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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Poolish Pizza Dough

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You will soon be the master of pizza night with this quick and easy poolish pizza dough recipe! Add on your favorite toppings and impress your guests with the enticing aromas and deep flavors of this pizza. The dough has a light and airy texture that will have you craving more. Naturally dairy free and can be easily made vegan, too.

Poolish pizza dough topped with tomatoes and basil, baked in the oven and served on a wooden cutting board.

You may be familiar with Vito Iacopelli’s double fermented pizza dough, which has become very popular- and for good reason! The vito poolish pizza is incredibly delicious, with the perfect consistency in every bite.

Making pizza with poolish might seem daunting, but it really is so easy. For this version, we will use the same ingredients for the Vito poolish recipe, with slight adjustments to the dough. The Vito pizza dough recipe calls for a mixture of 00 flour and bread flour for a total of 500 grams of flour. To make the process a bit easier, this particular recipe only calls for your choice of 00 or all purpose flour.

The dough-making process is a breeze when using poolish! If you prefer, you can make this an overnight poolish recipe, prepping this step the night before. I find this to be the best way to approach things without having to test your patience too much. On the following day, let the fun begin with the pizza process!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Vegan & gluten-free options
  • Light and airy dough
  • No special equipment needed
  • Kid friendly, family friendly
  • Great for pizza night
  • Best poolish pizza dough recipe ever!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

Pizza dough with poolish is next level! It will be the best pizza you ever try. Here is everything you need to make a poolish and the perfect pizza dough!

Ingredients for poolish pizza dough on a white background.
  • Flour: “00” flour is the best type of flour for this poolish pizza recipe, but all-purpose flour will work too!
  • Dried Yeast: This poolish dough recipe calls for dried yeast, which is a dehydrated version of baker’s yeast. The yeast not only allows for the poolish to ferment quickly, but also gives the dough its rise, texture, and boost of flavor.
  • Water: You will use water for both the poolish and the pizza dough.
  • Honey: Honey speeds up the fermentation process for the poolish by feeding the yeast. You do not have to use honey or sugar, but I recommend it!
  • Salt: The salt is used in this poolish pizza dough to add and enhance flavor!

🔪 How To Make Poolish Pizza Dough

Making a poolish might be unfamiliar to you, but I promise it’s worth it. It really isn’t much different than making regular pizza dough, and the end result is so delicious! Here is how to make next level pizza dough:

How To Make Poolish For Pizza

Mix Dry Ingredients: For the first step, whisk together the flour and yeast in a large bowl. 

Dry ingredients for pizza dough mixed in a bowl.

Mix Wet Ingredients, Combine: Stir the honey into the warm water until melted. Pour the water mixture into the flour and mix until well combined. At this step it will look like a shaggy dough ball.

Dry ingredients for pizza dough in a mixing bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 12 hours to ferment. Active poolish in a bowl is basically just a super wet dough that’s fermenting — so when you uncover it you’ll smell the most wonderful aromas of sweet, yeasty, slightly sour bread!

Fermented poolish resting in a mixing bowl.

How To Make Pizza Dough

Whisk: In your large mixing bowl, whisk the water into the poolish until it is fully dissolved.

Fermented poolish in a mixing bowl.

Form Dough: Add the flour and salt and mix with a wooden spoon to form the main dough.

Double fermented pizza dough in a mixing bowl.

Knead The Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky so sprinkle lightly with flour when it becomes too sticky to knead, continue kneading until smooth. ​​You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Poolish pizza dough ball on a cutting board.

Cover & Let Sit: Form a ball with the dough and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and sit at room temperature for 2 hours to begin the bulk fermentation and then place in the fridge for 12 hours to cold ferment. Remove from the fridge and allow the poolish pizza dough to come to room temperature for 1- 2 hours.

Poolish dough ball in a mixing bowl.

Divide Dough: Turn this pizza dough recipe with poolish out onto a lightly floured bench and divide into 4 equal amounts for 8” pizza bases or cut into 2 for 10”-12” bases.

Poolish dough balls for pizza on a cutting board.

Form Balls & Cover: Gently roll each piece into round dough balls. Place the ball, seam side down, into a dish or dough box with a little olive oil. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for a couple of hours.

Pizza dough balls with poolish starter in a glass container.

Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200 C while your dough rests.

Poolish dougb balls on a cutting board.

Shape the preferment pizza dough into a circle using your hands.

Overnight poolish dough spread out on a pizza pan.

Top with your favorite toppings.

Poolish neapolitan pizza on a pizza pan.

Cook in a hot oven on a pizza stone or tray until cooked through. This will only take a couple of minutes (approximately 8-10). Serve immediately and enjoy!

