XIX – There is a Good Reason for Everything : Revised Hamelinet Poolish Baguette with T55
Just so that you know I haven’t given up on T55 baguette challenge. ;)
Been always wondering the reason behind using 30% flour for pre-ferment for poolish baguette formula and 50% for Pain Rustique with Poolish in Hamelman’s book. Thought higher proportion of pre-fermented flour would give you better flavour, that’s his Pain Rustique with poolish recipe was what my regular formula for poolish baguette  was based upon…..Which works fine for baguette using a mix of UK strong flour (70-75%) and plain flour (30-25%). But didn’t with 100% T55.
Replaced plain flour with T55 but kept strong flour in poolish, but still not quite right. Wondered if its very low protein level can’t withstand my formula of combination of poolish & very long cold fermentation, I tried reducing the ratio of pre-fermented flour to about 1/3, as in Hamelman’s poolish baguette formula…..and it worked, more or less, though not perfect. But the imperfection was probably due to shortcoming of my skill rather than the formula. The dough was much more manageable and easier to handle, easier to shape, easier to score. Though admittedly it lacks the complexity and depth of 50% pre-fermented flour option I’d been using, and the crumb had lighter texture, too, which can be said it’s more baguette-like.
So, it might be ‘bout time I need to learn to compromise on something to achieve something better in other parts. Maybe the case of a lesson; there can be a good reason for everything. (most of the times….)
So this is the new formula for my latest version of revised Hamelinet Poolish baguette. The only thing I changed is the ratio of pre-fermented flour used for poolish and the amount of yeast and water, accordingly. The method remains same as the original (the link above).
Hamelinet Poolish Baguette – Revised with 1/3 poolish
Ingredients (To make 4 x 40cm mini-baguettes)
Poolish --- Strong flour 155g
Dried yeast 0.3g
Main Dough --- T55 330g
Dried yeast 1.3g
Obvious next step may be to replace strong flour in poolish with T55. Been contemplating that…a lot....though I have a feeling it may needs more intense kneading rather than just several sessions of S & F to develop enough gluten strength for this T55, at least at the initial kneading stage. Will look into it….perhaps…. Maybe back to my old favourite of Bertinet’s slap & fold technique? Another case of there's a reason for everything, possibly......