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Gérard Rubaud Miche

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Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Gérard Rubaud Miche

I dedicate my Gérard Rubaud Miche to MC.


(I wish that it could be transported across the Pacific Ocean to reach the other shore.)


 


It was one of those soulful Van Morrison nights.  The music in my tea room could not be any louder; any louder, the gods of silent teapots would have protested.  John Donne was in the air.  Van Morrison, my muse, dreamt of this miche for me.... 


 


               


 


                                                                                                   


 


I have neglected my teapots for the longest time now.  They have not been polished for ... dare I reveal ... a year?  Sounds criminal.  Just as well, with all that flour coming out of the surface of the miche, do I need to bother dusting my teapot stands?


 


Gérard Rubaud starter (re-sized to 2% of his formula as recounted HERE in MC's blog; my figures are for a final dough yield of 1.9 kg, you are welcome to half my quantity again)


First build



  • 6 g ripe stiff starter (at this quantity, any starter you've got going is fine, preferably not liquid starter)

  • 8 g water

  • 14 g flour (2 g WW, 1 g spelt, 1 g rye, and 10 g plain flour)


Note: Gérard Rubaud's starter hydration averages 55.5%.  The main thrust of his starter is three refreshes and built with the same flour compositions as for his final dough; ie. 30% whole grains flours (60% wheat, 30% spelt, and 10% rye) and 70% all-purpose flour.


At 30 degree C, this build took 10 1/2 hours for me (overnight temperature might have dropped to 24 - 25 degree C in my kitchen).


Second build



  • 28 g starter (from the first build above)

  • 16 g water

  • 30 g flour (5 g WW, 3 g spelt, 1 g rye, and 21 g plain flour)


At 30 degree C, this build took 6 hours for me..


Third build



  • 74 g starter (from the second build above)

  • 56 g water

  • 100 g flour (18 g WW, 9 g spelt, 3 g rye, and 70 g plain)


Note:  Watch your starter fermentation carefully, depending on your room temperatures.  As flour (fresh food) is not even 1.5 times the starter, it is very easy to over-ferment at this stage.  It was not an issue for the previous two builds as the yeast adjusted to the new flour compositions and began its activity slowly.  


At 30 degree C, this build took 4 hours for me (and it was already too long because when I touched my starter, it shrank back very quickly; 3 1/2 hours would have been better).  It rose 2 1/2 times.


Gérard Rubaud Final Dough


Main points about the final dough construction are (1) final dough flour is 30% whole grain flours and 70% all-purpose flour as for starter; (2) starter is 25% of final dough flour (ie, 25% baker's percentage); and (3) overall dough hydration is 80%.



  • 230 g starter (all from the third build above)

  • 920 g flour (165 g WW, 83 g spelt, 28 g rye, and 644 g plain flour)

  • 772 g water (every 10 -11 g of water is 1% dough hydration; feel free to reduce water if you wish)

  • 20 g salt


Total dough weight was 1,920 grams (minus 150 g as pâte fermentée = 1,770 g, see below) and overall dough hydration was 80%. 


Note:


(1) I did double my own formula here (both starter and final dough) because I wanted to do a stencil with Gérard Rubaud initials and I wasn't sure if it would be successful. 


(2) I reserved 150 grams from each dough and I had 300 grams as pâte fermentée (old dough) in total from the two doughs. I wanted to try a Poilâne style of miche.  Giovanni has done extensive research on Poilâne Miche.  Without going into the specifics, all that I wanted to do at this stage was to use Gérard Rubaud's stiff starter and dough with the addition of a reserved old dough to make a miche and see what happens, which I did.  


(3) So, in total I made three x my own formula here at two separate occasions, the last being a Gérard Rubaud Miche with pâte fermentée.  


Procedure - without pâte fermentée


Gérard Rubaud autolyse flour and water, then he cuts up his stiff levain into small pieces and adds them to the autolysed flour and water mixture.  However, the way I did the bread in this post was that I first diluted my starter with water, then I added flour and salt into the diluted starter, then I followed the procedure below.



