Extra Crusty Buns (Birote Style)

My Slice of Mexico

In my previous post, I talked about my encounter with these buns called birotes, in Guadalajara, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, so this post is all about making a batch at home in Canada, far away from their place of origin.  As I mentioned, the “secret” of this bread is to prepare a batch of starter with yeast in it, and letting it ferment for a few hours.  This pre-fermented yeast mixture is called a poolish (from the French pouliche), used in French baked goods, such as baguettes, to obtain a richer flavour and a nice rising of the final dough.  The poolish or “mother dough”, called “pata” in Mexico (which literally translates to “leg” or “paw”) is then mixed into a batch of dough, which also contains some yeast.  Sprinkling with water before or during baking encourages the formation of a crispy exterior (some professional ovens have…

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