The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

CIA Whole Wheat with Poolish

louiscohen's picture

CIA Whole Wheat with Poolish

If we apply mathematics to baking, the Intermediate Value Theorem  says that to get from lousy to good we have to pass through mediocre, and that's where I am today,

CIA Whole Wheat with Poolish Photos

CIA Whole Wheat with Poolish Formula and Notes

Thanks to everyone here who made valuable suggestions to help me get from pancake batter on the baking stone to a so-so loaf of bread, with hope for improvement.  

The links above are for a loaf made from a formula in the Culinary Institute of America baking and pastry textbook (66% whole wheat with 75% hydration).  I finally got a loaf that held its shape after being transferred from the banneton to the peel.  This minor miracle was the result of some combination of:

  • Poolish instead of straight dough
  • Adjusting the water temp to reach the DDT (it has been chilly here, and I keep the whole wheat flour in the freezer, so the water temp came out to 133° F)
  • Mixing in the KitchenAid (4 minutes speed 1 / 4 minutes speed 2)
  • Better folding
  • Better preshaping, with more tension - a little bit of flour on the board and hands so that the dough didn't stick
  • Better shaping, with more tension

I would like to get more oven spring and a more open crumb, and some attractive grigne if possible.  

I might have cut the poolish a little short, and/or the bulk fermentation.  The formula called for a 1 hr proof, but the bread seemed to pass the poke test (when poked, it came back slowly, and only part way) after just 30 minutes; so that's when I baked it.  

Thanks for suggestions, especially on how to know when the poolish, bulk fermentation, and proof are done.