  1. Autolyse 20 minutes.

  2. Five sets of S&F's of 30 strokes each at 30 minutes intervals.  

  3. At the end of the last S&F's, section off a piece of dough weighing 150 grams (and placed it in the fridge) to be used as pâte fermentée (more below).

  4. Pre-shape and shape, then place the dough in the fridge for overnight retarding.  (My room temperature was 30 degree C.  It was exactly three hours from the time the ingredients were mixed to the time the shaped dough was placed in the fridge.  You may need longer depending on your dough temperature and room temperature.  Gérard Rubaud does not like to retard dough, but I did 9 hour retarding for convenience).

  5. The next morning, stencil, then score the dough.  Pre-heat your oven to as hot as it can go.  Bake with steam at 230 C for 50 minutes.


 


       


       Gérard Rubaud Miche (without pâte fermentée) 


                                                                                                      


 


Only one of the two miches that I made is shown here, as the stencil of the other one was completely smeared.  The proved dough of that one was quite high (its profile was like a tall hill); when I placed the stencil on its surface and dusted flour on it, the flour did not sit well on the surface.  I knew there might be problem but went ahead any way.  I should have tried to press the stencil closer to the surface of the dough before I dusted flour.


Notwithstanding the above, the aroma was most amazing when the miche was being baked.  When the oven door opened, the whole house was filled with the wonderful whole grains roasting fragrance.


The loaves cooled down to have the cracks all over their surface - the top and all around the sides.  Part of the reason for that is because these are very high hydration doughs, but more because I tend NOT to leave my dough in the oven with the oven turned off for the last 5 - 10 minutes of baking as many of TFL home bakers do.  I tend to give my dough full but shorter bake.  The extreme difference in temperatures inside and outside the oven results in the crackling effect on the crusts.


 


       


 


                                                     


 


With this Gérard Rubaud formula, I am witnessing the most amazing crumb that I have never seen before.  It has a translucent quality about it.  It is almost as if each and every particle of the flour had been fermented and each and every cell of the dough has been aerated.  I have never seen anything quite like it.  It is light and yet a slice of it on you palm feels a weight, a substance.  While the crumb looks translucent, it has a sheen as if it is oily (but it is not).  You can clearly see the specks of the whole grain flours in the crumb.  Had I not made this bread myself, I would not have believed that 30% whole grain flours would give me a crumb like this. 


So that is the texture.  What about the flavor?  I cannot tell you any single flavor.  No one taste stands out.   I cannot say that it is sour because sourness does not stand out.  The taste is very "creamy" if I may use that word.  The creaminess and the sourness are beautifully balanced. 


MC said of her Rustic Batard that it tastes more whole grains than Gérard's and she wondered if temperature had made a difference as Gérard's bakery is a good 15 degree F warmer than her place.  Now, my miche does NOT taste whole grains or wheaty at all.  I cannot single out a wheaty taste, but it is there, blended in with all the other flavors.  I wonder if my high temperature indeed had made a difference in this.  Or, put another way, had MC bulk fermented and proved her Rustic Batard in a proofing box to control temperatures, would she have gotten a closer taste in her Rustic Batard to Gérard's.


 


Procedure - with pâte fermentée


(Note: the formula is exactly the same as above except with the inclusion of 300 grams of pâte fermentée)


Follow the procedure as for miche without pâte fermentée except for the following:



  1. One hour after the dough was mixed (ie, at the end of the second set of S&F's, section off a piece of dough weighing 300 g ( reserve it as future pâte fermentée);

  2. Total fermentation time is shorter by 1/2 hour because fermentation happens faster with this dough.  (From the very first set of S&F's, you can already see some strength in the dough because of the acidity from the pâte fermentée.  To me, this is quite something, considering the way I mix my dough is that there is no kneading whatsoever, merely stirring to hydrate the flours.) 

  3. As this is a slightly bigger dough (1,920 grams as opposed to 1,770 grams), bake it for one hour. 


 


        


        Gérard Rubaud Miche (with pâte fermentée)


                                                                                                             


 


I learned something in this bake:  that sourdough pâte fermentée will give you extra dough strength because of the acidity in the old dough (provided it is not over-fermented to start with).  I am amazed at the volume that I get in this miche.  (Let's recap: this dough went through 2 1/2 hours of fermentation at room temperature of 30 degree C, then went into the refrigerator for 9 hour retardation, then baked at 230 C for 1 hour. That's all.) 


