I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with 200+ other amateur bakers. Want to join in the madness, or just learn more about this semi-crazy undertaking? Check out the following links:
- Pinch My Salt BBA Challenge page—master resource for the challenge
- Buy the Book Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
- List of Breads See what's coming up.
- Blogroll See who's baking. Great list of some amazing foodie (and not-necessarily-foodie) blogs.
- Flickr Group Photos, photos and more photos!
- Twitter Search for #BBA to find challenge tweets.
Bread #26, Poolish Baguettes, is another lean bread utilizing a pre-ferment to help bring out the flavor of the wheat. Poolish, the pre-frement used here, was also used in the Greek Celebration bread, the Ciabatta and was an option for the Focaccia.
The most popular pre-ferment is the pâte fermentée, which is basically a small batch of French bread. Poolish is like pancake batter. You let it bubble up nicely then put in the refrigerator to use within three days. The overnight (or longer) rest allows the flavors to build and develop which in turn allows you to get a very flavorful baguette.
These came together very easily and tasted great. They're perfect for having dinner guests as the bread is best the same day. I did have good luck reheating parts of the loaves in the toaster oven. I misted them with a little bit of water and let them warm through. The crust was nice and crunchy and the crumb delicious and tender.
I was able to get three small baguettes and a batard out of this bread. While it was very good, I still prefer the pain à l'ancienne for baguettes.