Word Of The Day: Poolish

Have you ever wondered what gives French baguettes their edge? The secret behind the crisp crust and soft, airy inside that has proven so difficult for Americans to master? The answer lies in the unlikely word poolish, the name for the starter used in baguettes. Maybe it's not the most beautiful French cooking term, but the results are certainly a thing of beauty. Even more unlikely, poolish was supposedly originated in 19th century Poland, and only started appearing in French patisseries in the 1920s.

Like all starters, poolish is a combination of water, flour and yeast. A poolish is a very wet starter, containing equal amounts of flour and water and just a tiny bit of yeast, which is left to sit overnight. If your poolish looks like a thick pancake batter covered in tiny bubbles, then it is ready to be mixed in with the dough and turned into baking gold.

Use today's Word of the Day: Beer, Bacon and Cheddar Bread