While baking alone has a certain meditative quality, baking with others can be a lot of fun as you talk over the ingredients, help each other measure and fold and generally just have a good time creating food. So I took the chance when I had my sisters visiting to help my youngest sister try out one of the breads from Hamelman's book, Pain Rustique. This bread, which requires a poolish, is very easy to make, and you do not have to wait 5 or 6 hours until it is completed (ignoring the activation time of the poolish, of course, which we left to sit overnight), but only require short 25 minute breaks, which is a lot nicer to have when you are focused on cooking. And lastly, it does not require any shaping, just like the ciabatta bread, making it very easy to handle for kids.

We did not get to take a lot of photos as we were making the poolish and folding the bread (there's too much sticky dough everywhere when you're two about baking the same bread), we did take some photos before loading the breads into the oven and after they were completely baked.

Finished dough for pain rustique

And once these beauties have finished baking, we get some nice, lovely breads.

Pain rustique

The general consensus between my sisters, my wife and I: mmmmmmmmmmm.

The bread has a lovely, subtle taste without any overpowering sensations. It's a good bread to be used as the basis for any food, and it is about as good as my straight dough French bread (the first poolish bread that has really succeeded for me). If you do not have the time to wait the seven or so hours for the French bread, this is a good choice. I will most likely be utilising this more heavily once we have a child.

Photography and great taste, courtesy of my youngest sister (with a bit of aid).