The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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DonD

I have not done much baking in the last month and a half since my Father suffered a stroke. After a brief stay in the hospital, he was moved to a rehabilitation center for speech, occupational and physical therapy. Subsequently, our days were busy with work, shuttling my mother back and forth from her apartment to the rehab center where she would spend all day with him and preparing dinner for her in the evening since she was too tired to even think about herself. Unfortunately, because the stroke had affected his speech and ability to swallow food, he was progressively getting weaker and complications set in until he was moved back to the hospital where the doctors told us that basically they could not do anything else for him. We moved him to a Hospice Center in the Washington area a week from this past Tuesday, a beautiful and peaceful place.


Since all my siblings and their families were in town to visit my Father and to comfort my Mother, this past Saturday morning, I made two batches of dough for a family dinner. One was a white flour Baguette dough with liquid levain and the other was a high extraction Pain de Campagne dough with liquid levain, both intended for overnight cold retardation and baking on Sunday. The doughs had just gone through partial bulk fermentation and were put in the refrigerator in the early afternoon. We headed to the Hospice Center to spend the afternoon with my Father but upon arrival, learned that he had just slipped away peacefully. He was 91 years-old.


The next 3 days were a blurr with so many things to attend to. The funeral and cremation occurred on Tuesday July 20. It was preceded by a heart-warming Buddhist Ceremony and gathering of many Relatives and Friends.


Yesterday, we finally had a day to wind down when I realized that the doughs after three and a half days were still sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be baked. They had tripled in size and the high extraction dough had rendered some liquid. Since we had planned a Family Dinner yesterday evening, I decided to go ahead and bake them anyway and share them with my Family in memory of my Father.


The doughs had become very extensible to the point of becoming limp. As my head was still preoccupied with so many thoughts, by mistake, I baked the high extraction dough as Baguettes and the white dough as a Batard.


The Baguettes did not have the usual oven spring but the taste was surprisingly sweet and nutty. The crumb was a little bit denser but not overly tangy in spite of the extensive retardation. The Batard had much better oven spring and the crumb was open, slightly chewy and again not overly sour. We enjoyed them with a perfectly ripe Camembert and toasted to the memory of my Dear Father and Mentor, the man who taught me so much about the enjoyment of good food and wines.



Goodbye Dad...


Don


 

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DonD

 


In my last post, I wrote about the classic Pane Casareccio di Genzano that I had made for the first time using the formulation in Daniel Leader's 'Local Breads' book. I was pleased with the result so this past weekend I decided to try the Whole Wheat version of the same bread.


For the Biga Naturale, I used my white flour liquid levain with KA Bread Flour. For the dough, I used 50% KA Bread Flour, 44% BRM White Whole Wheat Flour and 6% BRM Dark Rye Flour. This is a high hydration dough and by my calculation, the final dough was a whopping 80% although I was surprised at how malleable it was. I did not follow the intensive mix recommended by Leader but instead used a 30 minutes Autolyse followed by gentle kneading with a dough hook and room temperature fermentation with 4 sets of stretch and fold in the bowl and one final full stretch and fold on the bench.


I shaped and proofed in a lined banneton for 1 hour before baking at 450 degrees F with steam for 15 minutes and 20 minutes at 400 degrees F without steam on convection.



The loaf had good oven spring but not as spectacular as the white flour version. Because of the elevated hydration, the scoring cuts were not very pronounced.


The crust was a rich amber color and the top was coated with browned shavings of wheat bran. It was medium thick and had nice crunchiness.




The crumb was cream color with translucent gelatinization and irregular air holes and was tender with just a touch of chewiness. The taste was bolder and more rustic than the white wheat version with a slight bitterness from the toasted bran. The crumb had less sweetness but more whole grain taste and just a slight hint of tanginess from the levain. All in all a very satisfying and comforting bread but not as elegant as its more refined version.


Happy Baking!


Don

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DonD

Background:


For the past 15 years, my wife Barbara and I and our best friends Jeff and Barbara have marked our annual rite of Spring with a visit to Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia as guests of Luca Paschina, the General Manager and Winemaker of the Estate which is owned by a consortium of Italian wineries based in Tuscany and headed by Gianni Zonin, the patriarch of the Zonin Family. The vineyards and winery are situated on the grounds surrounding the old estate of Governor Barbour where winemaking was first introduced by Thomas Jefferson. This Celebration of Spring is marked by an annual Morel Dinner that the Winery and its Restaurant 'Palladio' organizes usually the first Saturday in May. As longtime wild mushroom foragers, we are responsible for a morel talk and slide show as an introduction to the all morel dinner paired with various wines from Barboursville Vineyards. But the highlight of the weekend has always been the informal Friday evening before the main event get-together with Luca, his wife Patty and children and assorted friends from near and far.


