The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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DonD

Background:


A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were down in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for our annual fall pilgrimage to Hatteras Village for a week of relaxation, fishing, oystering and clamming. As usual, we were joined by a couple of dear friends who are also lovers of good food and wine. We always bring everything but the kitchen sink down there so that we can all take turns cooking fantastic seafood meals to go with the several cases of wines that made the trip with us. The problem is that we cannot find good bread down there so this year, I decided to bring the most essential of ingredients and utensils so that I can bake some French Baguettes. Also my friend Barbara, ever since tasting my Baguettes had repeatedly asked me to give her a tutorial on how to make them. Because of our busy play schedule during the day, I thought that the Anis Bouabsa formula would be perfect because aside from being a great recipe, it allows me to spend 3 hours each evening over 2 days and we would have fresh Baguettes for dinner.


Baguette 101:


So with Barbara as my Assistant Baker and with a lot of trepidation, I proceeded to show her step by step how to weigh and mix the ingredients, to master the art of the Autolyse, the Stretch and Fold, the Cold Retardation, the Shaping and Scoring and finally the Baking with Steam. Trouble was I was not armed with my usual battery of utensils that I normally use in my baking. No Mixer, no Thermometer, no Couche, no Baking Stone, no Lame, no Calibrated Oven, no Water Spritzer Bottle, no Cast Iron Skillet, no Lava Rocks. Was I doomed for failure?


Au Contraire, Mon Frere! As I proceeded with mixing and working the dough by hand, it developed beautifully and after the cold retardation, I shaped the loaves and proofed them on a perforated baguette pan I brought along that I used  to bake with in my pre-TFL days. I used a plain double edged razor blade to score the loaves. I put a broiler pan in the old electric oven and poured in 1 cup of hot water for steam. The baguettes rose fine, the ears opened up nicely, the crust was crackly, the crumb was open and soft and best of all the taste was fantastic, as good as any I have baked under more ideal conditions. We greatly enjoyed the Baguettes with our Japanese style Bouillabaisse.


 No Frills Baguettes


 Roughing it Crumb


Conclusion:


I think that sometimes we are too dependent on non-essential gadgets. It goes to show that we can make great bread with good ingredients, our hands and the most rudimentary utensils.


Epilogue:


My friend Barbara was so excited about the results that once she got home, she decided to make a batch of baguettes on her own and she sent me these photos.


 Barbara's Outstanding Baguettes


 Barbara's Amazing Baguette Crumb


I would say that she graduated from Baguette 101 Magna Cum Laude!


Don


 

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DonD

Background:


In Eric Kayser's book "100% Pain", the Foreword written by the celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse waxed poetic about Kayser's Tourte de Meule, which literally translates to "Millstone Pie" and which is basically a Country Miche made with High Extraction Organic Stone Ground Flour and a Liquid Levain.


 Eric Kayser's "La Tourte de Meule"


In my last blog, I mentioned that I was able to bring back 3 types of Organic Flour from the "Meunerie Milanaise" in Quebec, the same mill that supplies Daniel Leader's "Bread Alone" bakery in Woodstock, New York. In addition to the basic Type 55 AP Flour, I also bought their Type 70 and Type 90 Organic Stone Ground flours. Having secured the proper ingredients, I decided to give EK's Tourte de Meule a try.


EK's original recipe:


- 700 g T 80 Organic Stone Ground Flour


- 300 g T 65 Organic Stone Ground Flour


- 200 g Liquid Levain


- 2 g Fresh Yeast


- 25 g Sea Salt from Guerande


- 700 g Water


Since my flours have slightly higher extraction, I decided to use half T 90 (83% extraction) and half T 70 (81% extraction) Organic Stone Ground Flour. I also halved the recipe to 500 g total Flour Mix and converted the yeast amount to 1/8 teaspoon Instant Yeast (for 500 g total flour). I used Grey Sea Salt from Guerande and Deer Park Spring Water. My Liquid Levain build was 100% hydration using T 70 Flour.


I modified the procedures slightly from Kayser's instructions. He calls for mixing all the ingredients, fermenting the dough at room temperature for 2-1/2 hours with stretch and fold at 15 minutes and then at 1-1/2 hours, shaping and proofing in banneton for 2 hours before baking.


My Procedures:


- Combine the Flour Mix and Water and autolyse for 30 minutes.


- Add the Liquid Levain, Yeast and Salt and knead with a dough hook on slow speed for 2 minutes.


