Hello fellow bakers,
I thought i was alone, after reading many of the comments (of getting confused by too much info from online recipes) I realized I was not. My challenge has been "the baguette", and after going through most of the recipes some questions are still lingering and I'm reaching out for your help. I managed to get the shape, crumb, crust right (as i desire it). But I am working on the taste and my challenge is to have longer fermentations with least possible amount of yeast (instant is what I have, and for all the fresh sourdough starter fans, I can say I failed miserably at doing a fresh levant)...so im working purely using the poolish method. If anyone out there can help with the following questions I would appreciate it.
1) If I want a longer fermentation time for my main dough mix (bulk fermentation stage), then what percentage poolish would you advise me to use. (I use a % from total flour amount). Right now I have been working with 34%...but is it better to opt for 50% of poolish to get a longer bulk fermentation time, also emitting yeast from dough mix (taking into account the next question).
2) Some Recipes use instant yeast for poolish and main dough mix and others only in poolish. I use 0.03% of poolish flour for a 16 hour pre ferment. If I want a longer fermentation as in question(1) and am looking to use the least amount of instant yeast as possible - i prefer my yeast to come naturally from the poolish), then do i need yeast in my main dough mix? if i emit the yeast from the main dough mix, will my bread still rise equally during bulk fermentation/ baking . To get max rise/bloom what percentage should of flour should I use for my poolish flour.
3) Some recipes call for warm water in the final dough mix (32℃/90℉)...if i want to decrease bulk fermentation time, I am deducting that i use room temp water instead, unless the warm water has a different reason for being there.
4) Some recipes call for 3 stretch and folds (S&F) other for 6. What do i go with if (not sure if mixing with mixer vs. by hand effects this number). the S&F are done to strengthen gluten, so what is my bench mark.
5) Is there a minimum yeast% I can work with/is recommended (from baker's percentage) for overall baguette recipe.
5) Any recommendation for a ONE great book to own on bread making, if i want to have it as my bible/reference. Thats more versatile (ie incorporates a wide array of bread techniques)
Thank you in advance. (:
Keen covid baker.