Poolish, a wet sponge, is easy to make and is best when made fresh each time you need it. It will be good for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, and at least 3 months in the freezer if you store it in an airtight freezer bag.

2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups water, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

  • Stir together the flour, water and yeast in a mixing bowl until all of the flour is hydrated. The dough should be soft and sticky and look like very thick pancake batter.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, or until the sponge becomes bubbly and foamy.
  • Immediately refrigerate it. It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

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