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Old 07-22-2016, 10:28 AM   #1
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Can anyone give me hints and tips for making bread with poolish and biga starters?

I have become interested in bread making recently, so far so good - results using basic bread recipes have turned out reasonably, but I'm interested in trying to do it with starter doughs such as poolish, biga, sourdough and mother dough and pate fermentée. I'm particularly interested in poolish as good foccacia dough is better - or so I'm told - if you use poolish, and I want to try making French baguettes with pate fermentée. Does anyone make these breads, and what advice would you give a novice on the subject?

Many thanks


di reston


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Old 07-22-2016, 10:51 AM   #2
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I made focaccia once. It was delicious but it's quite a commitment. My tip: I wrote down a checklist, including times, of each folding and resting step and checked them off as I went.

Here's part of the focaccia recipe from Cooks Illustrated, so you can see what I mean:

"Mix dough; let rise 15 minutes
Sprinkle salt, mix; let rise 30 minutes
Fold dough; let rise 30 minutes
Fold dough; let rise 30 minutes
Fold dough; let rise 30 minutes
Shape dough; let rest 5 minutes
Poke dough; let rest 10 minutes

You need to know in advance that making this recipe requires being at home for three hours straight, with the freedom to break free from whatever you’re doing so you can mix, sprinkle, fold, shape, poke and bake."

http://www.takingonmagazines.com/ros...-kitchen-2012/
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:39 PM   #3
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I've been pretty successful with no-knead dutch oven bread, but haven't tried other breads - yet. I'm planning to try some baguettes at some point. This one from Food Wishes looks promising:



His no-knead ciabatta is also on my list of things to try.



I picked up "Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza" by Ken Forkish at the local library. He does a good job of explaining the various methods, and everything is aimed at the home bread maker. After reading through I realized that this is more work than I'm willing to go through, so I've been stuck on the dutch oven breads.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:09 PM   #4
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Many many thanks for the information. I'm currently researching focaccia, and I've always wanted to be able to make baguettes. So far I'v managed to dig up 74 regional recipes for focaccia, and the recipes vary - so do the toppings. Genoese focaccia, which is the plainest and the one we all know and love tends to be done with biga, but many focaccia's in the south of Italy use poolish as the starter dough, while Altamura (in Basilicata, in the very south of central Italy) focaccia uses a sourdough which produces a rather firm dough, because of the type of flour once ground semola flour, which is high in gluten. I look forward to sending some of the recipes I've found - they're fascinating! In the meantime, many many thanks for encouraging me along the road!

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Old 07-22-2016, 03:09 PM   #5
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I recall a video on making baguettes on ATK, so I searched for it:

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/reci...code=MCSCD00L0

Also took a look at YouTube. There are pages and pages of videos that people have posted on how to make baguettes!

The instructions from Food Wishes is on the top of my list. I've made a couple of his recipes, and they turned out well. His instructions are usually fairly simple and clear.
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:18 PM   #6
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Wow, thank you so much - now I can really get started to familiarise myself with the ins and outs of bread making, although it seems fairly obvious to me that there are still one or two tricks worth knowing yet if you want to get good at it! You soon realise that there's more to it than meets the eye! Thank you for your trouble.


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Old 07-22-2016, 07:13 PM   #7
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I have a book that's just for foccacia. The bigas or starters are nearly always started the night before and ferment at house temp. All kinds of fillings and or toppings, even just as simple as kosher salt.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:52 PM   #8
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My favorite topping for focaccia is Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, along with rosemary. I love how the cheese gets all crunchy
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:57 PM   #9
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You can also go to The Fresh Loaf | News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts to get tips and tricks on bread making.

For a long while I was making baguettes that needed a poolish to be started 14 to 18 hours ahead of time, plus folds and rises every 20 minutes. But I agree with Tenspeed. Chef John makes a nice baguette and makes it look easy, too.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
My favorite topping for focaccia is Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, along with rosemary. I love how the cheese gets all crunchy
My favorite is jalapeño and cheddar.
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