BIGA/POOLISH vs Fresh Yeast


Why use biga/polish? Why not just use fresh yeast and be done with it?

What are the benefits of doing this extra step of pre-ferment instead of just making dough the same old way with just yeast?

Cindy C.
posted 4 months ago

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I have been trying to work that out myself ! I have been very happy with the fresh yeast fermentation I have been using for years, but I must admit there is a slightly more complex flavour to pizza with starter. It's not a lot of extra work, but does add a bit of depth and possibly digestability (if thats a word). I am going to experiment with yeast versus starter on the weekend and see if there is a notable difference

Angus Y.
posted 4 months ago

Hey Angus,
Thanks for responding. I'm the same. I've just used fresh yeast the whole time and let dough prove 24 48hrs before using it.

I'm going to try poolish this weekend too. Lets see how it goes.😊

- Cindy   4 months ago


Are you using a regular oven or woodfired ?

Angus Y.
posted 4 months ago

Unfortunately I'm testing it on a gas oven that goes to 300 degrees celcius max.

- Cindy   4 months ago

Good to know about the oil in dough. I've always used Le5stagioni. I've been playing around with caputo red & blue too.
Because I'll be working in a pizza shop that has a gas conveyor oven that reaches 300 degrees (c). I've had to try come up with a good dough. I'm hearing that brown sugar gives the browning affect.

I usually use 1kg flour, 1gram fresh yeast. Let the mass dough rise 30min -1hr. Then ball individually. Let the balls rise for 6hrs, then refrigerate 24hrs.

- Cindy   4 months ago


I normally use a dough made from 1 kg of caputo red with about 2g of fresh yeast 600ml water and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Its not true Neo as I use oil in the dough, but I find the oil makes it a bit more forgiving. I usually cook it in a woodfired oven which puffs it up etc, but I also find it great just to whack it in a hot gas oven, preferably fan forced. You might not get leopard skin crust, but you do get a stiffer pizza which is easier to hold.

Angus Y.
posted 4 months ago


I've been making pizza for the last 15 years and have only recently (last few years) started using a pre-ferment. I must say, it makes a *huge* difference. Given how easy it is, it's well worth it.

I've noticed two key differences: First, dough made with a poolish is easier to work with, and second, there's a noticeable difference in flavor. It's complex, but not sour.

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted 4 months ago


Do you use yeast aswell or just the poolish ?

Angus Y.
posted 4 months ago

I'm curious on Raj's response to using yeast as well.
So far from what I've seen on internet, you use yeast and poolish wish also contains yeast.

This is what I saw on internet.
Ingredients without poolish.
500 grs flour
300ml water
1/2 teaspoons dry yeast.

Ingredients with poolish
450 grs flour
250 mls water
1/8 dry yeast (pinch of yeast)

Poolish is 1:1
50 grs flour
50 mls water.

See what Raj mentions.

- Cindy   4 months ago


I experimented myself and compared the poolish neopolitan dough with no added yeast, versus my standard neo dough with 2g yeast. In proofing, the starter based dough rose more than the yeast based dough. Watching that poolish bubble with excitement clearly suggested there was enough activity to not add extra yeast.

In conclusion they were similIar outcomes with slightly different flavour.

Angus Y.
posted 4 months ago

That's great to know the outcome was similar in taste.
So, instead of making poolish with yeast and also adding yeast to dough later, there's no need. You just added yeast to your poolish and no yeast to flour?

Did you then let your dough rise room temp for a while and then place in refrigerator for next 24hrs?

- Cindy   4 months ago


Yes I treated the two doughs the same.
It was surprising that the poolish dough with no extra yeast expanded more than the yeast dough.
They both worked well

Angus Y.
posted 4 months ago

Great to know Angus. There are so many different ways people are making pizza dough these days. I guess everyone finds their own methods. Good old pizza world 😁

- Cindy   4 months ago


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