- Do 10 stretch and fold in the bowl at 45 minutes interval 4 times.


- Ferment the dough at room temperature for 1 hour and retard in the refrigerator for 24 hours.


- Shape the dough into a Boule and let the dough rise in a lined Banneton for 1 hour.


- Bake in preheated 440 degrres F oven for 15 minutes with steam and at 410 degrees F without steam for 30 minutes.


Results:





The loaf had great oven spring. The exterior had a deep amber color and was nice and crusty. The smell was sweet and caramelly. The crumb was open and medium soft with a slight chewiness. The crumb color was beige with fine specks of bran, similar to a whole wheat crumb. The flavor was wheaty, tangy with a touch of acidity. When sliced and toasted, it took on a whole new dimension. The taste of toasty grain came out with an extra dose of sweetness. Overall, I was very pleased with the result.


Don


 


 


 

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DonD

Background: 


Having a number of high school friends living in Montreal, I have had the opportunity to visit this city quite a few times over the years. I have always enjoyed its cosmopolitan charm and the French influences that have permeated its history and culture especially in the area of gastronomy.


Recently, my wife and I drove to Montreal to visit a close friend. He and his wife always treated us to the best breakfast of baguettes and croissants with farm fresh butter and raw milk cheeses, the kind that came closest to what you would find in France. Being the avid baker that I am, I came up with the idea to do a tasting of the best baguettes that Montreal has to offer.


Setting:


We decided to taste a traditional baguette each from four of the most popular artisanal bakeries in Montreal. The tasting took place within three hours of the purchase and our tasting group consistted of six people.



From the top down, the baguettes were from Au Pain Dore, L'Amour du Pain, Le Fournil Ancestral and Premiere Moisson.


Results:


The results were unanimous and the rankings were as follows


1- Premiere Moisson



Good overall appearance. Nice golden brown crusy exterior. Smell of toasty wheat. Slight flaw with one undercooked side probably caused by the loaves being baked too close together. Creamy color and very soft open crumb with just the right amount of chewiness. Sweet tasting and a little tangy. Overall an outstanding baguette.


Probably the largest bakery in Montreal with multiple outlets throughout the city. The flour comes from Meunerie Milanaise, an organic mill in Quebec that also supplies to Daniel Leader's bakery in upstate New York.


2- L'Amour du Pain



The darkest of all the baguettes with a sweet caramely smell. The crust is a litlle bit hard but the crumb is creamy with huge irregular holes. The taste is sweet with a hint of acidity. A very good baguette.


This is a Retrodor baguette made with flour imported from the Meuneries Viron in France.


3- Au Pain Dore



A close second in appearance to the Premiere Moisson Baguette. The crust has a wheaty smell but is not as crackly. The crumb is nicely open with good balance of softness and chewiness. Overall, a good baguette.


This baguette is made from unbleached, untreated flour and is fermented for 6 hours.


4- Le Fournil Ancestral 



Good appearance but the lightest in color. The crust is on the soft side with no noticeable smell. The crumb is white, tight and cottony probably due to an intensive mix. Although called artisanal, this is a forgettable industrial type baguette.


Epilogue:


Following the tasting, I set out to find the flour from Meunerie Milanaise and was able to buy and bring back three 20 kilo bags of different grades of flour. I have been experimenting with the flours and will publish the results on future postings.


Don


 

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DonD

Background


When I first saw the twisted shaped baguettes posted by Shiao-Ping on her blog, I was intrigued. Then I read the posting by Chouette22 on the Pain Paillasse by Aime Pouly and found out that it is an Artisanal Bread made in Switzerland, I was fascinated and wanted to know more about the man and his breads. I purchased Pouly's book 'Le Pain' and studied it thoroughly.


Having spent one year of college in Geneva in the late sixties, I have always had a soft spot for the beautiful country of Switzerland. Although, the Pain Paillasse was not around when I was there, I was determined to try to duplicate it. Problem is the recipe is a closely guarded secret that Aime Pouly only shared with two of his most trusted friends.


From the description and photographs of the basic Pain Paillasse, I understood it to be a Levain and White Flour based Baguette where the high hydration dough is twisted like a wringed towel before proofing and baking without any scoring. Although Pouly refers to his preferment as Levain, his formula for Levain is a mixture of Flour, Water and Yeast at 100% hydration so my guess is that it is really a Poolish instead. However for my first attempt, I decided to use a Poolish preferment made with a mature Liquid Levain instead of the Instant Yeast (similar to the Whole Wheat Levain that Hamelman described in his book). I chose the Liquid Levain to control the sourness from the production of Acetic Acid. To balance the sourness of the Levain, I used the principles of the Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne formulation first published by David Snyder to extract extra sweetness from the dough.


