Like many food items, in France baguettes are strictly regulated. A standard baguette may only contain four ingredients (yeast, water, bread flour, salt) and should have a final baked weight of approximately 250 grams.
Poolish baguettes have those same four standard ingredients but also have a poolish made of water, yeast and bread flour made in advance. Essentially the poolish doesn’t add a new or different ingredient, but a prefermented dough for added flavour. A poolish should either be made the day before and left on the counter at room temperature to ferment for 12-24 hours before baking the baguettes, or made three days in advance and left in the fridge. The Poolish Baguette has become the standard in most respectable French bakeries.
In class we also made a poolish for our next class where we will be making Sweet Rolls. In addition, we made a “Scald” or “Mash” for our Tuscan Bread. 🙂