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cooking:recipes:french_style_country_bread [2020/05/20 16:01] (current)
hannah created
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 +====== French Style Country Bread ======
 +
 +===== Ingredients =====
 +
 +==== Poolish ====
 +
 +  * 1 cup cool to lukewarm water (90°F to 100°F)
 +  * 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
 +  * 149g Unbleached Bread Flour
 +  * 28g spelt flour
 +
 +==== Dough ====
 +
 +  * all of the poolish
 +  * 1 cup (227g) lukewarm water (100°F to 115°F)
 +  * 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
 +  * 1 tablespoon sugar
 +  * 450g to 480g bread flour
 +  * 3 teaspoons salt, to taste
 +
 +===== Instructions =====
 +
 +  - **The night before you bake:** Combine all ingredients for poolish in your largest mixing bowl (if planning on using a stand mixer for this, form the poolish there). This will be a sloppy, very wet mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a small hole in the top ((I have no evidence that this allows "​wild"​ yeast to enter the poolish, but I like to think that it does, and that it changes the flavor a bit. A side by side comparison of poked and un-poked dough is necessary)). Let sit in a room-temperature space where it can be undisturbed over night.
 +  - **The dough, the next day:** add the water, yeast, sugar, 390g)of the flour, and the salt to the poolish. Combine into a very shaggy dough. Let it rest for ~10 minutes, then stir to see how well it comes together. Add a bit more flour until you get a more cohesive dough. If the dough is still quite wet, let it sit another 10 minutes before adding more flour. Repeat until you get to a dough that can be handled without your hands being coated in sopping wet dough ((By using this method, you'll tend to add less flour, and have much bigger holes in your finished bread.)). ​
 +  - Knead dough for 10-15 minutes, until it is springy and smooth -- the dough should not fall apart when you work it, and should have a somewhat tight surface. Some wrinkles are ok. You aren't going for perfection. ​
 +  - Return dough to bowl after lightly greasing it. Cover it with your plastic wrap and let it sit for several hours until it's doubled nicely. ​
 +  - Heat oven to 475°F and place a lidded Dutch oven inside to heat. Scatter a rimmed baking sheet with corn meal to hold your dough while you shape it. Remove risen dough from bowl; it will collapse slightly -- no need to "punch it down" as it will collapse quite a bit on it's own. Place dough on it's cornmeal baking tray and tuck it's edges underneath itself. Scatter the top and sides with more cornmeal if you like (it will toast up in the oven, and will give a nice extra layer of crunch). Cover with plastic wrap while you wait for the oven to heat. 
 +  - Once the oven comes to temp, carefully remove your Dutch oven lid, scatter more cornmeal on the bottom of your pot, and place your dough inside. Slash the top. Replace the lid, and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the Dutch oven lid, reduce heat to 430°F, and bake for another 25 minutes. Remove from oven, Dutch oven, and place on cooling rack once you can handle it. 
 +  - Allow to cool for 1-2 hours before slicing. Be patient! Enjoy. ​
 +
 +==== Notes ====
 +
 +  * The use of spelt flour in the poolish provides a nice space for experimenting. You can use whole wheat flour if it's what you have available. You can also experiment with "​funkier"​ flours, such as rye or barley. If you have flour that has been ground on a local stone mill, it will be preferable in providing great flavor and more "​funk"​.
 +  * Baking in a Dutch oven provides a steaming environment for the bread. If you don't have a Dutch oven, some bakers find success in misting the oven lightly with a spray bottle filled with water at the beginning of baking and when during the temperature drop. 
 +
 +~~NOTOC~~