My Poolish Bread - I need better equipment.

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Smoking Fanatic
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Jan 16, 2019
About two months ago, I started a thread asking for tips and tricks for making bread, and I received many responses, ideas and suggestions (Thank You all for taking the time to post!!) I finally had the time to put them to use and make my first try at a Poolish Bread.

The first step in any cook is gathering the necessary ingredients:

Did the first mix: This was covered and left on the counter over night.

I guess this is then called the Poolish (preferment). I mixed it until the flour was incorporated, but did not mix beyond that point. It was fairly sticky.

The next morning, I added the rest of the flour, water yeast and the salt, and let it set for a bit.

The recipe I used then said to fold over itself as you turn the bowl. Fold for about 5 or 10 minutes. Do this 3 times, letting it rest for about 20 minutes after each fold. Then let it rest for about 2 hours. Done....

Pour out onto a bread board and separate:

Then into to oven to bake at 475 degrees: I think next time I need another rise before I start baking, but I do not know if cast iron needs to be preheated before adding bread dough???

The finished product:

Fun and interesting bake. As I have said, every time I tried to make bread it tasted like flour and water. This was much better. Both the wife and I were pleased with the texture and flavor. Right out of the oven it was a little mild, but a couple hours later it was quite yummy.

Now, I did learn a few things along the way.

First, as you can see, I do not have the proper baking vessels. The dutch oven is a 12 qt which is far too big and the bread did not rise. It just kind of stayed in the shape it was in when I plopped it in. I think I need a 5qt pot for this bread. I do have one cast iron loaf pan I may try too. I did like the way the cast iron baked.

And I will never use this pot again for bread. (I was able to clean it up):

Second, parchment paper is a must.

Third, I need to get some proofing bowls/containers.

The dough was fairly sticky throughout the whole process and I did forget to lightly dust the cooking pots. The final product was nice and spongy/moist so I think it was the right mix of flour/water.

Overall, it was the BEST bread I ever made, and it is because of the tips and suggests I received here.

Now, off to Amazon to find some better baking equipment. :emoji_sunglasses:

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You did great!!!

Yes, you absolutely want to preheat the cast iron or glass cooking vessels for at least 20 minutes, 30 would be better. And score the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade before baking, it isn't just for looks.

Good job, I kneed* to start baking before the weather gets too warm to use the oven. I don't eat much bread these days, but once or twice a month wouldn't kill me.

Nice work.
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