On Yeasted Preferments
what do you mean by “high protein all purpose?” flour?
I find myself seeking out preferment recipes a lot these days. It's a whole thing, but I have metastatic breast cancer spread into my bones and can't stand for longer than about 15 minutes. Recipes I can do in pieces have been really important in keeping me cooking the way I want to. I just made a preferment for your Pizza al Taglio yesterday
I’m curious now how or why you’d choose a yeasted preferment vs going with a naturally leavened approach. It would seem to give you similar benefits?
I recently started using a Poolish for my breads which are made with home ground whole grain which I use right away after grinding the flour. The Poolish turns out to be particularly helpful in this application, giving this relatively heavy dough a nice lift. I use white all purpose flour for the Poolish and then work it into the liquid phase of the whole wheat dough like you suggest. It makes a noticeable difference in the lightness and airiness of the dough. I agree with you that using the Poolish before it collapses is important, more so in whole wheat applications. Which is a subject I hope you might tackle one of these days.
I need to dig into a couple of books (like Hamelman), but somewhere along the line years ago I'd read that a stiffer/lower hydration preferment supposedly helps with structure (bagels, panettone). Given that the latter is traditionally made with lievito/pasta madre, which can be so stiff that it's formed into coils, I wonder if that's the case?
The descriptions of pre-ferments was really clarifying - thank you! I realize I've been leaving my poolish out too long and not paying enough attention to it's behavior. I've been working on making rustic bread off and on for several years am having another go now at that lifelong goal of making an excellent country loaf like what I buy at Tartine every time I'm near their bakery.
Here's a table I made (doesn't reproduce well in comments:
EFFECTS OF TIME ON DOUGH
Effect Effect on Dough Strength
Proteins link up in the presence of water to form gluten up
Commercial yeast creates carbon dioxide (expanding gas pockets “knead” dough) up
Commercial yeast creates alcohol
Commercial yeast creates flavor precursors
Commercial yeast creates acid up
Wild yeast creates carbon dioxide (expanding gas pockets “knead” dough) up
Wild yeast creates alcohol
Wild yeast creates flavor precursors
Wild yeast creates acid up
Wild bacteria create acid up
Wild bacteria create flavor components
Proteins absorb water (some water released when subjected to heat)
Starch absorbs water (minor effect until subjected to heat)
Enzymes create sugars from broken starches
Enzymes break down proteins down
Back in 2007 I did an experiment testing different amounts of preferment for the BBGA convention.