The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SusanLR's blog

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Hi--This is my first communication with other amateur bread bakers.  I'm getting back into bread baking, after years of heavenly white loaves and cinnamon rolls, and taking the plunge into artisan breads, especially wheat and whole grain loaves.  It may sound odd, but I'm starting with a recipe for baguettes, then gradually adding wheat/grains to the basic recipe.  Being a rank amateur, I'm getting my supplies from KA Flour/Baker's Catalogue.  Yesterday/today, I attempted a baguette recipe using their European-Style Artisan Flour.  The recipe required a poolish with room temperature pre-fermenting.  Problem: I keep my house at 67 degrees (I'm in the Seattle area so cool is the norm).  The poolish, and later the rising dough, felt COLD, though the poolish did produce some small-ish bubbles, but not the big ones described in the recipe.  I can't figure out how to produce conditions for an ideal, very slow rise atmosphere.  Any ideas?  I really don't want the whole process to take three or four days.

By the way, the final product--two, somewhat lanky baguettes--had a wonderful flavor and a decent texture, but not enough rise.  I'm already sold on the need for poolish, but need some suggestions for a somewhat more yeast-friendly environment.  I will be studying the lessons on this site, but wanted to share this first experience.

Thanks, SusanLR

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