The taste of this miche is a lot sourer than the previous miche.  


 


       


 


                                                   


 


This has been a very fulfilling exercise for me.   Thank you, MC, for the wonderful experience.


 


Shiao-Ping

Comments

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I see.  I wasn't clear with my method.   Actually the way I did it was wrong.  The way you did it was the right way, and the way how GR did it.  I remember too well seeing him (in MC's short video) cutting up the stiff levain and putting the small pieces into the mixer.  I had completely forgotten about that.  My apology for the confusion.  (I will amend my post.)


Thank you.

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

It is just another way ...To me it just means that the beasties get a chance to eat sooner...I don't know if it affects the autolyse of not...You can tell by your beautiful bake... it worked just fine for you!


Judd

cheesecake man's picture
cheesecake man

Shiao-Ping - could you give detailed directions as to how you did the stenciling on your loafs?  Looks very impressive!


Thanks - Rick


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

The instruction is HERE.


There is sme more information below:


         

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I've been following along and enjoying the blog. 


I was looking at the stencil and noticed you taped in the loops.  Did you ever consider sewing or using thread to hold them?  A few simple stiches would hold them quite well (two threads for each) and the lines don't show up because they're so thin.


Made it to Korea....   Now to wake up my starter, it looks so incredibly clean!


Mini

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy

Hi Shiao-Ping,


Just getting my oven on for a version of your adaptation of GR MIche, will tell you what happens later, stay tuned.....


 


 


Jeremy

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I am staying tuned.... is it 8 am where you are?

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

me too...

Doughtagnan's picture
Doughtagnan

Inspired by this recipe from the dough goddess Shiao-Ping and from Capt'Batard's post,  I have just baked my 1st 3 build Gérard Rubaud (mini) Miche, but will keep you in suspense with the pics of how it turned out. It's now quite late in the UK so it's one for brekkie (I feel a egg sarnie coming on....). I halved the recipe as a kiloish miche is a bit on the large side for the two us and baked it in my nice big cast iron casserole .......cheers,   Steve

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Thanks for your comment.  You certainly know how to keep us in suspense.  I normally wouldn't be able to wait.   I notice you have Paul as one of your favourite bakeries in London.  There is a very posh looking Paul open in Taipei a couple of years back.   (You can see it listed on their website.)  Friends advised me not to go there as their breads and pastries are expensive.  I finally went there a few months ago when I was back in Taipei and tried half a dozen varieties of their breads and pastries.   I love the dining experience there.

Doughtagnan's picture
Doughtagnan

Hi Shiao-Ping,  Well, not quite as impressive as your professional results, the slightly "ragged" edges are due to my baking in a cast iron pot on baking parchment and as I had a busier day than expected I did not do as many S&F's as required (the dough spent a large part of the day in a cool kitchen) However,  i'm looking fwd to frying so eggs to pop between a couple of slices very soon!. As said earlier I roughly halved the recipe and the final product weighed in at 800g exactly. Re the Paul bakeries, i've just checked their website and we have 22 in London!, I like to think they are reassuringly expensive though probably fair for the quality (have'nt been to one for a while) Also, a couple of years ago we had a nice long weekend in Antwerp and the B&B owner used to deliver fresh bread and pastries from Paul every morning to our room, brilliant!. Anyway here are the scruffy bread pics, and thanks for the recipe. Cheers, Steve


GR MiniMiche


 


GR Crumb

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

... looks very delicious.  It has that translucent quality too, a well fermented piece.


Thanks for showing us the photos.


Shiao-Ping

Doughtagnan's picture
Doughtagnan

was used, just a token couple of twists of the mill as I stopped adding salt to my food years ago, I get my quota from snacks and fromage. Yep, the bread was very tasty and very similar to my usual everyday sourdough, which (by chance) uses a similar 2-4 type of flour mix depending on what's in the larder, predominately strong white but with added wholemeal, rye and spelt if I have it, starter is always a rye as it's the only one I have (about 15 months old) Regards, Steve

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

And thanks, too, to MC for bringing Gérard Rubaud and his gorgeous bread to our attention (in my case, through this landmark post of Shiao-Ping's).