 Entrance to Barboursville Vineyards


 Barboursville Vineyards


Al Fresco Dinner:


This past Friday, we took off from work early and drove down to Luca's house just in time for an Al Fresco dinner in his backyard with his family, his assistant winemaker Daniele, Domenico Zonin (eldest son of Gianni) and Christophe, a visiting French Wine Consultant. In anticipation of this get-together, the day before, I had baked a Pane Casareccio di Renzano loaf from Daniel Leader's 'Local Bread' to go with a whole Prociutto ham made from the leg of a pig named 'Spike' that was raised for a caterer friend and that I had cured for almost two years. The weather was gorgeous, the fellowship was excellent, the morels were plentiful, the wines were flowing and the prociutto and bread were not bad either.


 Pane di Genzano w/ Prociutto and Tomato


 Fresh Pasta w/ Sauteed Morels 


Pane di Genzano:


I followed Leader's list of ingredients and proportions exactly but downsized the loaf to a manageable 500 gms total of KA Bread Flour. I modified the procedure to include a 30 minute autolyse and a light 4 minute kneading with a dough hook on low speed followed by a 2 1/2 hour fermentation with stretch and fold in the bowl every 30 mins. I shaped the dough into a boule and proofed it in a banneton for 1 hour before scoring and baking. I baked it at 450 degrees F with steam for 1 hour and at 400 degrees on convection without steam for 25 mins. The loaf snapped, crackled and popped when removed from the oven and the crust developed nice cracks and remained crunchy until the next day. The oven spring was tremendous and the crumb was tender and open. The dark crust was nutty and the crumb flavor was sweet and complex with no trace of sourness. I read that this bread would last for several day without staling but I would never find out because the loaf was gone in no time thanks in no small measure to Luca's kids.


 Crackly Crust


 Tender Crumb


The Main Event:


We capped the weekend festivities with the Saturday evening Dinner in the Banquet Room of the Winery. The dinner which is always sold-out was a 5 course dinner featuring Yellow Morels from Michigan and Black Morels from Oregon paired with a selection of wines from Barboursville.


 Frisee and Grilled Asparagus Salad w/ Pancetta and Roasted Morels


 Braised Pork Belly w/ Cauliflower Gratin and Glazed Morels


I cannot wait until next year...


Happy Baking (and Eating)!


Don

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DonD

Background:


David Lebovitz, the celebrated American food blogger based in Paris has raved about Eric Kayser's Pain aux Cereales on numerous occasions, even proclaiming it to be perhaps the Best Bread in the World. A lot of bread aficianados from all over the world have made the pilgrimage to Paris to sample it and have posted photos as well as detailed description of this particular bread on the internet.


  Kayser's Pain aux Cereales from Lebovitz's Blog


I have the Eric Kayser's '100% Pain' bread book and the recipe for his Pain aux Cereales is included. However the photos, the ingredients and the formulation listed do not match the descriptions of the bread sold in his stores. After all, his bread empire is built on the originality and quality of his products, so who can blame him for not divulging all his secrets?


A couple days ago, I decided to formulate my own interpretation of Kayser's Pain aux Cereales based on my compilation of information gathered on the internet and relying loosely on the recipe in his book.


Formulation:


Flour Mix:


- 250 Gms KA Organic Artisan Select AP Flour


- 250 Gms La Milanaise T90 High Extraction Flour


Liquid Levain Build:


- 25 Gms ripe Liquid Levain (100% hydration)


- 50 Gms Flour Mix


- 50 Gms Spring Water


Seed Mix:


- 2 Tbs Golden Flax Seeds


- 2 Tbs Brown Flax Seeds


- 2 Tbs Yellow Sesame Seeds


- 2 Tbs Millet Seeds


- 2 Tbs Poppy Seeds


Final Dough Mix:


- 450 Gms Flour Mix


- 325 Gms Spring Water


- 125 Gms Liquid Levain Build


- 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast


- 10 Gms Grey Atlantic Sea Salt


- 1/3 of Seed Mix (toasted in a non-stick pan)


Procedures:


1- Prepare Final Levain Build and let ferment at room temperature until triple in volume.


