First attempt at making Baguette with Poolish didn't come out too well...
Hi all, I found this site not long ago and it’s been nigh on invaluable after I recently got into baking. The tips and recipes have all really inspired me, and I have been happily experimenting away with different flours and types of bread for the last couple of months. I tried to test my abilities and learn some new skills over the weekend by using making a French Baguette using a poolish, and it failed and I’m really not too sure why, I was wondering if you ladies and gents had any suggestions as to where I went wrong?
The recipe I followed was one here; http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7613/great-baguette-quest-n°1.
I followed it to the letter; except someone commented on the recipe by saying it was a good idea to try an autolyse as well, so I mixed the poolish with the remaining ingredients (less the yeast) and let it all sit for an hour. However I had a feeling something was wrong as soon as I looked at it; because the autolyse had hardly risen (I’m not too sure by how much it is supposed to, though…) and when I added the rest of the yeast and water and began to knead, I felt the consistency was all wrong. I put it down to the fact that it was wet dough, and kneaded it for a good 10-15 mins, but it still did not windowpane that well, no matter how much I kneaded it. Then during the first proving it rose very slowly, and even after giving it an hour, it had only just doubled in size. Even when I shaped the baguettes, again I could just tell the texture of the dough was all wrong, and after proving them for another hour they had nowhere near doubled in size, and just looked kind of flat. I nonetheless persisted, and when I tried to score the dough (something I’ve never had any trouble with before) the blade did not cut very well at all. Instead, the only way I can describe it is that the dough kept catching on the blade and dragging along, making it just look wrinkled and misshapen.
I really wish I’d taken pictures of the dough before I tried baking them, as it’s a bit difficult to explain what it was like, but hopefully you guys might know what I mean, and have some idea where I went wrong?