preparing dough in big bowl
Dough Recipes

Pizza Dough Poolish | Best Poolish Pizza Dough Recipe


Pizza dough can be prepared by using a variety of methods, each with a different resting time to add depth of flavors and texture.  Pizza dough with poolish is slightly the latest way to add deep sourdough-like flavor to pizza dough by using a pre-fermented sponge. The poolish sponge requires less amount of dry yeast and more time for fermentation. Pizza dough made with poolish will have a deep flavor, improved texture, and be more digestible.

image of baked pizza using poolish dough

If you are in search of a pizza dough recipe that will give your pizza a boost of flavor, you should give poolish pizza dough a try. It might replace your pizza dough recipe. Pizzerias all around the world opt towards poolish pizza dough to take their pizza game to the next level. You can also try this technique at home because it is simple and yet adds the best possible depth of flavor to your pizza.

What is Poolish?

A poolish is basically a pre-fermented starter that is added to pizza dough. Previously, poolish was confined to making baguettes but nowadays poolish pizza dough becomes the best alternative for regular pizza dough. It requires very little preparation time and more time for fermentation. A poolish is prepared by mixing equal parts of flour and water with a little amount of dry yeast. The mixture is well combined and left to ferment for about 8-12hrs. Poolish pizza dough is good for people who are gluten intolerant because a long fermentation period of poolish makes the pizza easy to digest.

poolish in transparent bowl ready to be used

What makes Poolish Unique?

Poolish is a simple technique that requires very little time and effort in preparation. Along with professional poolish pizza makers, any home cook can easily incorporate poolish in making pizza dough. Poolish pizza dough contains equal parts of water and flour which can achieve 100% hydration. Poolish pizza dough contains a balanced amount of water and flour (1:1) which makes the sponge a little wet. Baking the poolish pizza dough will give a pizza base that is much lighter, airy, stretcher, and pleasant to eat than regular pizza dough.

close-up image of poolish dough crust

Preparing poolish itself takes about 5 minutes and a very little amount of work. Kneading of actual poolish pizza dough would require the same work and technique as regular pizza dough. Poolish is prepared using a little amount of dry yeast and some extra time for fermentation. Longer resting time is proven to give some great depth of flavors and texture to your pizza dough as it allows the ferment to develop flavor over time.

What is the ideal hydration for Poolish Pizza Dough?

Generally, 65% hydration is considered an ideal percentage for poolish pizza dough. The hydration depends on several factors including the flour that you use to make poolish pizza dough. It is recommended to use fine flour that has a perfect balance of proteins such as glutenin and gliadin. These proteins will form gluten when mixed in water and increase the strength of the dough so that it can easily be molded into any shape. The fineness and strength of flour will add to the softness and stretchiness of poolish pizza dough. Another factor that has a positive effect on the hydration of poolish pizza dough is the kneading technique. An efficient kneading technique will add the hydration level in the dough as it incorporates air in the dough which makes the dough light and airy.

image depicting ideal hydration for poolish pizza dough

When to know the right hydration level?

It is recommended to use hands while mixing the poolish so that you get to know the right hydration. If your dough is too stretchy or torn apart easily, that is the point where you should lower the water content or add more flour to achieve the perfect balance of flour and water.

ideal hydration level for poolish dough

How to tell when the poolish is ready to use?

The poolish will be ready to use in actual pizza dough when it gets double in size. More experience in making poolish will help to tell whether the poolish is ready or not. As a beginner, you can use a transparent container and mark poolish level using a marker or rubber band on the container and get to know when its size gets double. After the resting time of 12-24hours, the poolish will be ready to use!

poolish in a transparent bowl ready to use

Difference Between Poolish and Sourdough starter

A lot of people get confused between the poolish and sourdough starter for their pizza dough. Poolish and sourdough starter basically work the same but there is a difference in ingredients used in preparation. Poolish is a mixture of flour, water, and yeast while the sourdough starter is combined with water and flour to create a mixture called levain. You are using levain if you are working with sourdough starter instead of poolish.

poolish dough and sour-dough comparison

Poolish Pizza Recipe

This poolish pizza dough recipe is a quick way to use poolish in your pizza dough to add a great boost of flavor and texture. The recipe yields four large round poolish pizzas. The recipe is based on simple ingredients and steps that result in high-quality pizza filled with the richness of flavor and improved texture.

Kitchen Utensils


Pizza Dough

  • 750 g of all-purpose flour
  • 350 ml of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 16 g salt
  • Poolish

Method to make poolish

Mix 300 g of all-purpose flour with 300 g of water with 0.6 g of dry yeast in a large bowl.

Mix the batter until ingredients are well combined and form a smooth paste.

Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and let it rest at room temperature for 12-24hrs before making actual pizza dough.

Method to make poolish pizza dough

Mix all the dry ingredients 700 g of all-purpose flour,1/2 teaspoon of dry yeast, and 16 g of salt in a large bowl and set aside.

Pour 300 ml of water into the poolish mixture. Water should be poured right on the edges of the container to loosen up the poolish mixture from the container.

Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients bowl. Pour the poolish into the dry ingredients bowl and mix well with a rubber or wooden spatula until all the ingredients are well combined.

When all the ingredients are well incorporated, use your hands to slightly mix the dough. Doing so can incorporate some air into the dough.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.

After the resting time, you will see some gluten strands form in the dough. Knead the dough with the technique you prefer and let it rest for additional 10 minutes.

Repeat the kneading step one more time, cover the dough with cling film and let is it rest for 1 hour.

After the resting time, divide the dough into 4 equal parts or as per your need and place them on the dough tray.


A longer resting time of poolish requires less amount of dry yeast which helps in minimizing the acidic aroma in your pizza dough.

Since the dough and poolish is sticky, using of wooden or rubber spatula is recommended to avoid mess.

Baking poolish pizza in a pizza oven is preferred over baking in a regular domestic oven.


Poolish pizza dough is an advanced alternative for pizza-making techniques that adds depth of flavor and improve the texture and sustainability of pizza dough. Poolish is a simple technique that requires very little time and effort in preparation and some extra time for fermentation. Poolish pizza dough is good for people who are gluten intolerant because a long fermentation period and less amount of yeast used in poolish makes the pizza easy to digest. You can also try this technique at home because it is followed by simple and easily available ingredients that add the best possible depth of flavor to your pizza.

And not to forget, if you are also planning to buy the best pizza oven to take your  pizza making game to the next level, do check our in-depth reviews regarding various pizza ovens.

Try your poolish pizza dough recipe and let us know in the comments about your experience. We hope that you will enjoy it a lot.

K16 - US

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