What is poolish and why should I use it for pizza dough?
Poolish is a prefermented dough that is prepared with water, flour and a small amount of yeast. The flour-water ratio is 1:1, i.e. 100 grams of flour are mixed with 100 grams of water. The poolish gives the dough more elasticity and also a slightly sour, distinctive aroma.
For this recipe, allow at least 48 hours for the dough to rest. The recipe yields approx. 5 dough balls of 250 gr. each.
Ingredients for the pre-dough (poolish):
- 500 gr flour (preferably a Tipo 00 flour with as high a protein content as possible (>12 gr))
- 500 gr water
- 1,6 gr dry yeast (or 5 gr fresh yeast)
Preparation of the pre-dough (poolish):
- Pour the water into the bowl, add the dry yeast and mix briefly with a spoon.
- Now slowly add the flour to the yeast-water and mix with the spoon. Make sure that no dry flour remains.
- When all the flour is incorporated, the dough will resemble a shapeless, moist and sticky mass (see picture below).
- Now cover the bowl (with a lid or, in a pinch, cling film), let it rest at room temperature for an hour and then refrigerate for another 24 hours.
Ingredients for the main dough:
- 100% poolish
- 255 gr flour (preferably a Tipo 00 flour with the highest possible protein content (>12 gr))
- 19 gr fine salt
Preparation of the main dough:
- Place the poolish, flour and salt in the bowl of the kneading machine (if you don’t have a kneading machine, you can of course mix all the ingredients together in the bowl by hand and knead).
- Turn the mixer on to speed 1 and knead the dough. The total kneading time is about 15 minutes.
- Then shape the dough into as round a ball as possible, place in a sealable container and cover. (You can also see how to shape the dough into a round ball in this video).
Resting the dough
- Now leave the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 12 or up to 24 hours. You can see what the dough looks like before and after it rests in the fridge in the following pictures.
- Divide the dough into five portions, each weighing about 250 grams.
- Shape the portions into round dough balls (you can see how in this video), place them in a sealable container and leave them to rest in the fridge for at least 12 or up to 24 hours.
- Once the dough has rested in the fridge, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 2.5 hours before baking and let it acclimatise at room temperature.
You can see how the dough balls look before the cool proofing and afterwards (including the proofing at room temperature) here:
Shaping, topping and baking the pizza:
- Preheat the oven at least an hour before baking (400 degrees top heat and 350 degrees bottom heat on my Effeuno P134h pizza oven).
- Prepare a bowl or deep plate with semola (flour will work if necessary).
- Sprinkle the dough with a little Semola (especially on the edges) and take it out of the box with a spatula (if necessary with a spatula), put it into the bowl/plate with Semola and turn it over.
- Then place the dough on the work surface and shape by hand: if possible, start from the centre, press the air bubbles towards the edge and shape into a round pizza, leaving a rim. Do not use a rolling pin, as this will destroy the air bubbles.
- Top the pizza.
- Carefully pull the pizza onto the pizza shovel. If necessary, pull the pizza again on the pizza peel to form a round shape.
- Put the pizza in the oven and bake for about 90 seconds (a little shorter or longer, depending on your preference and the degree of browning).
You don’t have a pizza oven at home? No problem! On this page, you’ll find instructions on how to bake the Neapolitan Pizza in a household oven.
This is what the finished Neapolitan pizza with 100% poolish looks like:
Thanks for reading! If you have any unanswered questions, please feel free to let me know in the comments.