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Baguette with a Poolish Ferment

Makes 10 baguettes, plus 1 large or 2 small loaves


5g fresh yeast or 5g dried yeast

350g water

300g Shipton Mill Type "55" White Wheat Flour

50g Shipton Mill Dark Rye Flour


Stir the fresh yeast into the water in your mixing bowl. If using dried yeast, mix it into the flour. Add the flours and mix well. The mixture will be very wet, don't worry this is how it should be. Cover bowl with a large plastic bag and secure with an elastic band.

Leave in the fridge overnight, or leave at room temperature for 4-5 hours. The fridge method is preferable as the longer the dough is left to mature the better the flavour of the finished product.


All of the poolish

1.3kg Shipton Mill Type "55" White Wheat Flour

700g water

20g fresh yeast or 20g dried yeast

30g salt


Preheat the oven to 250 c. Unless you are going to bake in batches, you will need to use both shelves of your oven and use 2 baking stones if you wish. Just make sure you have enough baking trays for resting and baking.

Keeping it in the bowl add all bread ingredients to all of the poolish except the 30g salt and mix to form a dough. Turn onto your work surface and work for 10 minutes without adding more flour. A plastic bread scraper is useful for doing this. After about 10 minutes add the salt and continue to work until smooth and elastic. Lightly flour the work surface and form into a ball. Put the dough back into your lightly floured bowl, cover with a baking cloth and leave to rest for 11/2 hours.

Lightly flour your work surface, turn out the dough and divide into 1x2kg piece and 10x200g pieces. Cover with baking cloths and rest on work top for 15 minutes.

Shape the 2kg piece of dough into 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves. Cover and leave to prove for 11/2 hours. Shape the baguettes one at a time and lay them onto floured baguette trays. Cover with a tented plastic bag or floured cloths and leave to prove for 11/2 hours. I prove my bread on the trays that go into the oven as I use the floor of my Aga roasting oven which is very hot, but you can transfer onto baking stones as you wish.

Mist inside your oven with water to help develop a crispy crust and bake your baguettes until golden brown, which will take about 15 minutes depending on your oven. The large loaf will take around 35-40 minutes, the smaller ones will need 20-25 minutes. If using an Aga you will know your oven, just keep an eye on your loaves.

Cool on wire racks.