Stick a Fork(ish) in me, I'm done!
I was on vacation for a week and used my starter for nothing but pancakes (which, because they were watered down, came out more like crepes) and when we came home on Saturday, I knew that my usual tartine bake was not going to fit in with my weekend schedule.
Fortunately, I had yet to bake from Flour, Water, Salt & Yeast and I decided to give it a go with a <gasp!> 100% All Purpose Flour loaf, using <gasp!> commercial yeast!
Of course, I could not start with a straight dough after eating so many country loaves and whole wheat variants of same, so I opted for the 80% Poolish variety of white bread, figuring that this would keep me from finding the bake overly bland.
This also provided me an opportunity to use my nifty Cambro buckets.
The top bucket has some bizarre i-Phone flash reflection going on. In person, the bucket looks just like the bottom one, only smaller. The top bucket contains my poolish recently mixed. The bottom photo contains the remaining flour, salt and in the baby food container, the yeast for the final dough. I was not sure if it was safe to mix the yeast with the flour and salt and let it sit overnight but figured it can be left in a glass jar unrefrigerated and be just fine.
The next morning, my poolish was over-ripe. The book says it should be rounded on top, and tripled in volume. Instead, it looked like it had collapsed some because the surface was a bit concave rather than domed.
I dispersed the yeast the following morning and added the poolish into the larger bucket.
I did not remember to photograph the bucket before it was time to shape the dough. Nor did I photograph the dough in the baskets. The dough was a lot more pillow-like than my tartine doughs. It was very soft. It was also a bit more difficult to handle because it seemed like it was ready to deflate at any moment. Either that or it was just looser dough.
The finished loaves (a bit blurry) looked pretty good, though I overcooked the bottoms (need to raise the oven rack back up a notch). They did not burst and I wonder if that is the result of my poolish/biga being overly developed prior to dough mixing.
The truth is, I could hardly tell if I was proofing seam side up or seam side down. But these photos make me think I did it seam-side down since I did no scoring.
And, finally, another crumb shot:
Let me say that the bread was delicious. Even though the bottom was burned a bit, it just added to the flavor. It is a very soft bread, a bit more difficult to cut, but oh so delicious with butter. It made a delicious grilled cheese sandwich too.
And the following day (today) it made a fantastic peanut butter sandwich. My wife says I should only make white breads like this, but I did remind her that we've had some delicious wheat and rye breads too and she agreed. Plus, of course, I have a very expensive grain mill and can't possibly shelve it.
Next time I make this bread, I will mix the poolish a little later in the evening so that it is ready to go closer to 12 hours later.