I baked this bread for the second time today - on this occasion, two smaller batards as per DMSnyder's version. On removing them from the oven, they crackled at me for 10 minutes! I didn't end up with any notable crazing of the crust, but the flavour was marvellous. No pics, unfortunately, as my old Canon is on the blink.


The first time I baked this bread I did a single batard. You remarked on the great volume you got with your pâte fermentée version, Shiao-Ping, and I have to say I was pretty astounded at the spring I got with this first loaf - and that was using the starter, not a pâte fermentée. Actually, it's the best rise I've ever gotten...the spring literally tore the slash apart! Just wonderful.


I'm thinking of using GB's starter for all my breads from now on. There's something special about that combination and proportion of flours.


I'm also wondering whether that terrific rise is attributable to the lower hydration of this starter - I customarily use either a 100% or 80% hydration starter. Ah, the mysteries, the mysteries...

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

with liquid starter.  (Do yeasts come with a grain of wheat, or with water - you know what I am getting at.  In a stiff starter, there is potentially a higher yeast count than in a liquid starter of the same weight.)   However, given that this is an overall 80% hydration dough, I would think it's possible that your oven spring was due to a slight under-proof (or at least not over-proof) in your dough, coupled with the fact that you are now more comfortable in handling your dough and reading your dough.   Lately I have been researching on the legendary Poilane Miches (Lionel Poilane in particular) and, in general, the real French traditional Pain au Levain.  Their doughs are 63 - 65% hydration and their starters are also 63 - 65% hydration because the starters are taken from the last batch of dough (ie. pate fermente).   As a relatively junior sourdough baker, I have always believed in higher hydration for more open crumb.  But Ross, I believe we can now move on to lower hydration dough and still get a relatively open crumb, but much fuller flavour and more definition in our loaf shape! 


Cheers, Shiao-Ping

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Very interesting observations, Shiao-Ping. I'd never thought of stiff starters as harbouring more yeast, and therefore having more muscle to lift the dough, but it sure sounds logical to me.


I look very forward to your version of a pain au levain in the authentic lower hydration French style (I have no doubt you'll be featuring that on here very soon!).


I have saved a Polaine recipe courtesy of breadtopia that I've been meaning to try for a while. You've just given me a nudge. Moved to the front of the queue...!


Cheers!
Ross

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Thank you for sharing that Poilane inspired recipe.  I haven't seen that before.  Thanks.  These days I don't surf the net as much as I used to, so I often missed a lot of info.  That recipe is of course not the Poilane recipe.   Lionel Poilane's website is HERE, and Lionel's elder brother, Max Poilane's website is HERE.  Lionel Poilane's miche is slashed with a letter P, while Max Poilane's miche has 4 slashes almost like in a square.  I maybe wrong but I believe the scoring of Max Poilane miche is closer to how miches were scored during their father, Pierre Poilane's time.  Lionel did the big letter P more to distinguish his miches as more people had started to do this style of bread (I maybe wrong again but there was perhaps no such need during Pierre's time as the latter was the pioneer in returning to the somewhat primordial French bread).   The Poilane story is interesting to read and on YouTube there are a lot of video about them.  


There seems to be an obsession about Poilane miche among artisan bakers and the issue, it seems to me, is about the flavour of bread.  It is a well-known fact that Poilane uses the French T80 flour for their miches (and to be honest I do not know if using 80 - 85% bread flour with 15 - 20% wholewheat flour with bran sifted out would be a good match).  I am very tempted to order a Poilane miche air-flown into Australia, but I won't.  They may decline the order just the same because if they think the delivery takes more than 48 hours they may decline the order.  Lionel was known to say that their miche is best for three days, but I really like my bread on the first day.  On the issue of the flavor of bread, I am not convinced that bread made with T80 would have the flavour that I want best.  Can we take a vote and see if blonde beauty is what people think the absolute beauty?  We know the answer.  These things are really individual. 


