The 36 hour Pouliche (Poolish, Sponge) and the Correct Spelling

After the last post here, on this old method of making pouliche (poolish), I experimented further creating more of an acidic crumb, mimicking somewhat a sourdough loaf.  The reason for the experiment was to see if the pouliche would maintain enough yeast cells over this period of time (in the fridge) to make a good loaf, and it obviously does.  As expected with a longer fermentation there was a pronounced mild “tang” of sourness in the crumb, and as described in the previous post the texture is chewy as in a sourdough loaf.

It’s Pouliche, not Poolish

The post on the old pouliche method gave rise to a good discussion on UniversalBread facebook  page here.  Jim Chevallier, author of  About a Baguette: Exploring the Origin of a French National Icon, informed us the old name for poolish is in fact spelt pouliche, and I think this is both interesting and a more appropriate spelling of the name.  Jim tells us the method pouliche is French in origin as far as written evidence shows and not of Polish origin as it is now widely believed.



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I followed the same principal as I described last time of mixing a large pinch of dried yeast with some of the flour and water the night before, and the next morning the pouliche was ripe and ready.

Put the pouliche in the fridge, 36 hours later it looked like below, almost unchanged, you can still see the similar indentation pattern.

Mixed the dough, one fold, shaped and last prove all done in 2 hours.

If you’ve read my post on pouliche you already know how much I love making this style of yeast dough, a great way of making a quick loaf with good flavour with minimum pre-planing.