Formulation


Flour Mix


300 Gms AP Flour


150 Gms Bread Flour


30 Gms WW Flour


20 Gms Dark Rye Flour


Levain Poolish


125 Gms Flour Mix


125 Gms Water


25 Gms Mature Liquid White Flour Levain (100% Hydration)


Dough


375 Gms Flour Mix


200 Gms Ice Cold Water + 50 Gms Water


9 Gms Atlantic Grey Sea Salt


1/8 Tsp Instant Yeast


 Pains Paillasse Proofing


 Pains Paillasse


 Pain Paillasse Crumb


Procedures


1- Make Levain Poolish and ferment overnight for 8 hrs until tripled in volume.


2- Mix remaining Flour Mix with the Ice Water for 1 min. at low speed w/ flat beater and autolyse overnight for 8 hrs.


3- Mix Levain Poolish, Dough, Salt and Yeast with remaining water using flat beater on low speed for 1 min. Switch to dough hook and knead at low speed for another minute. Let rest for 30 mins.


4- Stretch and fold in the bowl using the James MacGuire method 4 times at 1 hr interval.


5- Dough should have nearly doubled in volume by the 4th fold. Divide dough in 3 and preshape into rounds and let rest 15 mins.


6- Shape into long baguettes, flour generously and twist baguettes before proofing for 45 mins.


7- Bake in preheated oven at 460 degrees with steam for 10 mins.


9- Continue baking without steam for another 12 mins at 430 degrees.


10- Turn off oven and let rest in oven with door ajar for 10 mins.


11- Remove baguettes and cool on rack.


Conclusion


The dough developed nicely during fermantation and was quite extensible but at 75% Hydration was not easy to handle. Generous flouring during shaping helped.


Oven spring was good, the crust had deep golden color and was quite crunchy. The crumb was cream color, fairly open with medium softness and a slight chewiness. The taste had a hint of toastiness and a slight tang balanced with a sweet creamyness (which is the trademark of the Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne). Overall, I was quite pleased with the results. Next time, I will try using all AP Flour with a touch of Rye and a true Poolish which I think will be closer to Pouly's formulation. I would be curious to hear the detailed description from someone who has tasted the authentic Pain Paillasse.


Don 


 



 

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DonD

Background:


I first read about Jean Luc Poujauran in 1994 in Linda Dannenberg's book "Paris Boulangerie-Patisserie". At that time, he was already an established member of the younger generation of French artisan bakers that included Basile Kamir, Gerard Mulot, Pierre Herme and Eric Kaiser. He owned a very successful little bakery with its ever present bright blue antique delivery van parked in front on rue Jean Nicot in the 7th arrondissement in Paris. In 2003, he sold his bakery to dedicate himself to a wholesale business supplying bread to over 100 of the best eating establishments in Paris like Pierre Gagnaire, l'Atelier Joel Robuchon, La Regalade and Le Comptoir.


I have had the good fortune to taste Jean Luc Poujauran's signature Pain de Campagne at a few of those restaurants. I will never forget the time my wife and I had dinner at La Regalade and as soon as we sat down, our waiter presented us with an assortment of house made saucissons and pate de campagne, a crock of cornichons and a wooden cutting board with a loaf of Pain de Campagne from Poujauran. It was an absolutely perfect way to start a meal.


Another time, on one of the coldest day in February, we ate at the restaurant Le Comptoir and after a wonderful dinner, for the cheese course our server set on our table a tray of assorted cheeses so large that the far end had to rest on the neighbouring table. But the best was a basket of Poujauran Pain de Campagne to go with it. We enjoyed the best cheese course we ever had while marveling at the brave souls who sat outside eating at the sidewalk tables, wrapped in blankets supplied by the restaurant and warmed by a couple of portable heaters and the wonderful creations of chef Yves Camdeborde. It was an absolutely perfect way to end a meal.


   Jean Luc Poujauran with Pain de Campagne


Since discovering TFL about six months ago, I have acquired a wealth of bread baking know-how from its members through various posts and have felt bold enough to attempt to replicate Poujauran's Pain de Campagne based on his own published description as well as my taste memory.


