These days the the wonderful aroma of bread is wafting through the Bewitching Kitchen  …   For those who don’t know about “The BBA Challenge“, a few months ago Nicole, of  “Pinch My Salt“, decided to bake every  bread from Peter Reinhart’s   book  “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice“, and sent out a virtual invitation to anyone interested in joining her.    It involves forty-three breads in all,  made in the order that they appear in the book.  Over two hundred people accepted the challenge, including me.  It’s been a ton of fun so far, with ups and downs, successes and failures.

Here we are, at recipe number 26: Poolish Baguettes


Poolish is a soft mixture of flour, water and yeast that ferments overnight (or longer) and then gets incorporated into a bread dough.  In this recipe, the dough contains both white and whole wheat flour, but the whole wheat is first sifted to remove some of the bran.  It’s an interesting method, and here’s all the bran left behind after sifting a few ounces of flour:


Reinhart’s recipe calls for kneading the dough.  I prefer folding instead of kneading, so that’s what I did: 3 folding cycles during the initial 2 hours of fermentation.  After cutting the dough into three pieces, I shaped each one as a baguette.  After two more hours rising, the baguettes were slashed with sharp razor blade, and placed in the oven.

Notice how bubbly the dough was…

compositeEven though  my slashing skills still need improvement, this time my shaping wasn’t too bad.   There are many online videos showing how to shape a baguette;  maybe one day if I get really good at it… I’ll post my own 😉

In the meantime, you can watch a particularly instructive video here….

These baguettes were delicious!   I’d probably reduce the proportion of whole wheat in the dough, but this recipe is already a winner for me and my husband.


16 thoughts on “BBA#26: POOLISH BAGUETTES

  1. This baguette seems to be the perfect compliment to a couple of recent posts from Lucullian delights. Beautiful photos.
    I saw your p0st expressing your disappointment in showing your photo with each comment on the Lucullian spot. While it seems to be very appropriate and a good photo all you need do is post a new photo with your blogspot.
    I have recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it.
    It is noticeble how your strength is helping Ilva now. .
    Absorb the full moon on this Dia de los Muertos.


  2. I am looking forward to making this bread. I relish any opportunity to perfect my shaping and slashing skills. (Who would have thought I’d utter that phrase a year ago?)

    Your open crumb is enviable and your slashing look pretty good to me.


  3. You’re getting really good at shaping Sally! Lovely looking loaves.

    Thanks for linking to that video. I’m making my baguettes today and still need help with shaping.


  4. They look really good! These are up next for me so I’m glad someone else tackled them first.

    You say you’d cut back on the whole wheat next time, can you explain why? I haven’t made this one of course so I haven’t seen/tasted it but going by your crumb shot, it really doesn’t look like the whole wheat is very prominent. So I’m just curious why you’d consider cutting back.

    Great looking bread there in any case. Keep it up!


  5. Hello there, Paul… I am glad I caught your comment, because for some reason WordPress put it right into the SPAM! Go figure!

    I wanted to try it with a little less whole wheat to see if it would improve the texture a little, maybe a slightly more open crumb. I would not say this baguette was “heavy”, but it was not as light as some. Maybe a little less whole wheat could suit my taste better… But, you know, I think you should do it exactly as written, and see what you think.

    Good look, and I look forward to your report!


  6. Pingback: SABU’S SPICY COCONUT CHICKEN | Bewitching Kitchen

  7. Many thanks….So many new breads & other food delights that I can’t wait to try!
    The video link will help enormously…..Well Done again, in fantastic ‘Poolish Baguettes’. Gorgeous!
    You’re a true ‘Bread-making Babe’, hope that I can say the same! Thank-you!


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