Poolish and Yeast

4,474
109
Joined Aug 4, 2000
I make poolish regularly using equal amounts of flour and water along with a scant pinch (1/8 tsp or less) of yeast.  The weight of water and flour each ranges from 100g to 150g.  The ingredients are mixed and the mixture is then placed into the oven overnight with the oven light turned on.

Just recently in making a poolish I forgot to add yeast and twelve hours later, the next morning, the mixture offered a cheesy aroma and the bread turned out cheesy tasting.
  •   What happened?
  •   Was the aroma due to excessive lactic acid production?
  •   Do the products of yeast fermentation inhibit lactic acid production??
My regular recipe for poolish is this:

FLOUR.......150g

WATER.......150g

YEAST........equal to or less than 1/8 tsp, a scant pinch
 
4,474
109
Joined Aug 4, 2000
 
What did it look like?

mimi

edit...the poolish not the bread.

m.
(EDIT)  The mass of bubbles was extremely tall, very frothy, and with bubbles thinner than what I am accustomed to observing.  But really nothing out of the ordinary concerning color.
 
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4,474
422
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Are you familiar with salt rising bread?

The lack of yeast and the cheesy odor both fit but unless you followed the recipe for such my suspicion is your poolish was just in the right place at the right time and became "infected"?

Good article in Popular Science.... "The Disquieting Delights of Salt Rising Bread".

Is this what happened?

Maybe maybe not.. to prove (lol ;-) it the poolish would need to be cultured and examined.

mimi

Thanks for this interesting question...I have run out of time and didn't get to study all the info I pulled up but will prolly continue when I return home.

Unless of course someone has already posted the prolly very simple reason lol.

m.
 
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
Peter Reinhart discuses the production of  leuconostoc bacteria in The Bread Bakers Apprentice.   This infects sourdough starters and generates a lot of CO2 gas.  It also causes odors.  Could this be the cause?
 
4,474
109
Joined Aug 4, 2000
 
Are you familiar with salt rising bread?

The lack of yeast and the cheesy odor both fit but unless you followed the recipe for such my suspicion is your poolish was just in the right place at the right time and became "infected"?................
Yes, it sounds like it and I did not like the flavour of the final loaf.
 
4,474
109
Joined Aug 4, 2000
 
Peter Reinhart discuses the production of  leuconostoc bacteria in The Bread Bakers Apprentice.   This infects sourdough starters and generates a lot of CO2 gas.  It also causes odors.  Could this be the cause?
Possibly but methinks flipflop's post seems more in line with what I produced.  8)
 
4,474
109
Joined Aug 4, 2000
 
What did it look like?

mimi

edit...the poolish not the bread.

m.
I made an important omission in my first post:  the flour and water mixture (no yeast) was allowed to set in a slightly warm oven overnight; and, at the twelve hour mark, there were a few bubbles at the surface and the mixture smelled like cheese.  I then added some yeast and another twelve hours passed.  At that point I made the observations indicated in my second post.
 
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