The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bolillos with poolish

baybakin's picture

Bolillos with poolish

Living in San Diego for school, I gained a love for the little rolls brought from the local panaderia down the street.  Like little mini batards, pulled from the oven and placed in bins alongside racks of pan dulces.  Alas, here in the oakland hills the closest panaderia is a 15-20 minute drive away, and the bolillos just aren't quite like the ones I used to get in San Diego.

Most of the recipies I've seen are straight-dough, and being that I can't leave well enough alone, I have developed the following recipe, based off of the Poolish Baguettes in Hamelman's Bread.  The percentages of fat and sugar are from a bakery near mexico city (I don't remember quite where).

166g Flour
166g Water
Pinch of yeast (less than 1/8 tsp)

Let poolish sit overnight or at least 8 hours, untill poolish begins to pucker in the middle.

Final Dough:
All of the Poolish
334g Flour
164g Water
15g Fat (Lard or shortning)
10g Salt
10g Sugar (unrefined cane or honey)
2g instant yeast

Mix everything but the salt together into a shaggy mass.  Let autolysis for at least 20 mins.  Add salt and kneed dough untill it passes a windowpane test.  Let rise until doubled.  Divide into 6-8 pieces, preshape into rounds and let bench rest for 10 mins.  Shape into ovals and place into a floured couche like you would for baguettes.  Preheat oven to 500F at least 45 minutes before baking.  Slash bolillos once lengthwise and place into oven. Bake for 5 mins with steam at 500F then turn down oven to 450F for 10 mins (or untill a dark hazlenut color is achieved).  Remove breads and let cool (if you can).  Enjoy with some avocado, pickled jalapenos, ham, and farmers cheese, or just with some butter.


Bread behind is some oakland sourdough, made with Central Milling's type 70 high extraction flour.



breadsong's picture

Hello baybakin,
Your bolillos are beautiful, and your formula just what I've been looking for, wanting to make bolillos for a friend who just returned from Central America.
I've been thinking about these breads for awhile now, off and on, and it's a delight to see your post.
Muchas gracias!
:^) breadsong

baybakin's picture

Thanks breadsong!  I hope they turn out well for you, regional differences being quite common they might not be quite what they are used to.  If I remember correctly further south in mexico they like them longer, crustier, and levained with sourdough! I'll probably be posting some more interpretations of some of my panaderia favorites, probably some pan dulces next. 

charliez's picture

Great looking bolillos!  Would be nice to see the inside...

Bolillos are not what they use to be anymore, they are now mass produced or
made in a hurry and they are just elongated pieces of white dough.  They are
also victims of price regulation, where the price cannot excede 1.50/2.00 pesos
so the panaderias do not invest that much time in making them the right way.
I think we need a little regulation, like the one seen in France years ago, to
bring back good bread to our tables.

Look forward to your pan dulces and do not forget "la telera"... 

baybakin's picture

I'd love to upload of a picture of the crumb, but they all got devoured before I got a chance, they are still hot in the picture. I'll insert a picture next time I make this recipe.  La telera is the flatter version with 3 slashes right?  I saw them a bit in San Diego, but nothing of the sort up here.

charliez's picture

Yes, it has 2 indentations, not slashes and it has taken the torta
market (hehe) due to its flatness.   I think it could be done with the
same dough as bolillos... I have never asked, I will next time I go to
the panaderia.  Some pictures...


dabrownman's picture

for shaping La Telera's.  No slashing, just some hand work and use of a handle of a wooden spoon.  Shaping starts at 11 minutes.

Happy bolillo baking.

charliez's picture

The video link is missing!

dabrownman's picture

bolillos are scrumcious.  You are right, crunchy SD, slightly pointier, not quite as fat is the bolillo in the south of Mexico and the Brownman household since we don't stock commercial yeast.  You have inspired my apprentice to try some yeast water ones....

Very nice bolillos!

baybakin's picture

Thanks for the compliment! I'd love to get the percentages/method you use for sourdough bolillos, I'm quite curious about how they'd taste.

dabrownman's picture

Since you have developed the recipe you like, I would just replace the poolish with the SD levain builds below and skip the yeast in the final dough too.  Do the levain build over 3 stages of 4 hours each - 12 hours total.  Then do some S&F's, maybe (6) 15 minutes apart, then let the dough rest, develop and ferment for 1 1/2 hours and then refrigerate it overnight.

Let it come to room temperature the following morning say another hour or so then shape into bolillos as you normally would and let rise till they pass the poke test - probablly about an hour and half ( be patient - unlike me).  You should end up with a fine SD bolillo as a result.  I would use a mix of lard and butter for mine (and honey too) but you have developed a fine recipe that you should convert to SD and see how they differ.  I bet you will like them both.  Happy Bolillo Baking !

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charliez's picture

What do you mean by S&F's?

dabrownman's picture

you can up the hydration a little by using 185 g of water instead of 164 g for the dough - upping the hydration to 67% and knead it with the dough hook in the KA on speed 2 for 6 minutes and let it rest for 20 mimutes.  Then only do 4 stretch and folds 15 minutes apart and then let it rest, ferment and develop for an hour and a half before refrigerating overnight.  

Ther are all kinds of videos on TFL and youtube showing how to to do S & F's.  Just search in the box.  Remwnber to really stretch... before you fold over.  Don't break the dough or tear it though.  But if you do - no worries.  Most dough isn't smart enough to know it has been torn.    If it screams then you know you have an alien dough :-)  Then you worry!

Bake on my friend.

dablues's picture

means stretch and folds

aarmogan's picture

I found a video on the bolillo shaping.