French Bread Made in the Straight-Dough Style can be remarkably good. Although I freely confess to being a poolish kind of guy—I love the fragrant nuttiness of a ripe poolish, the aroma and flavor of a well-made poolish baguette—I find that when good flour is used to make straight-dough French bread, and when the flour is treated well and handled with care and patience, the resulting bread, with the flour’s intrinsic characteristics coaxed to prominence, can stand confidently alongside French bread made with a pre-ferment. The mixing with this style of French bread is gentle, and gluten development is light. Dough strength is developed through 2 or 3 folds and a long bulk fermentation.
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