Saturday, 25 June 2016

Whole wheat country bread (poolish)

I fell in love with artisan bread while back packing in Europe 23 years ago. The crusty crust and the soft bread got me seriously hooked to it.

In Singapore, eating artisan bread can be quite expensive and because it is not readily available everything, it was tough too when I wanted it.

After baking soft fluffy bread for so many years, my confidence level went up.  Now I know how to knead as well as how to gaudge the window pane test.  So I wanted to challenge myself further by baking Artisan bread.

For the past one year, I have been trying to start sourdough starter using both fruit yeast as well as flour yeast methods.  Both methods failed miserably.  I don't know why but the trice attempts on fruit yeast method, I never got it to pass to the flour incorporation.

As for the flour experience, it was worst.  the trice attempts were not the consistency I was looking for.

So today, I decided to give myself a break.

I went on to try the poolish method.  Was happy to see how the poolish that i prepared the night before, was bubbling happily in this wet morning.

I proceed on with some hesitation.  The dough is very wet as it has liquid ratio was high I supposed.

It was not as intimidating as I thought it will be.  I was happy too that I get to use my proofing baskets as well.  Yay, finally no longer a white elephant!

Findings: This recipe yield two small loaves.  The crust is indeed crusty and has a soft inner.

Managing the wet dough can be a challenge but with a scraper, it is not so difficult to handle.

Next time, I will add some seeds and nuts to this.

Definitely a keeper.

What you need:


200g plain flour
200ml water
a 3 fingers pinch of yeast


Mix all the ingredients well, cling wrap and let it sit in room temperature for 12 hours.


500g poolish
150ml water
200g whole wheat flour
50g bread flour
10g salt
⅛ tsp yeast


Pour water into the poolish and mix to combine.

Pour the poolish mixture into a mixing bowl.

Next add in the wholewheat and bread flours.

Follow by salt and then yeast.

Using a dough hook, mix until the dough is stringy.  (yet it is still very wet)

Pour the mixture into a big bowl.

Wet your hand and fold the dough a few times.

Clingwrap and let it proof for 3 hours at 20-25°C or double in size.  I took 2 hrs at Singapore room temperature.

Generously dust the table top with flour.   Dab the scraper with flour.

Gently ease the dough with the scraper onto the surface.  Try not to deflate the bubbles.

Using a scrapper, fold and shape the wet dough into an oval.

Divide into two portions.

Fold and shape to tighten tension on outer skin.  Shape into a ball. 

Dust proofing basket generously with flour.  With seams side down, gently lift the soft dough into the proofing basket.  Dust flour on the dough.

Cling wrap and let it proof for 1 hr or until double in size.

Preheat oven and dutch oven to 240°C 

Gently put the dough into the hot dutch oven.  Cover with lid.

Let it bake for 30 mins.  Remove lid and let it bake for another 10 min until golden.

Transfer bread to cooling rack and only cut when bread is thoroughly cooled.


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