On the other hand, having made a Gerard Rubaud style of miche here, I can begin to picture what a T80 miche must be like - the aroma would no doubt be sensational.  


Shiao-Ping

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Shiao-Ping,


Did you catch this post?


I'm going to have a good read through later; but I thought it may be useful to the discussion you are having here just now.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16110/baking-la-milanaise-flours


Best wishes


Andy

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

My French bread books always have recipes that use "unusual" flours to what I am familiar with but I never paid too much attention to them because I have been busy as it is without the different types of flours.  But I guess, as with any art form, in the end you come to a place where you crave the simplest because it is in the simplest that your skill is tested.  It was in my Gerard Rubaud miche that I first used the 30%/70% mixed whole grains flours and bread flour combination.  The result struck a resonance in me.  I am now actually looking forward to be working with T80 (or even T110) flours.  As with La Meunerie flour, I am going to see if my friend in Montreal can help out. 


Thanks and regards,


Shiao-Ping 

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

I agree that there's something magical about the 70:30 bread flour:whole-grain flour ratio! My favourite levain is also a mix of 70% AP flour and 30% whole-grain (25% whole-wheat + 5% whole-rye), and I guess the lightness and openess of the crumb, combined with the full-bodied flavour of wheat and rye, is what strikes a chord in me. Although I haven't tried the Rubaud levain yet, I'm positive it's a formula with the same tasty balance.


I've also wanted to try the real French T55, T65 and T80 flours, if for nothing else than to feel how they are to work with and what flavour they hold. I've never tried them, but used information from this source (click me) to try to "emulate" and combine my own flours to come up with something that's hopefully similar.


If you scroll down to table VIII, you'll see that T80 is labelled as a "light whole-wheat flour". Comparing both extraction rates and ash contents, it seems to me that T80 is closer to the regular whole-wheat flour than it is to AP/bread flour. If I'm not mistaken, Hamelman uses a high-extraction flour with approx. 0.92 ash for his miche, and he suggests substituting something along the lines of 85% whole-wheat flour + 15% bread flour if high-extraction is not available. An 85% WW + 15% bread flour combination appears rather bitter or "earthy" to me... what do you think? Perhaps they key to unlock the Poilane secret is to actually fly a loaf down under... ;-)

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

As for the 85% WW and 15% bread flour combination, I am very confused myself at this stage.  When I did my Miche, Pointe-a-Calliere, as I did not have the high extraction flour, I used 86% WW (Hamelman said between 85% and 90% WW is fine).   My miche did not taste "bitter or 'earthy' to me..." but that could be because my Australia WW flour.   I think when you "try to 'emulate'" and combine your own flours using the information in the study you provided the link for, you will get something close to the specific French style of flour that you are looking for, but not me.   That paper is a study of American flours and European/French flours.  I cannot assume that my Australian flours are the same as American flours in general.  I am now getting quite weary of all the comparisons and academic stuff.   I want a true experience, not a virtual one.   If I lay my hands on T80 flour would you like some?

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller


 I cannot assume that my Australian flours are the same as American flours in general.  I am now getting quite weary of all the comparisons and academic stuff.   I want a true experience, not a virtual one. 



Shiao-Ping, I don't understand why you consider your lovely breads a 'virtual experience', rather than a 'true one.' I guess it's because you are making the basis of your comparisons the original versions of the recipes you're trying and want to get as close as possible to 'the authentic.'


While I fully understand the call of the authentic, and answer it whenever I can (in fact, the notion of authenticity informs my entire food philosophy...but here is not the place to expand on that), I think I have a different perception from you on home baking. I find it fascinating that the home baker can emulate classic breads from all over the world - and people like you, who are always trying new breads based on master bakers' famous loaves, give all of us easier access to a wonderful variety of gorgeous home-baked breads. 


That, for me, is truly exhilarating! And when just about every time the results are a wonderful flavoursome bread different from any others one has baked previously, I am not the slightest bit bothered about how my version measures up to the original. We all know that every starter is unique, influenced by locale and the flours it is fed, and lends its own qualities and character to the bread it produces, regardless of the precision with which an original recipe is re-created. So, we're never going to exactly replicate another's bread! And viva le difference, I say!


