because its high hydration allows the yeast to propagate at a constant pace.
- 200g Motherdough
- 150g flour
- 217g water, filtered, at room temperature
- Blitz the Motherdough with the water in a liquidiser or using a stick blender, transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the flour and mix well to fully incorporate into a paste with no lumps
Once mixed, a poolish style preferment will be ready to use in about 12-18 hours, assuming an ambient room temperature of 18-20°C (note the time affects of temperature change explained below)
- The poolish will have a similar appearance to a bubbly levain starter that is ready for use.
NB: For every 9°C your room temperature raises or drops from a baseline of 20 deg. C, the yeast activity will be doubled or cut in half, taking the yeast half the time or twice the time respectively to achieve the same amount of fermentation.
Now that we are entering summer you may need to ferment your poolish at room temperature for only a few hours and then transfer to the fridge. The warmer weather causes an increase in enzyme activity which may interfere with the gluten structure of your dough and cause it to collapse or break apart.