I am not getting round to blogging a whole list of topics because I have too much else to do. Here is a sop: I was looking at a baking glossary (DE, EN, IT, FR, NL, ES) that Christiane recommended to see if it looked reliable – it does – and I was struck by the French word for sponge (Vorteig), le poolish. I was even more surprised to discover its origin, from the English word Polish. Yet it refers to the sort of sponge made with baker’s yeast (sourdough is levain). Perhaps this ‘via Vienna’ is the answer:
Ce mode de fabrication a son origine en Pologne, et ce sont les boulangers viennois qui l’introduisirent en France pour Marie Antoinette.
(Before she told them to eat cake). I still don’t see where the ‘English’ came from.