When I try one of your recipes, I hope to turn out a loaf close to yours in crumb quality and flavour, but I know it will not be exact, and that's not an issue for me in any way, because I'm not trying to replicate your bread. I never try to match your presentation, for example, for two reasons: firstly, I'm not technically capable and don't care to put time into developing stencil skills and the like, and secondly, all my cooking tends to be a bit on the rustic side...it's just not my style to put energy into exquisite presentation. But it is your style! And your style stands out and sets your posts apart - your style, not the styles of the master bakers you're basing your breads on. 


I don't even care about flour variations. What we get in Australia is different from elsewhere - fine! It's like wines: different locales produce different qualities in the wine, regardless of the grapes used. Aussies wines are almost always going to be more dominant in fruit tones than their French counterparts, but does that make them inferior? Not necessarily! 


I realise that analogy is not exact, since you're concerned with the impact on your bread of flour variations, whereas Chardonnay grapes used in Australia came from France originally, so any difference in the wines produced are a function of growing conditions and technique.


However, what about the notion that local wine producers have evolved a new style of wine out of our different growing conditions? The result: an AUTHENTIC Australian style of wines, which at its best has won accolades globally and largely contributed both to New World wine production and to changing wine-producing techniques in France! 


So, in summary, my point is this: why try to do the impossible and replicate a style of bread that has evolved out of a particular region, when you are already creating tremendous bread using local flours? Many years, and sometimes generations of knowledge, have gone into the prototypes on which you're basing breads such as that featured in this thread. It is wondrous that you are turning out loaves that look - and no doubt taste - so brilliant, from your home oven, using local flours...and have been baking bread less than a year, if I recall correctly! What's inauthentic about that? 


I respectfully suggest that a new perspective is required here, not expensive imported flour...


Cheers!
Ross


PS: Rather than importing a bread from France that is doubtless going to be in less than prime condition when it reaches you - at huge expense, not only in terms of dollars but also considering the horrendous carbon footprint involved - why not plan a holiday to Europe and sample the real thing in the place of origin? Now that's an authentic bread experience in my book!

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

There is a famous story in Buddhism:  A monk came to a river that separated him from the other shore where he wanted to be.  He found himself a "fa," a few planks of wood bound together, that enabled him to get across.  Because the "fa" had saved his life, the monk carried it on his shoulder wherever he went and did not want to part with it.  The "fa" had become a burden for his life.  He no longer needed it, but he was still bound by it.


I really didn't explain myself when I said that "I want a true experience, not a virtual one."  That was a hasty remark.  Indeed as you indicated, every bread we make is an "authentic" piece of work and true of us and our experience to have made the bread, even when we were just copying some formula.   We all know we do not need to use French flours to create good bread.  But there is no reason not to use it at least once.  The world has so much to offer, we don't need to restrict ourselves.  And if we want to try something new, it is not because so we can keep it.  We experience something new so we can go beyond it. 


In order not to be bound by it, I need first to learn it and experience it - not second hand, or with substitutes.  The fact that substitutes may turn out to be the same or better or worse is beside the point.


I do like your perspective (and your holiday suggestion - my daughter and I are planning exactly that).  Let me say I respectfully thank you for your comment!


Have a good one!


Shiao-Ping

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

 


Can't quite work out the relevance of that Buddhism parable here - too many possible interpretations! - but no matter.


Now that you've clarified, I see that your position is actually less extreme than it appeared to me. 


I understand and empathise with your wanting to 'go beyond' the known and try new experiences in a bread baking context, including using French flour. And I would also be curious as to the differences in outcome.


I should add that I moaned and whinged for years about the lack of quality in the commercially available breads here in comparison to Germany, where - as I think I've mentioned before - I spent a year in the mid 80s and discovered great bread for the first time. I ended up concluding that our flour is inferior, which seems weird since we're one of the great wheat exporting countries...but nothing else made sense. Not then. Now I am aware of the vast difference technique can make, and thankfully, sourdough has caught on in a big way here and will surely only grow from here. The bread scene is looking promising indeed.


