MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.04
       Title: Classic Country-Style Hearth Loaf Part 1
  Categories: Polkadot, Faylen, Bread:yeast
       Yield: 1 Loaf
       4 oz Water
     1/2 ts Dry yeast
     3/4 c  Flour
      20 oz Water
     1/2 ts Yeast
   6 1/4 c  Flour
       1 tb Sea salt
   Make the Poolish:  Mix 4 oz water and 1/2 teaspoon yeast in a medium
   bowl. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir with a wooden spoon to
   dissolve yeast.  Add the flour.  Stir until the consistency of a
   thick batter. Continue stirring for about 100 strokes or until the
   strands of gluten come off the spoon when you press the back of the
   spoon against the bowl.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a
   rubber spatula.   Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap, and
   place in a moderately warm, draft-free place until mixture is bubbly
   and has increased in volume.
   The longer the poolish sits, the more time it has to become vigorous
   and permeated with the unmistakable aroma of wheaty fermentation.
   This will give your breads full body and a rich nutlike flavor.
   During a long fermentation, the poolish may rise and fall; as long as
   it’s bubbling, don't be concerned about the volume.
   A delicious alternative to a poolish fermented at room temperature is
   an even slower, cooler fermentation for 12-15 hours in the
   refrigerator. The poolish will bring even greater flavor and moisture
   to your final dough, and its yeast cells, having been retarded by the
   cool temperature, will bring hungry vigor to the fermentation.  Allow
   the cold poolish to come to room temperature before using, about 2
   Mix and knead the final dough:  Measure out the remaining ingredients.
   Bring the bowl with the poolish to your work space.  the poolish
   should be soupy, bubbly, and puffy and it should have a wheaty aroma.
    Scrape the poolish into a large 6-quart bowl.
   Add the water and yeast.  Break up the poolish well with a wooden
   spoon and stir until it loosens and the mixture foams slightly.  Add
   1 cup (5 ounces) of the flour and stir until well combined.  Add the
   salt and only enough of the remaining flour to make a thick mass that
   is difficult to stir.
   Turn out ont a well-floured work surface.  The dough will be quite
   sticky at first and difficult to work with.  Dip your hands in flour
   to prevent them from sticking.
   Knead the dough by pushing it down and forward with the heel of one
   hand, then pulling back from the top and folding the dough over with
   the other.  The dough may be very sticky at first, and it will help
   to push the dough forward with the heel fo one hand and fold it over
   using a dough blade.  Gradually add the remaining flour as you work
   the dough and knead vigorously for 15-17 minutes.  If the dough
   remains wet and sticky, it may be necessary to knead in additional
   As the dough develops, it will become smooth, elastic, and strong.
   You will feel the gluten strengthening, making the dough more
   difficult to knead.  Don't be afraid to really work the dough.  Match
   your muscle with that of the gluten.  Use your legs and knees to help
   you create a forward and back motion with the dough.  As you work,
   adding more flour as you go, the dough will become smooth, satiny,
   slightly sticky.  It is a common mistake to add too much flour to a
   dough, making it practically dry.  Don't be afraid to end up with a
   slightly tacky dough.  As long as the dough doesn't stick excessively
   to the work surface, it’s not too wet.  There are three good ways to
   tell if the dough is well kneaded: 1.  Pull a little dough from the
   mass and let it go.  If is springs back quickly, it’s ready.  2.
   Press your finger into the dough and remove it.  If the dough springs
   back, it’s ready.  3.  Shape the dough into a ball.  If it holds its
   shape and does not sag, it’s ready.
   From: Faylen
   Date: 05-01-96 (09:04)
   The Polka Dot Cottage, a BBS with a taste of home.  1-201-822-3627.