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Lazy man's poolish/biga - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Lazy man's poolish/biga

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  • Lazy man's poolish/biga

    I have a batch of whole wheat toasting bread going, which I am using to test how long it takes to do a pre-fermentation such as a poolish or biga. Last night, it took about 60 seconds -- I timed it. :-)

    Most bread books say that you should let a pre-fermatation run for 3-4 hours, then refrigerate. My theory is that you start the poolish when you are doing the dishes, just before going to bed, and let it sit all night. You can either finish it in the morning, or put it in the refrigerator then to be finished later.

    It's dead simple. Put 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of water, plus 1/4 teaspoon of yeast in a mixer for a couple of minutes. Use the mixing beater, not the dough hook. Throw in the ingredients and mix for less than one minute until you get something that looks like pancake batter. That's it. Mix it, cover it, and just let it sit overnight. Nothing to clean.

    This morning, I got up to see a bubbling batter, which I have finished into bread. It is so easy to do, and makes much better bread. For the pre-ferment, you don't have to take the measurements very seriously. Good for late night accuracy.

    Give it a try. Lazy and good. Not bad.
    James
    Last edited by james; 03-02-2006, 11:43 PM.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Another Sponge

    James,

    Your sponge idea sounds really good and certainly easy. I'll give it a try. The late night, error free part is appealing. Here's another one I've been using for quite a while. Got it from baking911.com in the Perfect Wheat Starter & Bread Recipe:

    1 cup milk or buttermilk
    1 cup water
    1 Tbs packed brown sugar
    2 pkgs. active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
    1 cup wheat flour (hard, stone ground, if possible)

    Combine the milk and water in an 8 cup batter bowl. Heat in microwave to 100 F. Stir in sugar until dissolved, then sprinkle yeast over the top. When the yeast softens, stir it into the mixture. Stir in 1 cup wheat flour until completely combined. Cover and let sit 1-2 hours. It will rise, then begin to collapse. When it collapses, it's ready to go. In practice, I find the process takes about an hour, but this will depend on how fresh the yeast is. Makes enough sponge for two 8x4 loaves. This one really works, and, more often than not, I use buttermilk or buttermilk powder.

    Jim
    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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