When is a pre-ferment of use?
This question is not to, in any way, offend anyone's methods or knowledge of baking.
Having read numerous bread books, the consensus seems to be that you must have a pre-ferment. Bread made quickly via a straight dough will be not have near the flavor without a pre-ferment. Hmmm, sounds logical. But being of an inquisitive nature I did a test.
I made two batches (2 loaves per batch) of bread from a common recipe. It was a whole wheat loaf that is about 60%a bread flour and 40% whole wheat. It's a nice recipe and makes a wonderfully soft and lightly flavored whole wheat sandwich bread. For one batch I took the whole wheat (10 oz), water (10 oz) and a pinch of yeast to make a poolish. I mixed it and set it out covered in my kitchen for over 13 hours. The temperature was 70-72F.
On day two I made one batch using the poolish and another batch by just mixing it all at once and baking, a straight dough. Both batches had the same ingredients, same environment, same rise times and the same oven environment. And both batches look and taste identical. Same flavor, crust and crumb.
So. Did I do something wrong? Is a preferment of use in just certain cases? Or is a preferment only useful in whole grain recipes that do not have as much bread/ap flour in them?