According to Poujauran, his Pain de Campagne is 100% organic and made with high extraction stone ground flour, neutral PH non-demineralized osmosis filtered water, Sel Gris from Guerande and a natural Levain which has undergone a double fermentation. The dough goes trough a slow mixing and folding process and a long 18-24 hour fermentation. The loaves are shaped by hand and baked on Lava Rocks.


  Poujauran's Pain de Campagne


   Poujauran's Pain de Campagne Crumb


Ideas and Notes:


I decided to follow Poujauran's description as close as possible starting with all organic ingredients.


I decided on a flour mix of higher gluten white flour and stone ground Whole Wheat flour with a touch of Rye flour. I selected Bob's Red Mill flours because I have found them reliable, easily available in the DC area and they fit the established criteria. I added some Malted Barley Flour to help the browning of the crust because unlike most flours BRM White Flour does not contain any.


I did some research and found that Deer Park Spring Water has a close to Neutral PH, goes through double osmosis filtration and is not demineralized.


I was able to buy a bag of Sel Gris de Guerande which is an Atlantic grey sea salt produced by evaporation in the western coast of France in the Guerande area which also produces the much more expensive Fleur de Sel which are salt crystals that form on the surface of the salt ponds and are skimmed off the top.


I settle on the use of a liquid levain with 2 builds to minimize the sour effect of the starter. I use mature 100% hydration white flour levain for the 1st build at 1:2:2 ratio and let triple in volume at 80-85 degrees for 4-5 hrs before the 2nd build. This amount of plain white flour is not included in the flour mix. The final build uses a portion of the flour mix.


I followed the slow mixing and folding and the long extended retardation.


Formulation:


Flour Mix:


-370 Gms BRM Organic White Flour


-100 Gms BRM Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour


-30 Gms BRM Organic Stone Ground Dark Rye Flour


-1/8 Tsp BRM Malted Barley Flour


Liquid Levain 2nd build (100% hydration):


-30 Gms Liquid Levain from 1st build


-60 Gms Flour Mix


-60 Gms Deer Park Spring Water


Dough Mix (70% hydration):


-150 Gms Liquid Levain


-440 Gms Flour Mix


-290 Gms Deer Park Spring Water


-9 Gms Sel Gris de Guerande


-1/8 Tsp Instant Yeast


Procedures:


1- Mix Liquid Levain w/ Flour Mix and Water and let rise at 80-85 degrees until triple (4-5 hrs) before use.


2- Blend Flour Mix with Water using flat beater on slow speed for 2 mins and autolyse for 30 mins.


3- Mix Dough, Levain, Salt and Yeast using Dough Hook on slow then medium speed for 2 mins until dough comes clean from the side of the bowl and let rest for 10 mins.


4- Stretch and fold dough manually every 45 minutes for 4 times total.


5- Cover and refrigerate for 18-24 hrs. Dough should almost double in volume.


6- Flatten and pre-shape dough into round shape and let rest seam side down for 1.5 hrs.


7- One hour before baking, preheat oven to 475 degrees w/ baking stone and cast iron skillet filled w/ lava rocks.


8- Gently shape dough into Batard shape and proof on couche for 1.5 hrs.


9- Flip Batard on parchment and slash 2 times lengthwise. Mist oven and slide parchment on baking stone in oven. Pour 1 cup boiling water on Lava Rocks.


10- Lower oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 15 mins.


11- Remove Cast Iron Pan, rotate Batard, reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for another 30 mins.


12- Turn off oven and cool batard in oven w/ door ajar for 15 mins.


13- Transfer Batard to wire rack to cool.


   Shaped Batard on couche


  Poujauran's Pain de Campagne (My Version)


  Grignes detail


  Crumb detail


Assessments:


The dough had a nice balance of elasticity and extensibility and had very good oven spring. The cuts opened nicely and the crust was deep mahogany color with an enticing aroma of warm molasses. It had medium thickness with a nice crunchiness. The crumb was light tan color with fairly open and irregular holes. It tasted medium soft and slightly chewy with roasted nut flavor. It tasted sweet with a definite tang but not sour, reminiscent of an English style Stout. Overall, I was pleased with the results but wish that the crumb would be a little softer and a little less chewy like the original Poujauran version. Oh well, it is a work in progress and I will update with future tweakings when available.


Happy Baking!


