This recipe comes from a great Hamelman book – Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes. It makes a great bread that, even though you have to start the Poolish the night before, comes together quickly the next day and bakes up into a wonderful rustic loaf.
Summary: A rustic, free-form artisan bread. Needs to be started the night before.
- For the Poolish:
- 1 lb. bread flour (3 5/8 cups)
- 1 lb. water (2 cups)
- 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
- For the Final Dough:
- 1 lb. bread flour
- 6.1 oz water (3/4 cup)
- Poolish (all of above – 2lbs)
- Salt .6oz (1 Tablespoon)
- Instant Yeast .17oz (1 1/2 tsp)
- To make the Poolish: Mix the yeast in the water, add the flour and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for 12 to 16 hours at room temperature (about 70° F.)
- After the room temperature fermenting, add the Final Dough ingredients of flour, water to the Poolish in a mixing bowl. Do not add the salt or yeast. In a mixer, mix on first speed just until the ingredients come together in a shaggy mass. Cover the mixing bowl with a sheet of plastic and let this rough dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes. At the end of the rest period, sprinkle the salt and yeast over the dough and turn the mixer to second speed. Mix until the dough is fairly well developed, 1-1⁄2 to 2 minutes (or adjust the mixing time accordingly for hand kneading). The dough should be supple and moderately loose. Desired dough temperature is 76° F.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for 70 minutes total, with folds to the dough at the 25 and 50 minute mark of the 70 minute rise.
- After 70 minutes, divide the dough in half and form in to loaves and place on a flour dusted peel (or on to flour dusted parchment paper on a baking sheet)
- Let the loaves proof for 20 to 25 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven (and baking stone, if using) to 460° F. When ready to bake, slash each loaf down the center. Spritz the side of the oven (avoid light bulb area) to generate some steam. Load the bread in the oven and spritz again. Bake at 460° F. for about 35 minutes.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 35 min
Total time: 12 hours 45 min
Number of servings (yield): 2 free-form loaves
Yield: 2 medium free-form loaves
Time from start to finish: 14-18 hours