Monday, February 8, 2010

Hamelman's Poolish Baguettes

It's been a long time since I've baked bread and blogged about it. Now that I think about it, it's been a long time since I've blogged in general. These breads were actually made a couple of weeks ago. All I can say is that things have been difficult for me around here, as I've been dealing with and trying to recover from some serious stuff. All in good time. In any case, with all the sugar that flies around here, I decided to get back to my bread baking roots and try some baguettes. I turned to Hamelman's Bread and decided to make his Poolish Baguettes. It turns out the simple baguette is the hardest to master because it is so simple. I dont know why I even decided to make them as turning out a good loaf is difficult in my toaster oven. I cant steam anything! I had fun and the bread was good anyway. I made the poolish the night before and completed the loaves the next day. If I remember correctly, it was a pretty uneventful experience. My scoring needs improvement and the coloring was a pretty dull, matte brown but the loaves impressed my girls and me with its flavor and awesome crust.

Baguettes with Poolish

10.6 ounces bread or all purpose flour
10.6 ounces water
1/8 tsp instant yeast

Final Dough:
21.4 ounces bread or all purpose flour
10.6 ounces water
1 tbsp salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
All of Poolish

The night before baking:
Place the flour and yeast in a bowl. Whisk until combined.
Add the water,
and whisk until thoroughly blended. Cover and let ferment over night.
This is how my poolish looked. Nice and bubbly.
Place all of the final dough ingredients into a bowl. Mix until a shaggy dough is formed.
Turn the mass out until a nice, smooth dough is formed.
Place in a bowl to ferment for two hours. Give it a fold after the first hour.
Divide the dough into four pieces. Allow to rest for about twenty minutes.
Shape the dough gently into baguettes, or loaves that are meant to resemble baguettes.
Allow to proof for one to one and a half hours. Preheat the oven to 460 with a stone.
When the loaves have proofed, slash them. My slashes need so much improvement. I could really use a lame.
Bake for around twenty five minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the dough registers between 190 and 200 degrees. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
The inside. Not terrible.

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