2- Mix Flour and Water and autolyse for 30 mins.


3- Add Levain, Yeast and Salt and knead in mixer w/ dough hook on low speed for 4 mins.


4- Add the 1/3 toasted seed mix and incorporate into dough with dough hook for 30 secs.


5- Partially ferment dough at room temperature for 2 1/2 hours with stretch and fold in the bowl every 30 mins.


6- Retard dough in refrigerator for 18-24 hrs.


7- Divide dough into 2, preshape into ball and let rest 1 hr. Shape into batard and proof on couche for 1 hr.


8- Transfer loaves to peel, lightly mist with a vaporizer and sprinkle with remaining untoasted seed mix.


9- Score and bake at 440 degrees F with steam for 12 mins and 20 more mins at 390 degrees F on convection without steam.


  


I kept the dough hydration higher than normal at about 77% to compensate for the seeds absorbing some of the moisture from the dough during fermentation. The dough was very responsive with just the right amount of elasticity and extensibility. I got good oven spring, the cuts opened up nicely and the crust was thin and crackly and had beautiful caramelization. The roasted seeds on the crust were colorful and fragrant and glistened from their oil.




The crumb was cream colored, translucent, soft and slightly chewy and speckled with crunchy seeds. The flavor was complex from the interplay of the nuttiness of the seeds and the slight tang of the levain.


  



Was it the Best Bread in the World? I would not say so but a darn good bread nonetheless.


Happy Baking!


Don


 


 

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DonD

My first post in April of last year was about a side by side comparison of two of my favorite baguette formulations by Philippe Gosselin and Anis Bouabsa that David Snyder had previously published here on TFL. It was a tough choice to decide which one was better. The Gosselin baguette had an unequaled sweetness due to the overnight cold autolyse and the Bouabsa baguette had an incredibly complex taste due to the cold retardation. I was thinking why not have the best of both world so I started to experiment with combining the two formulations. After a couple of tries, I have succeeded in making a baguette that has the best attributes of both.


Yesterday, at the request of my wife, I made a batch of Baguettes a l'Ancienne with Cold Retardation for her monthly Book Club Party. The formulation follows David's transcription of Gosselin's Pain a l'Ancienne with a few slight variations. I have to clarify that this is not the formulation that Peter Reinhart and Daniel Leader had adapted from the original Gosselin technique but the true ice cold overnight autolyse method that David had published. After the overnight autolyse and the incorporation of the reserved water, yeast and salt the next morning, instead of bulk fermenting, shaping and baking the same day, I partially bulk ferment the dough at room temperature for 3 hours then retard it in the refrigerator for 18 hours before shaping and baking. I use a mix of 94% King Arthur Organic Select Artisan Flour (11.3% protein) and 6% Bob's Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour with 70% hydration. I also reduce the yeast amount by 2/3 because of the extended fermentation. Here are the results:




The crust has nice caramelization from the extra sugar produced by the long cold autolyse.




The crumb is open and soft with a slight chewiness. The taste is sweet and nutty with a complex aftertaste.




The crumb is medium thin with nice crunchiness and the crumb shows good translucent gelatinilization.


P.S. Following a number of requests, here is the entire formulation.


Formulation:


 Flour Mixture:



  • - 470 gms Unbleached AP Flour

  • - 30 gms Dark Rye Flour

  • - 300 gms Ice Cold Water


 Dough



  • - 10 gms Sea Salt

  • - 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast

  • - 50 gms Cold Water


 1- Mix flour blend and ice water w/ flat beater for 1 min. and refrigerate overnight.


 2- Add yeast and water and mix w/ flat beater for 3 mins or until all water has been incorporated. Add salt and beat for 3 mins or until dough slaps side of bowl.


 3- Let rest 15 mins and do S&F 4 times at 30 mins intervals (1 1/2 hrs total) and 2 more times at 45 mins  intervals (1 1/2 hrs total).


 4- Refrigerate for 24 hours.


 5- Divide dough in 3 and gently pre-shape in torpedo shape. Let rest 1 hr.


 6-Gently shape baguettes and proof on linen couche for 45 mins.


 7- One hour before baking, preheat oven to 490 degrees f w/ baking stone and cast iron skillet filled w/ lava rocks.


 8- Mist sides of oven then slash baguettes 4 times and transfer baguettes to baking stone in oven. Immediately pour 2/3 cup boiling water on lava rocks.


