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Thursday, March 15, 2007


No no, that doesn't mean that I feel a bit like jumping into a pool . A poolish is another pre-ferment for breads. It allows more flavor to develop before the final dough is mixed. Poolish is much more a batter than it is a dough. It has a much higher hydration level than the biga I made ages ago. It is very similar to a sourdough starter (which I hope to be starting and documenting in two months or so) in texture, but this poolish uses store bought yeast, where the sourdough starter will use yeast and other creatures harnessed from the air. I am making the poolish because it has been far far too long since I have made a focaccia and I want to share this lovely focaccia recipe with you. Focaccia is an Italian flatbread laden with olive oil and whatever else you want to add to it. This particular focaccia is a three day project, but is fairly easy when you break it all down and look at it. Step one will be the poolish that I present to you now. The recipe for the poolish and the foccacia is from the book Crust & Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers by Chef Peter Reinhart, whom I was very fortunate to study bread with back in 1999.

Poolish (I am only making a half batch of this, so that is what I have listed in the short list of ingredients)
2 cups cool water
2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/8 tsp instant yeast
-Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, cover and let sit at room temperature for 3 to 5 hours, or until bubbly. Refrigerate, well covered, overnight or up to three days (after three days the yeast will pretty much have exhausted itself and this will no longer give any sort of rise).

That's it for now.....Mix it and forget it (well, forget it for a few hours anyway).
Enjoy watching the poolish bubble!

*After Photo will be posted in about 5 hours!
*Edit: I have decided (or the fact that the day has gotten away from me has decided) to let the poolish ferment for one more day and make the focaccia tomorrow, so tune in tomorrow for step two of the focaccia!

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