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.