Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pain Rustique with Poolsih

I have always been a Poolish guy, there is something about hydrating a portion of the doughs final flour with equal parts of flour and water and a pinch of yeast that just adds such a dynamic to a bread. A nutty flavor which even extends the loafs shelf life. When mixing a poolish I recommend adding the water to the bowl first with the pinch of yeast. Then weigh the flour and combine the two and mix well with a rubber spatula (or whatever you have, your index finger works too). This way you do not have to deel with the flour getting caked on the bottom because you were unable to get 'under' it with your spatula. One can also preferment in the 'Biga' style. which uses the same amount of flour but a smaller portion of water, usually around 60 percent. This provides a more sour flavor, I will discuss biga at a later point in time. As you know,  I have been working through the "Bread" book, Hamelman is a fan of something known as pate fermente this is 'old' dough' and this will be discussed with bigas.


During this breads production  I took multiple pictures to show the pre ferments as well some pictures to demonstrate the gluten development through the two folds. This Pain Rustique also used an autolyse which is when you mix the preferment, remaining flour and water in the bowl just until a shaggy mass is formed and then you cover it for about 30 minutes. Then you add the salt and yeast, and then you mix on second speed. By doing this you cut down on the final fermentation time, which is normally an hour or so. In this bread the final fermentation only takes 25 minutes, so get your oven rip roaring early!





This first picture is of the preferment in the mixing bowl with the water. You will notice how wet it looks, this is due to the hydration ration of 1:1.
I then add the flour and mix until a shaggy mass is formed, and then this is the autolyse and you leave that for about thirty minutes. 

One the mass is cohesive as one unit I remove it from the mixing bowl, tightly wrap it in plastic and let it sit for 30 minutes. 

 This picture is from the second mix at second speed about one minute into the mixing.
Now that the dough is done mixing, you can see how easily it can be stretched. This is known as the gluten window. The thinner you can stretch the dough with out it ripping the more gluten development there is. 

The really high percentage of preferment flour in this bread give such strong gluten development. This bread is one you do not shape, you can let it proof in wooden frames, but this is not necessary if you are able to develop the gluten network in the mixing process, in the preferment and by the two folds. I was able to produce this bread with out the frames. Although, I totally forgot to score the loaf before I placed it on my baking stone. So as you can see the bread has a funny look to it. This is also a bread you do not pre-shape, that is why you use the frames, as you can see it maintains its shape fairly well. 

Here is the finished product. I will have to reproduce this loaf remembering to score it. 
 As you can see the bottom sort of puffed out as well, this is due to the fact that I did not score the loaf and the steam could not escape
As you can see this bread provides wonderful holes, this is due to the addition of the poolish. The result is a very reliable and suitable rustic style white bread. 

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