hydration without yeast?

hydration without yeast?

Submitted by bboop on November 7, 2015 – 7:31am.

I am re-reading In Search of the Perfect Loaf/ Samuel Fromartz’s book that got me into this obsession/ passion in the first place. He mentions visiting Frederic Pichard’s bakery in Paris. Pichard had a tub of dough hydrating: flour, water, and salt – no yeast. It had been sitting out for 24 hours. This ‘allowed the inherent flavors of the wheat to develop before the yeast was added.’ After the yeast was added, the dough was minimally mixed and left to ferment 4-7 hours. Pichard based this ‘highly unorthodox’ procedure on wine-making techniques.

I am intrigued, but HOW did he add the yeast? Dry and kneaded in? Not wet, I assume. Has anyone tried this? I am having a hard time picturing it in my mind’s eye. thanks