Saturday, December 27, 2008

Diving into the Poolish

I LOVE to bake! I enjoy desserts and breads most. I'm also willing to try out new methods and (obviously) like eating the end product. When I ran across a method for baking French Baguettes that involved using a "poolish" or starter, I decided to give it a try. The result was well worth the extra planning involved... the bread was dense and chewy with a very crisp crust. Here is the recipe:
Poolish (or starter)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup luke warm water
1/4 tsp yeast

Combine flour, water, and yeast and mix until well blended. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. It should look bubbly and round.

3 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
all of the poolish
3/4 cup luke warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp yeast

"Bloom" the yeast in the water with the sugar. Combine flour, salt, poolish and bloomed yeast together in your mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment on low for 3 minutes. Adding more water or flour as needed to bring the dough together. Change out the paddle for the dough hook and "knead" for 4 minutes.

Place dough into an oiled bowl and allow to rise until double. Divide the dough into three (approximately) equal pieces. Let rest 15 minutes, shape into baguettes, cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Heat oven and baking stone to 475, slash several times on top of each loaf, spray or brush with water and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Joel and Lisa brought us a beautiful bottle of olive oil from Greece with herbs inside. I popped open that bottle, poured a little on a plate and dipped the hot bread in the fragrant oil....mmmmm that was all I needed for dinner, the rest of the fam had Christmas/Hanukkah leftovers :)


Darilyn said...

That looks and sounds so good. You are amazing.

Katie said...

Thanks for the recipe Kris. Chris has been wanting to make good baguettes. We'll have to give this a try.