Serious Eats: Recipes

The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking's Poolish Baguettes

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

What bread is more classic and more French than the baguette? This recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking is simple, really. Just flour, water, yeast, and salt. But with bread baking, ingredients are sometimes less important than technique. Take the same ingredients, even in the same quantities, and if you handle them in a different way, you'll end up with a completely different bread.

This recipe takes 18 hours, so you need to plan in advance. However, the work involved is minimal. You'll get a better shape if you have baguette pans, but you'll be fine baking these loaves on a baking sheet or directly on a baking stone in the oven. Don't let the lack of a specialty pan deter you from making this crisp-crusted classic.

This bread is perfect with a bit of butter or cheese or dunked into a soup or broth.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking to give away this week.

Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking by the French Culinary Institute. Copyright © 2011. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

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