Don

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DonD

Does the taste of a favorite food evoke in you indelible memories of time and places where the pleasure it has given you has put a mark on you for life?


For me, a bite into a buttery and flaky croissant and my taste memory takes me back to my childhood in Saigon where every morning, I would look forward to the familiar sound of the horn announcing the arrival of the "Bread Man" riding on his scooter with twin canvas trunks full of goodies straddling the rear seat to deliver fresh baguettes and croissants to the neighborhood houses.


The sweet smell of baking croissants always reminds me of the time when I was a student in Geneva, walking by a bakery at 6:00 am, suddenly being overwhelmed by the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked croissants, summoning enough nerve to knock on the door to convince the owner to sell me a couple before the store was open and walking home in the snowy winter dawn, enjoying the best croissants I ever had in my life.


A croissant with cafe au lait for breakfast always transports me back to my first visit to Paris in the spring, sitting at a sidewalk table at the Cafe "La Rotonde" in the Montparnasse area, sipping a cafe creme and eating a croissant with confiture, watching the morning bustle and hustle of Parisian life just like Hemingway, Picasso, Nijinsky, Gershwin and other luminaries had done at the same spot so many years ago.


I have been baking Croissants and Pains au Chocolat on and off for over 20 years and until recently, my favorite recipe was from Jacques Pepin's "The Art of Cooking". It is a foolproof recipe where you can follow the instructions verbatim and end up with great results.


Last year I discovered the Esther McManus recipe from the PBS "Baking with Julia" TV Series. I have tried this recipe about half a dozen times, tweaking it along the way to suit my taste and baking techniques. It has become my favorite recipe as I find that it comes closest to the Croissants and Pains au Lait that you can only find in Europe.


This past weekend, I made a batch of Croissants and Pain au Chocolat and following are my notes and recommendations:


1- I basically followed the step by step instructions in the video which are excellent. The link is www.pbs.org/juliachild/meet/mcmanus.html


2- It is not mandatory to have the companion book " Baking with Julia" but it is nice to have as a back-up.


3- I use pretty much the same formulation except for the following variations:


    A- I use 1 1/4 cup of milk. I find the little extra milk makes the dough more pliable and easier to work with.


    B- I use 2 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast. I converted the amount into Instant Yeast because I prefer it over Cake or Dry Yeast.


    C- I use only 3-1/2 sticks of butter. More butter would only leak out during baking. I have tried different unsalted butters including imported "Le President", "Plugra"European Style and found that old "Land o' Lakes" works just as well.


    D- I use two 3 inch long "Valrhona" Chocolate Batons for each Pain of Chocolat. I splurge on a box of 350 pieces and they are disappearing fast as they are good to snack on as well.


4- I do not put a hot water pan in the turned off oven while proofing as recommended. I found out the hard way that it melts the butter in the dough.


5- I bake the Croissants in a preheated 425 degrees F oven with steam for 5 mins , then without steam at 400 degrees for 5 more mins and  finally at 375 degrees for 5 mins. I find it gives me better oven spring and a flakier crust than a longer bake with dry heat at 350 degrees.


6- The recipe should yield a dozen each Croissants and Pains au Chocolat.



Dough cut into triangles with a Croissant Cutter, not an essential tool but a nice gadget.



Shaped, proofed and egg washed Croissants ready for the oven.



Baked Croissants cooling on the rack.



The ultimate Continental Breakfast with Croissant and Pain au Chocolat



The mandatory crumb shot.


Happy Baking!


Don

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DonD

Last week, I received the book "100% Pain" by Eric Kayser that I had ordered. I had always wanted to try the recipe for his famous "Baguette Monge". First, I was surprised to see the note stating that all the recipes in the book have been tested on a bread machine and second that recipes for all his breads call for straight room temperature fermentation. Checking his website, I found a quote saying that his breads all go through a long fermentation, so being the tinkerer that I am, I decided not to follow his recipe verbatim but instead to use the same formulation (more or less) and modify the execution.


I have been experimenting making baguettes using the James MacGuire techniques that Shiao-Ping had introduced to TFL a couple of weeks ago and have found them simple and easy, resulting in a beatifully developed dough. The baguettes were very good but I thought the high hydration made shaping and scoring the baguettes difficult and the crumb, although light was not as open as I would have liked. MacGuire had warned about the same effects of high hydration on baguettes in his article in "The Art of Eating".


