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
- 150 gms Flour mixture
- 150 gms Water
- 1/16 tsp Instant Yeast
- 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!