Poolish Baguettes. A Breakthrough?
Flour, water, salt and yeast. How can this simple recipe be so hard to perfect. I have been seriously baking bread for about 8 months now and have attempted baguettes with poolish a dozen or more times. The shaping and scoring videos make it look so easy and many on this forum have absolutely mastered the art.
Usually my loaves are very tasty and I can consistently get a very open crumb, yet the visual appeal, with the beautiful grigne and the perfect bloom from precise scoring, has certainly eluded me.
In my latest attempt, I decided to shape a bit more aggressively and make as long of a loaf as my stone would allow. I got a bit over aggressive and the actually hung off the edge of my baking stone about an inch on each side. It didn't hurt them too much besides having little legs on each side. All in all, the shaping went well. Now see if I can proof and score correctly.
I have been using a home made lame with a double edge razor blade to score, but wanted to try something new. I have a slicing knife with about a 14" blade, made for thin slicing roasts or turkey or whatever. I sharpened it with my steel and used the long blade to have a sweeping cut that hopefully would not snag. I would have to say it was my best baguette scoring yet.
This was just a basic 68% hydration recipe with a third of the flour used for the poolish. It is beginning to get easier and I am very pleased with the results.
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