I have had good success with the Anis Bouabsa baguette recipe and techniques that David (dmsnyder) had adapted from Janedo. I found that the cold delayed fermentation helps develop a more chewy and open crumb and gives the bread a more complex flavor.


So, this past weekend, I decided to combine these favorite techniques and use them to make my version of Eric Kayser's "Baguette Monge". I will call it the "Kayser Baguette Monge Hybrid". Here is the formulation:


Kayser uses a Type 65 Flour so I chose a flour mix that approximate the original. The resulting protein content is around 12.5%. Note that although the French Flours have lower protein content US Flours, I read that most French bakers add Malted Barley Flour and Vital Wheat Gluten to their dough.


Kayser uses 58% hydration. I upped it to 72%.


- 100 Gms Liquid Levain (100% hydration)


- 300 Gms KAF AP Flour


- 150 Gms KAF Bread Flour


- 50 Gms KAF WWW Flour


- 345 Gms Water


- 1 Gm Instant Yeast


- 9 Gms Sea Salt


Mix the Levain with the Water then add the Flour Mix, Salt and Yeast. Mix by hand for 2 mins and follow the MacGuire stretching and folding in the bowl at 45 mins interval instead of 1 hr.


At the end of the folding, the dough should rise by 25%. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. The dough should double in size.


Divide the dough into third and shape into boules. Rest seam side down for 1 hr.


Shape into baguettes with pointy ends and proof for 45 min. 


Score the loaves and bake in preheated 460 degrees F oven with steam for 10 mins.


Continue baking at 430 degrees F without steam for 12 mins.


Turn of heat and let baguettes rest for 5 mins in oven.


Remove baguettes and let cool on rack.



The baguettes crackled and popped while cooling on the rack and developed nice "shingles".



The grignes opened up nicely and the crust had a beautiful amber color and toasty caramel aroma. 



The oven spring was great and the cross section came out nice and round. The crumb was cream color and very open with different size "alveoles". The gelatinization made it slightly translucent.


The crust was thin and crackly with notes of roasted hazelnut and mocha. The crumb had a nice chewy mouthfeel with a tangy, creamy and sweet toasty wheat finish.


This was definitely the best baguette that I have baked to date , a real keeper.


And the quest for the Ultimate Baguette continues...


Don

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DonD

I have read a lot of press about a special baguette called "La Flute Gana" made by Bernard Ganachaud, one of the pioneers of the artisanal bread revival in France during the late 70's. I have tried to follow different interpretations of Ganachaud's recipe available in some  bread books without much success so I decided to experiment and develop my own interpretation of "La Flute Gana".


I went on Ganachaud's website and saw snippets of the making of his baguettes and read all the materials available such as press releases, interviews, quotes etc.


Although he never published the exact recipe, I was able to piece together the principles behind his famous baguettes:


1- It is a Poolish baguette.


2- It is based on a Type 65 flour.


3- It calls for a minimum use of yeast.


4- It calls for very gentle mixing of the dough.


5- It calls for an extended fermentation at low temperature.


6- It has a signature one stroke end to end score of the baguette.


Following is my formulation for a 500 gms total Flour mixture and 70% hydration:


- 300 gms KAF AP Flour


- 150 gms KAF Bread Flour


- 50 gms KAF WWW Flour


The Poolish:


- 150 gms Flour mixture


- 150 gms Water


- 1/16 tsp Instant Yeast


Dough mixture:


- 350 gms Flour mixture


- 200 gms Water


- 1/8 tsp Instant Yeast


- 8 gms Sea Salt


Mix the poolish and let it ferment 8 to 10 hours.


Mix the water, flour and yeast to the poolish with a flat beater at speed 2 for 1 min. and autolyse for 1/2 hr.


Add the salt and mix with dough hook at speed 2 for 1 min.


Stretch and fold 10 times using the Bertinet method and threepeat it at 20 mins interval.


Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 1 hr until almost double in size.


Refrigerate dough for 24 hrs before dividing into 3 roughly 280 gms pieces and gently preshaping into torpedo shapes and resting for 1 hr.


Gently shape baguettes trying not to de-gas too much and proof for 45 mins.


Score end to end with one stroke of the lame 1/2" deep at 45 degree angle. Bake immediately at 460 degrees with steam for 10 mins.


Reduce oven temperature to 430 degrees and continue baking without steam for another 12 mins.


Turn off heat and let cool in oven with door ajar for 5 mins before cooling on wire rack.