Baked pizza dough with poolish, topped with cheese, tomatoes, and basil.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Try to find “00” flour. “00” flour is a finer ground flour than all-purpose flour and is great for making pizza bases. If “00” flour isn’t available you can use general all-purpose flour instead.
  • Avoid hot water. Use warm room temperature water only and not hot in this pizza poolish recipe. Hot water will kill the yeast which will prevent the dough from rising.
  • Be patient with the poolish. The poolish dough will take 8-12 hours at room temperature to completely ferment. You will know it is ready when it has a lot of air bubbles.
  • Use extra flour. This is a very wet dough. When kneading, sprinkle with extra flour on the bench and on the dough. You can use a bench scraper to make the process easier, too!
  • Give the dough enough time to proof. After the dough has rested in the fridge for 12 hours it will have formed bubbles. Then you know that your pizza dough with poolish is ready to go!

📖 Variations

  • Garlic Herb Pizza Dough: You can infuse the dough with minced garlic and fresh herbs for a fun twist. Either mix into the dough during the kneading step or coat the top of the crust with a garlic herb mixture.
  • Ooni Poolish Recipe: For wood-fired flavor, use an outdoor pizza oven like the Ooni. You can make an ooni cold proof dough by letting the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight. When the pizza is done grab your pizza peel, slice, and enjoy!
  • Vegan Option: For a vegan friendly dough, substitute the honey with a tsp of sugar and mix it with the water to dissolve.
  • Whole Wheat Poolish Pizza Dough: If you’d like you can use whole wheat flour for a healthier version of this poolish pizza recipe with more whole grains. The texture of the crust might be a little more dense if you use whole wheat flour.
  • Poolish Neapolitan Pizza: If you’re looking to follow the Vito pizza recipe, you’ll make it with classic Neapolitan toppings including fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Other recipes will recommend a 3 day Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, but stick to this Neapolitan pizza dough with poolish for a quicker option.
  • Pizza Toppings: Get creative with different pizza toppings! Stick to classics like veggies and black olives, or try a chicken bbq combo. My favorite is this pear gorgonzola pizza with walnuts or find tons of inspiration with 8 variations of toppings in this easy pita pizza recipe. You can also try different twists from Greek pizza to dessert pizza!
  • Garlic Breadsticks: Use the dough to make cheesy garlic breadsticks or polish dough balls! Perfect to pair with a this keto marinara or alfredo sauce without heavy cream!

❓Recipe FAQs

What is poolish?

Similar to a sourdough starter, poolish is a type of pre-ferment used in bread making that requires little effort to make. It is made from a mixture of flour, water, honey, and a small amount of yeast. Poolish is typically allowed to ferment for a period of time, usually several hours or overnight (typically you will let it rest for at least 12 hours for gluten development), before being incorporated into the final dough.

During the processes, organic acids are produced which give the dough deeper flavor and strengthen the dough structure. Within the slow fermentation, the yeast also begins to produce carbon dioxide which is what causes the dough to grow and expand.

What is the difference between poolish and sourdough?

Even though poolish works similarly to sourdough in dough recipes, they are actually very different. Sourdough starter has a long fermentation process, usually taking around 5-8 days. With a poolish starter, the fermentation process is much quicker. You’ll be able to use it for recipes after about 8-16 hours of resting time. Who doesn’t love an 8 hour pizza dough?!

Another notable difference is the type and amount of yeast in both. Sourdough traditionally is made with only flour and water. The culture ferments, creating a natural wild yeast. On the other hand, poolish uses commercial yeast so you can spend less time waiting for the end result.

Some people prefer poolish to sourdough because it’s easier to work with, easier to make, and creates a slightly sweeter dough with a very small hint of sourness (vs. sourdough, which has a more sour-forward flavor).

Why use poolish for pizza?

Using poolish for pizza making is an easy way to improve the flavor, texture, and structure of the pizza crust. It provides a subtle, complex taste and a more open crumb structure in the finished dough. You basically get the same feel as a dough that’s been proofing for a long time, in much less time. A poolish dough that has proofed for 1 day (length of fermentation) will taste the same as a regular dough that has proofed for 2-3 days!

Additionally, the use of a preferment like poolish can extend the shelf life of the bread. With poolish, your dough will also be more stretchy and easy to work with. Lastly, since it has been through fermentation, the pizza will be easier to digest when consuming.

What does the name poolish mean?

The term poolish is derived from the word “Polish,” as this pre-fermentation process originated in Poland! The Polish pizza recipe was first developed in the 1840s by Baron Zang, and later spread to bakers in Austria and France.

What is the best flour for pizza dough?

I recommend using “00” flour for pizza dough. It is a much finer ground flour versus all-purpose flour and is great for making pizza bases. If “00” flour isn’t available at your local grocery store, you can use general all-purpose flour instead and still have great results.

How much poolish to use in pizza dough?

