Making a pizza all starts with the dough and although we have resorted mostly to store-bought pizza dough, we still highly recommend and encourage you to make your own dough at home.
There is a pretty looked-down type of pizza dough because it sounds complex. That is the Poolish Pizza Dough and to be honest with you it is really easy to make.
Poolish refers to a preferment process where you activate the yeast ahead of time. This is usually found in baguettes and most recently, the process has been made with pizza doughs.
It makes a great dough for a loaf of bread and it is not surprising that it can also be a great dough for pizza. Despite this, there are still some misconceptions about the Poolish Dough.
Some may think of it as a sourdough bread but it is a different one. The process might be similar but the yeast that is put in sourdough and Poolish is totally different.
That misconception is due to the fact that Poolish was initially an attempt to recreate sourdough. So in ways, they are similar but Poolish creates a sweeter result with only a hint of sourness.
As you may have guessed, Poolish derived from Polish bakers that were practicing this technique in the 19th century and for some reason, turned to Poolish when it arrived in France.
So as fascinating as the history of Poolish may be, do not get overwhelmed as it is pretty easy to make and you can do this in the comforts of your own home.
Here, we have a simple recipe that you can follow to make your own Poolish Pizza Dough that you can use in the future. Let’s get started!
Easy Poolish Pizza Dough Recipe
Ingredients for the Poolish
– 300 grams of 00 Flour
– 300 grams of Water
– 0.3 grams of Dried Yeast
Ingredients for the Pizza Dough
– 330 grams of 00 Flour
– 70 grams of Water
– 14 grams of Salt
Step 1. Make The Poolish
Combine the 300 grams of 00 Flour, 300 grams of water, and 0.3 grams of Dried Yeast in a bowl. Mix it well and continue to do so until you see consistency in the mixture.
Note that the amount of dried yeast will depend on the temperature of the room. For this one, we assumed the temperature of 30 degrees Celsius so you can change the amount of yeast.
If the room temperature is colder, you can go higher with the amount of yeast that you put into the Poolish mixture.
Step 2. Cover and Proof
Again, just like sourdough, you will need to proof the Poolish so that it can activate the dry yeast in it and let it rise initially before mixing it with the main dough that you will use.
So cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and then let it rest at room temperature for about 8 to 12 hours. You can go longer if you want and it will make the Poolish even better.
If you are planning to cook pizza the following day, then you can do the Poolish dough the night before and let it proof overnight and it will still turn out great.
An indication of a well-proved Poolish dough is the fact that it has doubled in size as well as the bubbles. A well-proved Poolish dough should be covered with bubbles all around it.
Step 3. The Pizza Dough
Mix all the ingredients of the Pizza together in a bowl with the Poolish dough. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave it to rest for an hour at room temperature.
Go back to it after an hour and then flour your working space. Place the dough on the surface and knead it for at least 5 minutes or until the dough is stretchy and smooth.
Cover the dough again and let it rest for another hour. Divide the dough into four equal parts and then cover it again to rest for the last time.
The last proofing time should be around 8 to 10 hours. So let it rest for that amount of time or until it has doubled in size and then shape one ball of dough for a 12-inch pizza.
You can refrigerate the other balls of dough for about a week and use it when you want to make a pizza again.
1. Control the amount of dried yeast that you put in the recipe. This will depend on how hot or how cold the room that you will be resting the dough on.
2. This is a very well-hydrated pizza dough so you might find it hard to knead and shape the first time but it will be easier the next. You can also use flour in the workspace.
3. Go ahead and make the best pizza by adding any topping that you like. We find it best to make a simple cheese and sausage pizza with the Poolish dough as it has a sweet taste to it.
Why Poolish in a Pizza?
Poolish creates a very unique flavor that is actually perfect for pizzas. It is proofed beforehand so the yeast is truly activated which makes it produce more texture and flavor.
As you can see, the ratio of the water to flour in the Poolish dough is 1:1 meaning that the dough has a 100% hydration rate and is an ideal environment for the yeast.
The moisture content of the dough activates the yeast and makes it work faster. The yeast then creates those subtle flavors and textures on the dough making it tastier for longer.
This is where the sweetness of a Poolish dough comes from. It is not too sweet that it ruins other flavors that you want to put in your pizza, plus it has a little bit of tanginess and sourness.
Proofing Dough at a Shorter Period of Time
One amazing feature of the Poolish Dough is that it has all the characteristics of a dough that has been proofed for a long time but the Poolish dough does not take as much time.
So you get all the quality, taste, and texture of a long proofed dough in a Poolish dough that was made within just one day. So if you want a bit of tanginess and sour, then make a Poolish dough.
That is why Poolish dough is perfect for people who do not have as much time to spare. The process is pretty easy and the steps that take long do not require you to keep an eye on the dough.
Telling When The Poolish Is Ready
There are a lot of ways where you can tell whether the Poolish dough is ready or not. One way is to look at the glass that you put it in and see if there are bubbles all over it.
That is why it is best to make Poolish dough in a clear bowl or better yet, make it in a glass. This way, you will see how much it has risen and if it has doubled.
One technique that we do is we make the Poolish dough on a glass and then mark the outside of the glass on where the dough starts with a marker or by wrapping it with a rubber band.
From there, you will see how much the Poolish dough has risen from the marker. So if it has peaked or doubled in size, that is when you can tell that it is ready to be used.
How Much Poolish Dough Do You Need?
The more Poolish dough you put in pizza dough, the more airy the crust will be. So if you put less, the pizza dough will be compact and sometimes too rubbery.
That is why it is advised that you put 20% to 50% of the Poolish in pizza dough. This means that around 1/5 or a half of the total weight of the pizza dough should come from the Poolish.
Going under that average will make a pizza crust that is pretty chewy but not too crunchy and going over half of it will make the crust too light and airy which might not support the toppings.
If you are looking for the perfect crust for your pizza, then we suggest that you try Poolish dough on your pizza dough to make it light and crispy.
Poolish dough is almost like sourdough but without the sour taste. You get to enjoy a unique flavor from the activated yeast and texture, unlike any other dough.
It is pretty easy to make so if you just follow the recipe above, you will be having the best Poolish Pizza Dough soon enough. The secret is to keep on making one at home.
This way, you will get to know where you went wrong, what to add, what to remove, and eventually make the perfect Poolish Pizza Dough after a few tries.
Making your pizza at home might take a lot of time compared to just ordering or eating in a restaurant but we still think the homemade pizza is the best option.
You get to control the flavor, the amount, and the texture of your pizza. So go ahead and try the recipe above and see that it will surely be better than the takeaway pizza that you have nearby!
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