 9- Reduce oven temperature to 460 degrees f and bake 10 mins.Remove cast iron skillet, reduce temperature to 430 degrees F and bake for another 10 mins on convection mode.


 10- Remove baguettes from oven and let cool on wire rack.


Happy Baking!


Don

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DonD

Because of the snowstorm, I have been housebound since last Friday so what's  better than playing with flour. I have made Pain de Campagne au Levain in many incarnations using different kind of flour mixes, different types of levain, different dough hydrations, so this time I decided to try another variation using basically all high extraction wheat flour.


Having some T80 high extraction flour from La Milanaise on hand, I mixed it with 5% Dark Rye from Bob's Red Mill and used it for both my Levain build and final dough. I wanted to try using a semi-stiff Levain at approximately the same hydration as the final dough for ease of incorporation after autolyse so I did a 2-step Levain build at 70% hydration. I decided to go with 1/3 proportion of levain to flour.


Formulation:


1st Levain Build:


- 15 gms White Liquid Levain (100% hydration)


- 30 gms Flour Mix


- 20 gms Water


This build took 12 hours


2nd Levain Build:


- 50 gms 1st Build Levain


- 80 gms Flour Mix


- 56 gms Water


This build took 4 hours


Final Dough:


- 500 gms Flour Mix


- 167 gms 2nd Build Levain


- 375 gms Water


- 13 gms Grey Sea Salt


I mixed the flour and water and autolysed for 30 minutes. I set out to use 70% hydration but during mixing, I added more water to get the right dough consistency and upped it to 75%. I performed S&F in the bowl 5 times at 45 minutes interval. Total bulk fermentation was 5 hours. I refrigerated the dough overnight. Next morning, I divided the dough in two, preshaped, rested for 60 minutes, shaped in 2 batards, proofed 45 minutes and baked at 450 degrees with steam for 12 minutes, then without steam on convection at 420 degrees for 20 minutes.


    


The oven spring was good and the crust came out crunchy with nice dark color. There was an enticing nutty fragrance when it came out of the oven.


   


The crumb was fairly soft with irregular holes. It has the gelatinous quality that I always look for.


The crumb had good mouthfeel, soft and slightly chewy. The toasted wheat flavor came through mixed with sweetness and a pronounced tang, a little more than I wanted.


This is the first time that I have made a Pain de Campagne using all Levain. I normally use around 20% levain and added 1/4 tsp of instant yeast to boost the leavening power. I tend to prefer a less tangy and less dense Levain bread so the lower levain percentage and the addition of Instant Yeast made the bread taste creamier and sweeter than an all levain bread. Otherwise, I did not detect a lot of difference in terms of oven spring, appearance and fragrance.


Happy Baking!


Don

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DonD

Setting:


'Snowmageddon 2010', end of Round 1, waiting for Round 2. Between 10 to 20 additional inches of snow expected by tomorrow. We are digging out and digging in. It gives me a chance to try something new.



Background:


'Obelisk' is an excellent Italian Restaurant in Washington DC. The Chef/Owner, Peter Pastan is a brilliant self-taught Chef who has traveled extensively throughout Italy to bring back the authentic, simple and pure dishes of regional Italian Cuisine. I have had many memorable meals there and the one that stood out the most was a special 9-course dinner that he cooked for a group of us using a half a dozen different kind of wild mushooms that we had picked that day. He always serves homemade breads, beautiful Ciabattas, Focaccias, Tuscan Loaves, Dark Sourdough Whole Wheat Walnut Breads and his signature 24 inch long Grissini that he learned to make during a week-long stint in an Italian Bakery. Many times when we were the last diners of the evening, Peter would give us all the leftover Grissini which were always prominently displayed in a tall ceramic vessel on the serving table in the middle of the dining room. They would be great with a Capucchino the next morning. The long and slender amber colored sticks, dusted with semolina were crunchy with a slightly soft core and tasted nutty, slightly yeasty with a nice balance of saltiness and caramelly sweetness.


Recently, in the Food Section of the Washington Post, there was an article about local Chefs making their own Breads and Peter was featured with the recipe for his famous Grissini. I was thrilled that finally I would be able to duplicate those delicious breadsticks.


