I did it: Pain Poilâne.

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a ‘What the hell?’ attitude. – Julia Child

That might be true of a lot more than cooking.

Anyone who can read, can cook. I swear it’s true. When I tasted this bread 3 hours after it came out of the oven, I was going to say – just call me Lionel (Poilâne). Then I changed my mind. It seems the only requirement for making bread without commercial yeast is the desire to do so. I didn’t do anything complicated or confusing. Ok, I have to admit – I was very enthusiastic.  That was something.

The only special tool needed was an instant read thermometer – not even a digital one. This success of this project was all about following the directions. Well, I guess finding the RIGHT directions was also important; there are plenty of bad directions out there. So I extend thanks to Mary Alice and Walter for loaning me their Peter Reinhart book and for their infectious cheerful zeal. Mr. Reinhart’s instructions for Poilâne-style bread in the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice are accessible and perfectly clear. Thanks guys!

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3 responses to “I did it: Pain Poilâne.

  1. Look at that! Beautiful burnished crust, nice even rise and crumb, well rounded shape and arc (no squatness or uneveness). Perfect loaf of bread. I can only imagine how toasty and wheaty it must smell and taste. I stand in awe. Now, pass the butter and flakey sea salt.

  2. Also – you should check out the lastest is issue of the Art of Eating by Ed Behr. There is a great piece in there about feeding your starter and making pain au lavain. Clearly you need no further instructions – but it’s a fascinating piece.

  3. I’m on it! Thanks Lee – when are you coming to Seattle?!?! We’ll be at Torodel the first two weeks of July…are you in?! Think of all the good fun we can have with the pizza oven!

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