I have really gotten attached to using a poolish as the starter for sourdough bread. Using a poolish is really easy. You just mix flour, water and starter, and set it aside to ferment for 12 hrs. It is technically called a preferment.
There are disagreements between the definitions of poolish, biga and a sponge. It seems like the poolish is 100% hydration, or 1:1 flour:water. The biga is 1:0.7 flour:water, and a sponge is 1:0.4 flour:water.
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Bread Making: Bread Math, Poolish and Scaling a Recipe
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