White bread with Poolish

Hooray for a husband that loves baking bread! This recipe came from the book Flour Water Salt Yeastby Ken Forkish. I called this batch “Family bread” because we all had a part in making it!

*Naptime tip: Do your mixing and kneading while they sleep if you need something to de-stress.

I was in charge of slashing and baking.
I’m not an expert slasher. Yet.

This kind of bread loves to be toasted and buttered or dunked in soup. And we stuck one loaf in the freezer for when things get crazy again!


(Recipe adapted from Karen’s Kitchen Stories using the Forkish method)



500 g unbleached all purpose flour
500 g lukewarm (80 degrees F) water
.4 g (less than 1/8 tsp) instant yeast.

Final Dough

500 g unbleached all purpose flour
21 g salt
3 g (3/4) tsp instant yeast
250 g 105 degree F water
All of the poolish


  1. The night before you bake the loaves, mix the poolish in a large bowl by hand or with a dough whisk. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours, until tripled in size.
  2. The next day, once the poolish is ready, add the flour, salt, and yeast and whisk together.
  3. Add the water to the poolish to loosen it from the sides of the bowl and scrape it into the flour mixture.
  4. Keeping a bowl of water nearby to wet your hands, mix the ingredients with your hands by folding and pinching alternately for about 3 minutes, until the ingredients are integrated and there is no apparent dry flour. The dough will be very shaggy.
  5. Cover the container and allow the dough to rise for about 2 to 3 hours, until it has increased in size by about 2 1/2 times, stretching and folding every 30 minutes three times during the first 90 minutes.
  6. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half with a bench knife or dough scraper. Shape each half into boules and place them seam side down into floured baskets. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.
  7. Preheat oven with pizza stone to 500 degrees F.
  8. Allow the dough to rise for about an hour.
  9. Carefully turn baskets out onto parchment paper on top of a pizza peel. Slash loaves if desired.
  10. Immediately after putting the loaves in, turn the oven down to 475 degrees F until the crust is browned and the bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom. (I think mine took 20-30 minutes).
  11. Allow the baked loaves to cool (and crackle!) for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack. Enjoy!

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