Peter Pastan's Recipe:


- 1 Cup Warm Water (90 degrees)


- 2 Tbs Active Dry Yeast


- 1 Tb EVOO, plus more for greasing the dough


- 1 Tb Honey


- 1 Tsp Salt


- 2 Cups Flour, plus more for the work surface


- Semolina for forming the Breadsticks


My Variations:


While mixing the dough, I had to add more Flour to get the right workable consistency so I also added a little more salt.  From my taste memory, I detected a touch of Baking Powder. I thought that the amount of Yeast would be too much so I reduced it slightly. Essentially, I followed the recipe except for the following variations:


I used 2 1/2 Cups KA AP Flour, 1 Tb Instant Yeast, 1 1/4 Tsp Grey Sea Salt and added 1 Tsp Baking Powder.


Procedures:


Combine Water, Yeast, Oil, Honey, Baking Powder and Salt and mix with Flour in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed for 5-6 minutes until dough is smooth and supple. Transfer dough to floured work surface, do one french fold and roll out dough to a rectangle 6"W X 16L".



Transfer dough to an oiled baking sheet, brush oil on top, cover in plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Dust top with Semolina and sprinkle liberally on side of baking sheet. Using a 6-inch dough scraper, cut 1/2 inch  thick strips of dough, roll in Semolina and transfer to parchment paper stretching dough to about 14" long.



The original recipe calls for baking temperature of 450 degress for 12-15 minutes but I baked mine on a baking stone in a 400 degrees preheated oven for 10 minutes.



   


I was quite pleased with the results. They tasted pretty close to the original version.


Happy Baking!


Don

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DonD

Acknowledgements:


I have been following the fascinating recent posts and the excitement generated by the breads of Gerard Rubaud on TFL, so I decided to try a make a batch on this snowy weekend in Washington DC. I want to thank MC for introducing Gerard to us on her excellent blog and also Shiao-Ping for transcribing the formulation and testing the recipe with her gorgeous miches. Thanks also to David Snyder and Eric Hanner for their detailed step by step instructions and observations of their own experiment.


Ingredients and Formulation:


I used the same flour mix of 70% AP to 30% whole grain. I used the T55 AP flour from La Milanaise. For the whole grain mix, since I cannot grind my own, I used 30% Whole White (winter)Wheat, 30% Whole (Spring) Wheat, 30% Spelt and 10% Rye all from Bob's Red Mill. I mixed all the flours to use for both the levain build and final dough.


I followed the 3 step levain build and added 1% salt to each levain build. In his interview with MC, Gerard said that he increases the levain percentage in winter so I decided to use 40% instead of 30%.


I noticed in the video on MC's blog that Gerard ferments his dough in a wooden trough so I thought that the wood has to absorb some of the water from the dough. Also since I am using the T55 flour which is less absorbent than regular AP flour, I decided to lower the hydration to 75%. 


I used 500 gms of flour mix, 200 gms stiff levain, 408 gms spring water, 11gms grey Guerande sea salt for the final dough and made 2 Batards.


I essentially followed David's fermentation, shaping and baking techniques.


Assessments:


Each step of my levain build took from 8 to 12 hours to ripen because of the cooler ambient temperature. I probably could have omitted the salt.


The lowering of hydration did not affect the character of the dough. Visually, its consistency during fermentation and shaping is very similar's to Gerard in the video.


The loaves had good oven spring. The crust is slightly paler that my usual high extraction bakes probably due to the spelt flour which I have never used before. The crumb is fairly open with a light tan color unlike the light color of Shiao-Ping's miche. The crust is quite crunchy and has blisters which I usually get with levain breads.


The smell after baking is reminiscent of toasted germs, slightly grassy more similar to a levain baguette than a high extraction bread.



The crumb has a gelatinous character, has more weight and is quite chewy. It smells like a sweet honeyed pipe tobacco with a slight acidic touch. The taste is not as sweet and has a definite tang probably due to the long levain ripening and the higher percentage of levain. Overall is it a whole new flavor profile unlike any that I have had before.



Epilogue:


My wife and I just finished a light lunch of Vegetable Beef Soup with Bone Marrow and toasted slices of 3-grain Country Loaf inspired by Gerard Rubaud on this beautiful sunny Sunday in the aftermath of the Blizzard of 2010. Delicious!


What's next?


I will try to make this bread using T80 high extraction flour instead of the AP/WW mix as a comparison. I will post the results.


Happy Baking!


Don

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Background:


I had read about the organic stoneground flours from La Meunerie Milanaise (La Milanaise Mills) in Daniel Leader's Local Breads and through numerous posts on TFL. I was anxious to try them so a few months ago as I was in Montreal visiting friends, I was able to bring back three 20 kg bags of their flours. I had to contact the US Customs to have their blessing before driving back across the border with 132 pounds of white powder.


