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Glossary (talk like a chef): "Poolish"


Poolish is a fermented batter, generally a mixture of water, flour and yeast which acts as the leaven for certain kinds of bread dough.

There are distinct bread types, depending on the rising agent: yeast-raised bread, poolish bread, and leavened bread.

Although it doesn't have the full flavour of a leavened bread, poolish gives a bread with more flavour than one just using yeast.

.[Translator's note: the term poolish is more common in French baking than in English. For more information see the Pre-ferment, article on Wikipedia.].

Example: "Prepare a poolish by mixing the water, flour, yeast and a teaspoon of sugar."
Meaning: Mix the ingredients thoroughly but gently, preferably using a whisk, until the mixture is quite smooth.

The prepared mixture is covered and left in a warm place to ferment. This produces a rather sticky batter full of bubbles, the poolish, which can then be mixed with flour and water to make bread.

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Last modified on: June 12th 2019

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