If I’ve ever made April Fool’s bread it is this. I’m still learning to “de-gas” my dough in the shaping process. When you don’t properly or sufficiently de-gas, you get silly shapen loaves such as these. Basically, bread aneurysms.
Pain Sur Poolish
Basic Sponge Bread
Adapted from the Village Baker
The Poolish (sponge):
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup filtered water
1 cup unbleached white flour (all-purpose flour)
Add the flour to a bowl, stir in the yeast for even distribution, then pour in the water. Stir with your hands to make sure there are no small balls of flour left in the poolish. Cover the bowl with a lid, a towel or plastic film and let rise in on the counter. The poolish will be ready when the top is covered in bubbles, approximately 3 to 5 hours later, but I let it go overnight.
2 cups unbleached white flour (all-purpose flour)
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
½ cup water
In the bowl, add the flour, salt and yeast. Stir to combine. Add all of the poolish and the water. Mix on low speed for about 4 minutes to incorporate the ingredients. Switch to a medium speed and mix for another 5 minutes. The dough should come together in a ball and be moist, but not sticky. Place the dough in a bowl that’s been lightly coated with olive oil and cover with a towel. Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours. Divide the dough into two pieces, and then shape each piece into a round. Cover the loaves with a towel and let rise another 1 to 1½ hours. The loaves will be ready to bake when the dough slowly springs back when pressed with a finger.
While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 450° with a baking stone set on the bottom deck of the oven. If you do not own a pizza stone, the loaves can be baked on a cookie tray. Place the risen loaf on a cornmeal-dusted peel or cookie tray. Make two vertical cuts in the top of each loaf using a razor blade or a serrated knife.
Prior to placing the loaf in the oven, use a spray bottle filled with filtered water to spray the top and sides of the oven to create steam, then put in the loaf. Spray the top and sides of the loaf before you close the oven door. Bake the loaves for approximately 30 to 45 minutes or until the crust is at your desired shade.
5 stars, regardless of its strange bread bunions and gas-omas, the loaves tasted fabulous and healthy.