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Poolish Calculator

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Baking bread is an art that combines simplicity with complexity, creating something that's both a staple and a delight. In this art, a poolish plays a crucial role, especially for those aiming to bake French breads with a light, airy texture and a deeper flavor. But what exactly is a poolish, and how can a poolish calculator help in this process?

What is a Poolish?

A poolish is a type of pre-ferment used in baking, characterized by its equal parts of water and flour by weight, with a pinch of yeast. This mixture stands out for enhancing the bread's flavor, texture, and aroma. Its simplicity makes it a favored technique among bakers seeking to elevate their bread's quality.

Purpose and Functionality of the Poolish Calculator

The poolish calculator is a tool designed to simplify the baking process by helping bakers adjust the quantities of flour, water, and yeast needed for their specific recipes. It uses a straightforward formula to determine the exact amounts of each ingredient based on the total flour weight in the recipe, the desired poolish percentage, hydration percentage, and yeast percentage.

The Formula Simplified

Here's how the calculator works in simple terms:

  • Total Flour Weight (TFW): The entire amount of flour your bread recipe requires.
  • Poolish Percentage (PP): How much of your flour you want to ferment ahead of time.
  • Hydration Percentage (HP): This is usually 100%, meaning the water and flour are in equal parts.
  • Yeast Percentage (YP): A tiny amount of yeast relative to the flour in the poolish.

Given these inputs, the calculator outputs:

  • Poolish Flour Weight (PFW): The amount of flour for the poolish, calculated as TFW multiplied by PP.
  • Poolish Water Weight (PWW): Equal to PFW because of the 100% hydration.
  • Poolish Yeast Weight (PYW): Calculated by multiplying PFW by YP.

Step-by-Step Example

Let's break it down with an example. Imagine you're making bread with 1000g of flour and decide to use 30% of that flour in your poolish. You stick with the standard 100% hydration and opt for a 0.1% yeast percentage.

Following our formula:

  • Your Poolish Flour Weight would be 300g (1000g * 30%).
  • Your Poolish Water Weight also ends up being 300g, thanks to 100% hydration.
  • Finally, your Poolish Yeast Weight comes out to 0.3g (300g * 0.1%).

Relevant Information Table

Here's a quick table to summarize the information you'd input and output for a poolish typical calculator:

Input/OutputDescriptionExample Value
Total Flour Weight (TFW)Total flour needed for the recipe (g)1000g
Poolish Percentage (PP)Percentage of flour used in the poolish30%
Hydration Percentage (HP)Percentage of water to flour (usually 100%)100%
Yeast Percentage (YP)Percentage of yeast to flour in poolish0.1%
Poolish Flour Weight (PFW)Flour for poolish (g)300g
Poolish Water Weight (PWW)Water for poolish (g)300g
Poolish Yeast Weight (PYW)Yeast for poolish (g)0.3g


The poolish calculator is a remarkable tool for bakers who wish to perfect their bread recipes. It simplifies the calculation process, ensuring the right balance of ingredients for the pre-ferment. By adjusting quantities with precision, bakers can achieve consistent results, enhancing the texture, flavor, and aroma of their bread. Whether you're a seasoned baker or a newcomer to the craft, incorporating a poolish and using a poolish calculator can elevate your baking to new heights, making every loaf a testament to the beauty of baking.

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