This final installment in the Baker’s Percentage tutorial series concerns breads that are made with preferments. (A preferment is a poolish, biga, sponge, sourdough starter, etc., where a portion of the flour is fermented prior to the mixing of the final dough.) If you missed the first three parts, you’ll want to read them before diving into this one. An index of the entire tutorial is here.

A preferment can be thought of in different ways. On one hand, it is a dough unto itself, and it has a BP formula all its own. But a preferment is also an ingredient in the final dough.

Look at this formula for baguette dough made with a poolish. The blue table shows the formula for the final dough, scaled to make 2340 g of dough. The yellow table shows the formula for the poolish, scaled to make 936 g, the amount needed for the final dough. Note that the formula for each part is based on the amount of flour needed for that part. Also note that the poolish is listed as an ingredient in the final dough formula.

Poolish | Final Dough | |||

Ingredient | % | Grams | % | Grams |
---|---|---|---|---|

Flour | 100% | 468 g | 100% | 900 g |

Water | 100% | 468 g | 52% | 468 g |

Instant Yeast | 0.06% | 0.3 g | 1% | 9 g |

Salt | — | — | 3% | 27 g |

Poolish | — | — | 104% | 936 g |

Total | 200% | 936 g | 260% | 2340 g |