Make a Poolish Mixture For Perfectly Easy Sourdough Bread

My secret weapon guarantees consistent success.

Patricia Davis
4 min readFeb 17, 2022


My perfect sourdough loaf starts with a poolish mixture.
My perfect sourdough loaf starts with a poolish mixture. Photo by Patricia J. Davis.

Sourdough bread is hard to make, or so I thought after I made several failed loaves. I began my starter at the beginning of the pandemic so that I would have bread to feed my family. For some reason, I couldn’t recreate the loaves all the professionals make in the YouTube videos.

I read cookbook after cookbook, blog posts, and watched countless videos trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Then I stumbled across one video that talked about poolie. I discovered that, although my yeast was active, a poolie was even more active.

That extra bit of activity is what ensures a perfect loaf — every single time.

What is a poolish mixture?

A poolish mixture, or poolie, is a batch of super fed sourdough starter. You feed your starter as usual, but then you remove a small amount and feed that part more. This gives a few yeasty beasties a lot of food to eat. They feed voraciously and give off carbon dioxide, which provides the lift in your bread.

It’s kind of like feeding any pet. If you have four dogs and put all their food in one bowl, one dog may eat most of it, leaving less for the others. The one dog may get fat, while the less fortunate dogs get thinner. None of them get exactly what they need.

If you give each dog their own bowl, with the right amount of food, they all thrive. The same is true with the yeast in a sourdough starter. A regular feeding gives them enough to keep going, but maybe not enough to thrive. In a poolish mixture, the smaller amount of starter explodes with health and vitality. And your bread will rise perfectly every time.

How do I make a poolish mixture?

Begin by giving your starter a regular feeding. That means you discard half and save it to make something else, like crackers. Feed the remaining starter 75 grams of distilled water and 75 grams of all-purpose flour. Mix well and allow it to sit on your counter until it has doubled in volume, about two hours.



Patricia Davis

Pat blogs about food, sustainability, and living simply. Sourdough is a particular passion. She also writes historical fiction with social justice themes.