Baker's Quantities and Starter

I'm sure I'm being incredibly naïve, but I've got to ask anyway. Today I made Neapolitan-style dough using the baker's quantities listed on page 302 of The Pizza Bible. When I added my poolish though (20% weight) the dough was way too wet, to the point of being easier to pour than to pick up. I know in the book it says to adjust the recipe to account for the flour in the poolish, but I suspect I also need to account for the water in the poolish. Here are the quantities I used, given in grams:

Caputo Flour: 1077.3
Water: 667.9
Salt: 21.6
Dry Yeast 11.9
Poolish: 215.5

If I account for the flour and water in the poolish the quantities become more like:
Flour: 920.2
Water: 570.4

Is that what I should be doing? Again, I'm sorry to be asking such a stupid question.

Dean T.
posted almost 5 years ago

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Hi Dean,

No need to apologize, and not a stupid question by any means. Just opened up a spreadsheet and played around with the numbers. Here's how I looked at it:

1,077.3 grams (Caputo flour) + 107.75 grams (poolish flour) = 1,185.05 grams
667.9 grams (water) + 107.75 grams (poolish water) = 775.65 grams

775.65 grams /1,185 grams (total water / total flour) = 65.4% hyrdation

I'm not quite sure about the second set of numbers (920.2 grams and 570.4 grams), but the first set looks fine.

If you could, please add a picture of your dough to your original post. You can hit the edit button and upload image(s). This will help us troubleshoot.


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Raj Irukulla admin
posted almost 5 years ago

Hi Raj,
Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of the dough, but I will next time if I have a problem. The second set of numbers are what I think the weight of the flour and water should be without the poolish ingredients. If I use the second set of numbers, and add the poolish (107.75 flour & 107.75 flour) then I suspect that should give me the 62% hydration in the book.
I've got another poolish fermenting tonight, so I'm going to try to make the dough accounting for both flour AND water in the poolish and see how it comes out. I'll keep you posted. I'm working on getting this formula into an Excel spreadsheet, where you enter the number of dough balls you want to make and the ingredient weights are calculated for you. I'll let you know how it works. Thank you VERY much for your help.

- Dean   almost 5 years ago

Oops! I totally goofed. I was thinking of the Master Dough recipe which has a 65% hydration. Let me take another pass at your numbers. :-)

- Raj   almost 5 years ago

Raj I think I have it, using an example 1020.6 grams of flour:
Water: 530.1 grams
Salt: 18.4 grams
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 grams
Poolish Flour: 102.1 grams
Poolish Water: 102.1 grams

This should yield dough with 62% hydration.

- Dean   almost 5 years ago

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