Also Known As Mother Dough, Biga, Poolish, Sponge, Flour Brew, Pâte Fermentée
What is a Preferment?
Preferments are used at the start of the breadmaking process and are referred to as an indirect method. A piece of dough made by flour, water and yeast is prepared and allowed to ferment for a period of time under controlled conditions before incorporating it back in the final mix.
There are three basic types of preferments used in high speed manufacturing. The first type is known as a sponge or “plastic” preferment, usually containing about 70 percent of the total dough flour and undergoes fermentation in a trough for three to four hours.
The third and final type is the water-brew or flour-free ferment. The water-brew method usually contains sugar instead of flour and ferments in a tank for about an hour.
Prefermented dough also could be a piece of dough saved from a previous mix. The dough to be used as a preferment for next production should be taken right after the first fermentation and stored in the refrigerator. Prefermented dough can be used in many different products: bread, croissant, brioche, Danish, etc.