I purchased their All Purpose T55, Sifted Flour #100(T70) and Sifted Flour #50(T90) Flours. All are Organic and the latter two are High Extraction and Stoneground. The # designation indicates the fineness of the sieve. The T designation indicate the percentage of ash content of the flour and is based on the european model of 11.7% humidity content as opposed to 14% for the US. There was a discrepancy in the ash content listed on the bags and the specification sheets that I got from the distributor so I contacted the Milanaise office and got a detailed explanation from Mr. Robert Beauchemin, the Company's CEO. He explains that there is always a variation in the mineral content of wheat from year to year depending on environment and growing conditions. The key is the degree of "cleanliness" of the sifting to allow a percentage of the epiderm layer and the aleurone layer of the wheat kernel into the flour. The epiderm is the darker and tougher outer layer whose ground particles act as knife blades damaging the structure of the gluten while the aleurone is the lighter inner layer which does not damage the gluten. Based on this variation in mineral content, the two high extraction flours that I got are essentially T70/T80 (73.6% extraction and 12.7% protein) and T90/T110 (81.8% extraction and 12.4% protein). It is interesting to note that these are high extraction but not high gluten flours as the protein level is about the same as white bread flour. The All Purpose T55 has 11.4% protein.


I have been baking some of my favorite breads using different mixes of these flours and have been extremely pleased with the results.


Observations:


The T55 flour is slightly darker color (light cream color) and grittier to the touch than the King Arthur AP Flour. The T70/T80 has specs of light color bran mixed in and the T90/110 is the darkest with bigger and darker specs of bran. There is no Malted Barley Flour added.


 Counterclockwise from left T55, T70/T80 and T90/T110 Flours


All three flours are not as absorbent as the KA flours and I always get a wetter dough using the same hydration. The dough consistently feels less sticky and is more extensible than KA. The dough also feels smoother. 


The breads are very aromatic during and after baking especially with the high extraction flours giving the crust a dark molasses, caramel, chocolate and roasted nuts fragrance . The crumb is always light, open and soft and the taste has a sweet, creamy and toasty wheatiness.


Samples:


 Baguettes au Levain using T55 Flour


 Baguette au Levain Crumb


 Pain de Campagne using T55, T70/T80 and T90/T110 Flour mix


 Pain de Campagne Crumb


Happy Baking!


Don

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DonD

Background:


My fondness for Brioches dates back to my years growing up in Saigon where French Bakeries and Pasry Shops were quite common there. These shops were owned and operated by French people so their products were quite authentic and more importantly they were made with real butter. Fast forward to the late sixties when I went to college for a year in Switzerland where I was really spoiled with an abundance of excellent  breads and pastries. Afterwards, I came to the US and was hard pressed to find a true French Baguette let alone a Brioche. However, my yearly trips to Montreal to visit friends would alleviate my craving for Brioches. Gaston Lenotre had a Bakery and Pastry Shop there (since closed) and I would indulge in his wonderful Viennoiseries and Pastries. Several trips to France would further reinforce my love for Brioches. In the late seventies and early eighties, we started to find Brioches in the US but somehow they tasted bland and lean. Even now, I have not been to find a commercial Brioche that tastes like the real thing. About 15 years ago, we invited a French Chef to dinner at our home and the next day, as a thank you, he gave us a Brioche Nanterre (a Brioche Loaf) that he had baked. That was the best Brioche I have ever had, it was light and airy and the buttery richness was unreal. That prompted me to start baking my own Brioche. Over the years I have experimented with various recipes from Lenotre, Jacques Pepin and Michel Roux with relative success. Recently I tried the recipe from Nancy Silverton from the Baking with Julia book and TV series and was very happy with the results.


Last weekend in anticipation of the Holidays, I made a batch of various types of Brioches using NS's formulation with some minor tweakings. I used a total of 6 eggs instead of 5 and I increased the butter amount from 1 1/2 sticks to an 'artery clogging' 2 1/2 sticks. It's the Holidays and I only make them 3 or 4 times a year!


Pics:


Shaped Brioches ready for proofing


 


Large Brioche a Tete (Brioche with Head)


 


Brioche Nanterre, Brioche Mousseline, Medium and Small Brioches a Tete


 


Brioche Crumb


 


Happy Holidays!


Don

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