Baguette or Loaves with a ‘poolish ferment’ Re: Richard Bertinet methodThe Poolish ferment
5g fresh yeast
300g strong white flour
50g dark rye flour
Stir the yeast into the water in a bowl and add flours and stir well. You are not trying to make a dough by the way as the mix is too wet and it doesn’t need to be smooth and lump free but it does need to be mixed well. Cover and leave at room temperature for 6 hrs or place in refrigerator overnight. (The ferment will keep for a couple of days without any real harm so long as the yeast was fresh.) The fridge method is supposed to be the best one.
To make the bread
1.3kg strong white flour
20g fresh yeast
Mix the yeast in the lukewarm water and with the flour and add both to the poolish. Bring the mix together and knead well for 10 min then sprinkle the salt on the dough and knead till smooth and elastic. (The hand kneading method or a mixer is your choice but you will need a heavy duty mixer for this amount of dough.)
Rest and prove till almost doubled in volume then turn out and gently work into 2 large or 4 small loaves or 10 baguettes and prove again till almost doubled in size. Slash tops and bake for 25 mins at 235C (fan) 250C (non fan oven) or 460F (fan) 480F (non fan oven) approx 25-40 mins depending on size.
Mist the oven before putting in the bread develops the crust but may damage the oven if the water hits the element so for me; not worth it.Try to maintain the dough smooth side to the top when proving and shaping