Sourdough Poolish?


Any thoughts on using sourdough starter instead of the Poolish recipe on page 47 of the Pizza bible?

We have sourdough starter we have kept/use for several years, excellent flavor. Would the crust taste like french bread in wood fired Neopolitan , or would there be a better style of pizza?

Thanks
Ted

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Ted Mathiesen
posted over 2 years ago

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I use a starter in all my pizzas, but I don't have a wood fired oven and can't directly answer your question from experience. But: Your oven looks like a (really nice) bread oven, so I don't know whether you're aiming for a true Neopolitan or just using the high retained heat bake, and that makes a difference. And I'd guess that Neopolitan pizzas predate commercial yeast so I'd be optimistic. I'd recommend that you experiment with the recipes. (I know that starter works well in all the other pizzas I've made, even in the deep dish.) For certain, use your starter to start another starter with the flour you're using for the pizza; the flavor of a bread flour is different, the starter contributes a lot of flavor to the dough and you'll want your starter to have the same flavor profile as the pizza flour. I use a 100% hydration starter in my pizzas, and usually aim to use it when it's still on the sweeter side. While my go-to flour for pizza is Tony's 00 from Central Milling, I use other flours for some of the pizzas, and have starters for each of them.

Finally, if you use a wet/liquid starter with the right flour base, your pizza won't taste like French bread.

Adam Sachs
posted over 2 years ago

OK, I will try the starter next time, thanks for the tip.

- Ted   over 2 years ago


It's a matter of preference. In San Francisco, Una Pizza Napoletana uses a starter that, to me, has the flavor profile of a sourdough. Same goes for Varasano's in Atlanta. Both are very well respected pizzerias.

You should try it. Even if it's not exactly what you're looking for, it'll likely be tasty.

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted over 2 years ago


I would definitely try it. I have tried all types of preferments in pizza doughs and breads. It all really depends on what you like and it's all personal preference. No wrong or right. Please let us know and show us some pics of your pies. Nice little oven and thanks for sharing

Tony Gemignani admin
posted over 2 years ago


Looking forward to it, will try for photos.

Ted Mathiesen
posted over 2 years ago


I want to use a Sourdough starter also because of two reasons, one I like the taste, and two, I have the SD on hand all the time for other baking and will not have to wait the 18 hours for Poolish to be ready.
Two questions, do I use the same amount of SD as poolish and do I still need to use yeast

Ron W.
posted over 2 years ago


Ron,

I make almost all my pizzas with a starter, and my take is that it's all relative. For most of the pizzas I've made, I use the same amount of starter as I would use poolish, usually around 20% of the flour weight. My hunch is that Tony would recommend that you also use the same amount of active dry yeast that the recipe calls for. Like Tony said in his post below, it really depends on the flavor and structure you want. Make two doughs side by side, one with just starter, another with starter and ADY and see what you like better. And different starters yield different results. One thing I'd really recommend is that you use the same flour to feed your starter that you use in the dough. The starter gives your dough a lot of flavor and the bread flours taste different than the pizza flours.

Adam Sachs
posted over 2 years ago


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