The amount of poolish starter used in pizza dough will depend on the recipe. For this pizza dough poolish recipe you will use the entire amount. In general, you will aim to use anywhere from 20-40% of the total flour weight. You can use more or less depending on the level of sour taste desired. Use a poolish dough calculator online to find out the exact amount you will need.

How long can you let poolish sit? Should poolish be room temperature or refrigerated?

You can let your poolish sit for up to 24 hours at the most, but it will be ready to use within 12. I recommend letting it sit at room temperature to allow the sponge to fully develop and ferment. There is no need to refrigerate if you plan to be using the sponge right away.

How long can poolish last?

If you have leftover poolish or plan to save the sponge for later use, it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days in an air-tight container. You can also freeze it to last up to 3 months, although using fresh is best!

What is the poolish method?

The poolish method is a simple technique that has become very popular with French bakers. By using the poolish to make pizza you will use the pre-ferment poolish instead of adding yeast to the dough. Making poolish requires a very simple formula of equal parts of water and dough, with the yeast and honey. You’ll allow it to ferment and then mix it into your final dough recipe.

What is better for pizza dough – biga or poolish?

When it comes to biga vs poolish pizza, both are a type of “indirect dough” with plans to be added to other ingredients for a final product. Poolish is a liquid dough made with equal parts of flour and water which requires shorter fermentation and creates even air bubbles. Biga is the Italian version of poolish and considered a solid dough. A Biga pizza dough recipe will be less sour in taste with more irregular alveoli. Using poolish is the easiest way to get the best flavor, but it is really a matter of preference and time availability.

What kind of yeast do you use for poolish?

Poolish for pizza dough is made using commercial yeast. For best results, I recommend using either active dry yeast or fresh yeast.

Poolish pizza dough topped with tomatoes and basil, baked in the oven and served on a wooden cutting board.

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🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/pN6D1TIRkPU
Poolish pizza dough topped with tomatoes and basil, baked in the oven and served on a wooden cutting board.
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5 from 7 votes

Poolish Pizza Dough

You will soon be the master of pizza night with this quick and easy poolish pizza dough recipe! Add on your favorite toppings and impress your guests with the enticing aromas and deep flavors of this pizza. The dough has a light and airy texture that will have you craving more. Naturally dairy free and can be easily made vegan, too.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Resting & Fermenting Time1 day 4 hours
Total Time1 day 4 hours 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian, Vegan
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 480kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

For The Poolish

  • cup “00” flour, or all-purpose flour
  • tsp dried yeast
  • 1 cup water room temperature
  • 1 tsp honey

Poolish Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup water room temperature
  • 2⅔ cup “00” flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Equipment

Instructions

  • Whisk together the flour and yeast.
  • Stir the honey into the warm water until melted.
  • Pour the water mixture into the flour and mix until well combined.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and sit at room temperature for 12 hours to ferment.
  • To prepare the dough: Whisk the water into the poolish to dissolve the poolish.
  • Add the flour and salt and mix to form a dough.
  • Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured bench and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky so sprinkle lightly with flour when it becomes too sticky to knead, continue kneading until smooth.
  • Form a ball with the dough and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and sit at room temperature for 2 hours and then place in the fridge for 12 hours.
  • Remove from the fridge and allow the dough to come to room temperature for 2 hours.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and divide into 4 equal amounts for 8” pizza bases or cut into 2 for 10”-12” bases.
  • Gently roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place the ball, seam side down, into a lightly oiled dish or dough box. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200 C.
  • Shape the dough and top with your favorite toppings.
  • Cook in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • For a vegan friendly dough substitute the honey with a tsp of sugar and mix it with the water to dissolve.
  • “00” flour is a finer ground flour than all-purpose flour and is great for making pizza bases. If “00” flour isn’t available you can use general all-purpose flour instead.
  • Use warm room temperature water only and not hot, hot water will kill the yeast which will prevent the dough from rising.
  • The poolish will take 12 hours at room temperature to completely ferment and is ready when it’s very bubbly.
  • This pizza dough is a sticky dough. When kneading sprinkle with extra flour on the bench and on the dough.
  • After the dough has rested in the fridge for 12 hours it will have formed bubbles throughout the dough.
  • Press the dough into desired shape before topping with favorite pizza toppings and cook in a hot oven.
  • This recipe takes a while to make but the end result is worth it!

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g

10 responses to “Poolish Pizza Dough”

  1. I really prefer thin pizza crust like this so I can’t wait to try this recipe for our next pizza night.5 stars

  2. As a pizza lover, I can’t wait to try out this Poolish Pizza Dough recipe! The technique of fermenting the dough for an extended period really makes a difference in the texture and flavor. I appreciate the detailed instructions and tips for achieving the perfect crust. Can’t wait to impress my family and friends with my homemade pizza skills, lol!5 stars

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