I have made this recipe 3 times and it turned out great everytime. The baguettes had a golden brown crust that smelled sweet and caramelly and sang loudly while cooling. It was not too thick but was nicely crackly. The crumb was open and not too gelatinized. It had the right balance of sweetness, richness and wheatiness.



Ganachaud shaped his baguettes before retarding them in the refrigerator for a prolongued second fermentation. I do not have a big enough refrigerator to do this but am wondering if this will make a big difference in the end result. Nonetheless, my wife and I enjoyed the fruits of my experiment with some home made Jambon de Paris, sweet butter, cornichons and a glass of Burgundy as a toast to Bernard Ganachaud!



 


 

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DonD

This past weekend, I made a batch of Baguettes au Levain based on the recipe that Janedo had adapted from the Anis Bouabsa formula. This is my third try at this recipe and each time I tweaked it a little bit to correct some aspects that did not turned out to my liking. This time the loaves turned out pretty good with nice oven spring and airy crumb. The crust had nice golden color with small blisters, thin and crackly and deep caramel flavor. The taste was not sour but is rich and sweet with a slight tang.


The formula I used consists of:


- 125 g of stiff white flour levain at 67% hydration


- 300 g KAF AP Flour


- 150 g KAF Bread Flour


- 50 g Arrowhead Mills Organic Stoneground WW Flour


- 350 g water


- 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast


- 10 g Atlantic Sea Salt


I autolyse the flour mixture with the water without the yeast or salt for 30 mins prior to mixing in the levain, then added the yeast and the salt during the stretch and fold. I followed the 20 movements 3 times at 20 mins interval using the stretch and fold from Richard Bertinet (I like slapping the dough!). I let the dough ferment for 1 hr then refrigerate for 24 hours before dividing, shaping and baking.


I reduced the hydration to 70% to make the shaping and scoring of the baguettes easier. I also found that that little extra yeast really helps with the oven spring.


I proofed the shaped baguettes and scored them on a perforated pan lined with parchment paper which helps keep the shape, especially when working with a high hydration dough. To help me comtrol the scoring, I made a full size cardboard template as a guide while scoring.



I tranferred the loaves by sliding the parchment onto a jerry-rigged wooden peel made from a top cover of a Bordeaux wine case and from there onto the baking stone.



I baked 10 mins at 460 degrees F with steam from a cast iron pan filled with lava stones (thanks David!), reduce to 430 degrees and baked without steam for 13 mins, turned off oven and kept them in the oven with door ajar for another 5 mins ( thanks again David!) before removing them to cool on a rack.




 


I hope these little tidbits will be of help. Happy baking!


Don

DonD's picture
DonD

I found this site a couple of months ago and have been following some fascinating posts and the great exchange of information among the members. I have always loved the true French baguettes and during the early 90's when the first artisanal baking books like The Village Baker and Bread Alone came out, I tried my hands at making French baguettes. They were acceptable but not great. When I stumbled on this site and found the formulation for Gosselin's Pain a l'Ancienne that David of dmsnyder posted, I was motivated to try making it because I remember how good it was when I tasted it in France a couple of years ago. It turned out great. And then, I discovered the Anis Bouabsa formulation that David also shared with us. It turned out even better. So I decided to have a head to head comparison between the two a couple of weeks ago. I have had a couple of exchanges with David about this topic and he encouraged me to share the results with the TFL community, so here we go...


I used the folowing flour mix:


30% KA BF


58% KA APF


10% KA WWF


2% Bob's Red Mill Fava Bean Flour


2% Noirmoutier French sea salt


The mixing, fermentation, shaping and baking followed David's closely for both formulations. They were baked on the same day about one hour apart.


Both batches turned out great. The oven spring was about the same for both. The Gosselin crust was lighter in color than Bouabsa's which had a deep rich color. Both had good crunch and sweet caramelly flavor. The Gosselin crumb is soft and incredibly sweet with a wheaty aftertaste. The Bouabsa crumb was slightly more open, was more chewy and had a nutty flavor. I had an informal blind bread tasting with my wine tasting group and the Bouadsa baguette was unanimously the slight favourite.


The top photo shows the Bouabsa baguettes. The second photo shows the crumb detais with Bouabsa's on the left and Gosselin's on the right. The third photo shows the Gosselin baguettes. The fourth photo is a close-up of the Bouabsa crumb.


I want to thank David and all the TFL members for generously sharing their knowledge and experience.


Happy Baking!


 


 

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