The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Poolish for 500 gram flour recipe

flynnboy's picture

Poolish for 500 gram flour recipe

Hi everyone.

I really want try my hand at making a French Boule using a Poolish. I have seen a couple of Utube vids including one by Billy Paris. Whilst I understand the process and what they are doing in the Vids I am struggling to understand how to adjust quantities to make a smaller 'standard size' loaf. I do not have a big oven and these guys are making quite large loaves of Bread.

Can anyone give me some guidance on how to make a Poolish for a recipe that would normally use a total flour weight of 500 grams please ? I will be most grateful !

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Take, for example, 100 g flour and 100 g water from the total recipe. Mix them into a poolish. Reduce the amount of flour and water you add in the final mix by the same amounts.

For the yeast, the typical approach is to use the same total amount of yeast, use a tiny bit in the poolish and the rest in the final mix.

flynnboy's picture

Thank you !

flynnboy's picture

Hi again ilya,

I have just been looking again at your advice - I am a little confused about

: For the yeast, the typical approach is to use the same total amount of yeast, use a tiny bit in the poolish and the rest in the final mix.

100 grams !?

Thanks !

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

The same amount as in the original straight dough recipe without the poolish. Say, it called for 5 g of yeast - take a tiny pinch to add to the poolish, and the rest goes into the main dough.

flynnboy's picture

Thanks !

gavinc's picture

this may help. This is a baguette formula I recalculated to give 499-grams of flour weight. Cheers.

flynnboy's picture

Thank you !

clazar123's picture

An indirect answer to your question with some great links for info right here on The Fresh Loaf.

THIS is a post using the 1-2-3 Loaf Formula. This post is a poster that has great explanation and pics.

The next is a resource that is always here on TFL. Look at the top brown banner that says "The FreshLoaf". Right undeneath is a banner that has "Home" "Forum" "lessons" "Handbook",etc. Peruse the Handbook and the Lessons tabs. TONS of info on just the question you posted.

I actually copied the post where the original 1-2-3 Formula came from. 


1.2.3, An Easy Formula for Sourdough Bread 

Hi Everyone! 

I'm Flo Makanai, French "author" of the (in French, sorry...) blog Makanai ( I love bread baking, especially sourdough baking, and I've been doing it for about 15 years. 

As I always have many obligations other than baking bread (who does'nt?!) AND lots of sourdough to use (I hate throwing it away once it has reached maturity), I eventually came to "invent" a formula that works for me in France (Janedo from, whom you certainly know, has also tested that formula and it works for her too). 

Here it is: 

I weigh the liquid (100%) mature sourdough I have on my counter. It gives me a weight which I shall call weight 1. 

I then multiply "weight 1" by 2 to obtain the quantity of liquid (water, rice milk, milk...) I'll need. So the liquid will weigh twice as much as the sourdough. 

Then, I multiply "weight 1" by 3 to obtain the quantity of flour(s) (always organic for me) that I'll need. So the flour(s) will weigh 3 times the sourdough. 

I mix those 3 ingredients, I let the dough rest 30 minutes and then I knead my dough, adding 1.8% to 2% of the flour(s) weight of salt. 

So "1" = sourdough weight 

"2" = liquid weight, which is "1"x2 

and "3" = flour(s) weight, which is "1" x3 

Example : with 125g sourdough, I'll bake bread with 250g liquid and 375g flour + 6 to 7g salt 

The reason I'm writing today on TFL is that I wonder if that formula works in the States, where flours are so different from the ones we have in France. Is anyone interested in trying and then posting a comment on TFL? That would be interesting. 

I posted this formula (in French, but you can use the Google translator, even if the result is quite ... unusual!) on Makanaibio yesterday (here:, if you can read French or if you'd like to see a few pictures of some of my breads. 

(And please excuse my english, I certainly made mistakes I'm not even aware of...) 

I hope to read you soon! 

Flo Makanai"

Years ago, I made French Loaves for co-workers for Christmas. I think I made20 loaves over the course of a few days. I set all the dry ingredients loaves up in ziploc bags and then set up my poolishes the night before. I was doing cup measures back then and just set up my 1 qt (old yogurt containers) and added 1/2 c water,1/2 cup flour and a 2-3 tbsp dollup of my active starter. Mixed and left overnight to be mixed the next am. What a production that was. The next year they all got a bun.


POOLISH: (So old, it was before  I knew to incorporate the poolish into baker's percentage.)



2-3 TBSP Active starter

Mix all together and leave overnight in a warm place (top of refrig)


250g (1 c 100% starter (poolish made as described above)

375 g flour

200g warm water


10 g salt


The above is based on a time-proven ratio for Basic French Bread. The following is submitted by Ehanner, a frequent,honored poster here on TFL that the long-standing members will remember.  

Very Basic French Bread by ehanner


500 grams of "Better For Bread" flour

325 Grams of water

10 grams salt

1 teaspoon of instant yeast


Do the french fold or slap and fold until you have a very smooth well deleveloped gluten. Let the bulk ferment go to double in a 70-80F spot. Shape into a batard and make sure you get good surface tension. Proof for 45 minutes, slash and bake at 450F. No retarding. 

You don't need a banneton to make nice batards. Even if it gets looking saggy the oven spring should save you if you don't over proof. Give this a try and let us know how it goes. The formula above is a 65% hydration dough which is pretty common for french bread 

Very wet dough that will come together after folding/stretching in the bowl. Don’t add extra flour!

 Submitted by ehanner on November 24, 2008 - 9:03pm


The Fresh Loaf

Have fun with this info.




flynnboy's picture

Thank you !