Poolish Dough Pizza Crust

Poolish preferment for making pizza dough.
Poolish Dough Pizza Crust

Poolish Dough Pizza Crust

By Sue Lau | Palatable  Pastime

This month for Bread Bakers, the group has gone a little bit geeky by doing breads with preferments and starters, such as sourdough, biga, poolish, and soakers.  And what is a preferment, exactly?

A preferment is a mother dough with a batter-like consistency, which is prepared ahead and adds a little fermentation to the dough.  The preferment is a little different from something like a sourdough starter, because the starter can be kept a very long time,  and also needs to be fed to continue its life. The preferment is much shorter in nature, and not meant to be kept.

I am sure you all are familiar with sourdough…mmm….I love the tangy taste! Another thing I like is a bit of a tang in the pizza dough. And I do like to play around a bit with aging my dough under refrigeration, to give it some  extra flavor as the yeast devours the sugars and does what anyone eating too much of that kind of thing does: the little yeasties get a bad case of gas. And those little bubbles give us that raised dough we all love.

The poolish that I prepared in this recipe is slightly different from  doing extra aging in that it is kind of like a quick starter, one that can be done in the better part of a day without much effort at all. You just need to have about 6-18 hours to do it in. And the time on that varies due to a few  factors, one of them being the ambient room temperature.

Mixed and placed in a jar, the yeast will eat the sugar, expel gas and rise. You can tell when the poolish is ready- you will see all the little bubbles within the mixture, and it will rise until like a helium balloon set free to the wilds, eventually starts to come down.
Poolish Dough Pizza Crust
It’s not really a big deal to figure out the exact timing on it for coinciding  with your pizza. Once the poolish is ready to go, it is best to mix it with the dough ingredients, bag it up, and refrigerate it if you aren’t going to use it right then and there. Mine  came a little too late for dinner so I refrigerated it overnight and took it out  the next day, allowing it plenty of time to warm to room temperature and also relax.

The tenseness of a dough will make it hard to roll out. If you ever roll out a beautiful pizza crust and find it curling back up into a ball, just walk away and leave it alone for awhile. Like a pouting child, giving it a time-out will allow it to calm down and behave.

If by then for some reason too much time has passed to have it as part of the meal you had planned, you can always par-bake the crust and freeze it for later. With a few tries you will get perfect timing on it and won’t have to worry too much. But why should you even bother with it at all? Well, mixing the poolish only takes a couple of minutes, then it sits by itself. Any of the time consuming and temperamental dough issues will  come up with any kind of pizza dough.

Poolish for pizza dough will  comprise  about ten  percent of the total volume of flour. The flour for the poolish is mixed with an equal amount of cold water with a small amount of yeast added. If you were making breads with a poolish, the percentage of poolish to the remaining bread dough would be a bit higher, ranging from 30%-50%.

Poolish starter recipe from Raj Irukulla at The Pizza Bible.
Poolish Dough Pizza CrustJoin me tomorrow when I post my recipe for Chicken Paprikash- perfect for the cooler autumn days we should be having!


Poolish Dough Pizza Crust

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Poolish Dough Pizza Crust
Poolish Ingredients:

  • 50 grams bread flour
  • 50 grams cold water
  • ⅛ teaspoon active dry yeast

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  • 450 grams bread flour
  • 265 grams water (63% hydration)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • prepared poolish (from above)


  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the poolish and place into a pint canning jar and top with the lid; allow to sit out on the counter, covered, while it develops, 6-18 hours (depending on room temperature, etc.)  until the mix stops rising and is domed on top and full of bubbles.
  2. Mix poolish with dough ingredients and knead lightly to make a pizza dough.
  3. Allow to rest and rise until doubled, then roll  out to make your dough.
  4. If you wish to save it for later, pop   it straight from the stand mixer into a plastic bag and refrigerate. When you take it out, allow it to warm to room  temp and rise naturally. 
  5. Roll out dough and bake with your favorite toppings- I bake mine at 475-500°F. on a pizza stone on the lower rack of the oven. Bake until browned on the top edges as well as underneath.

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com

Poolish Dough Pizza Crust

Bread Bakers

Breads with levain (sourdough), biga, poolish, soakers, etc.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

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