Your planned trip sounds fabulous - would love to do the same. In the meantime, as you are probably aware, there are some bakers downunder that are attracting global acclaim for their sourdough breads: Baker D Chiroco, in St Kilda, Melbourne, for example. Just a quick flight from where you are...and fares are currently cheap enough to make a weekend bread raid viable - economically, at least! Just a bit too far from Perth, though, unfortunately.


Cheers
Ross




 

ananda's picture
ananda

I wanted to dedicate this to the fine people who I worked with in Kent in the South-East of England.


They regularly catch the Chunnel over to France, and are going on "flour runs" to make their lovely breads.


I'm so enjoying your discussion about French flours, ash content, and trying to use regular American [and UK, for that matter] flours to create a similar, and appropriate mix.


I must say, the proportions you come up with, seem very appealing to me.


I have had major problems adding this to my blog; you can find it here for now: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16151/working-french-flour   When it's sorted, it should appear on my blog: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog/ananda


I think it's there now!!


I have all the photos from my last student practical; we made demi baguettes and brown tinned breads from local flours, and ciabatta and foccaccia with wet  doughs from my favourite source.   I will post these as soon as possible.


Best wishes


Andy

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

I have to say that this is the most amazing bread that I have ever baked!  Also, I did go through the trouble of grinding my own whole grains to make up the 30%.




Here's my grinder which I got a few days ago.  It's the same one that Gerard uses...



The organic grains that I used...


Here's the link to my blog post here on TFL with my method: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16211/city-boy-tries-make-g%C3%A9rard-rubaud-miche


Tim


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Thank you for sharing your great results with us here.


Shiao-Ping

Sedlmaierin's picture
Sedlmaierin

well, first off, your loaves are gorgeous, shiao-ping! which is why i am currently attmpting to make this bread myself. i was just wondering about the pate fermentee-how quickly would i need to use it in a bread? i am only planning on making one miche this weekend( we are still chomping on some bread i made the beginning of the week) and i can't see myself getting to another try(provided this one works out well) until the middle or end of next week-will it keep until then?


thanks for sharing your great bread -what beauty!


christina

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Thanks for your comment.  I don't think you want to wait too long.  I would say inside of three days in the fridge, then when you want to use it, bring it back to room temperature before you use it.

Sedlmaierin's picture
Sedlmaierin

In case you are interested- here are the results of my bake


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16663/newbie-question-preshaping-and-shaping#comment-108221


and i totally chickened out on the pate fermentee- by the time my dough was ready to go into the fridge i was so tired that finding a suitable container for the pate fermentee was too much for me and i nixed the idea. next time.........


christina

TheBlueBean's picture
TheBlueBean

Fantastic looking crumb.....makes me wish I had smell o' vision


I do believe this will be my next baking project.


I have a quick question though.  Currently, I'm finishing an internship with a local bakery, so I have access to a proof box and was wondering if it would be advantagious to ferment each build in it to reduce down time?  Or would it be better to let each build slowly ferment @ room temp, or even set each build in the fridge to retard overnight?


Also, would kneading (S&F) by hand produce a better looking and more open crumb than using a mixer?


Many  Thanks,


TheBlueBean


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I am sure a proof box will help "regulate" things in the sense that if your starter behaviour is predictable, the proof box will make each build go as planned.  But, and I think this is a big BUT, you don't know how your starter culture will react to the new four combination that you are feeding it, so you're kinda in the same situation as was I when I was doing mine. 


You see in my post I showed that my starter took less and less time progressively each build to get to 2 1/2 time risen at my then room temperature of 30 degree C.  You might want to read back MC's original post to see what room temperature Gerard has (I think it's around 21 - 24 degree C, depending on the seasons).   Say if you set your proof box to 24 C, for the first build, you will have to watch how long your starter takes to reach about 2 1/2 times risen.  Then, for the second and third build, you will have to watch again.  Once you've done this bread once, and assuming you are happy with it, the next time you can just set your proof box to that temperature and time frame..., otherwise you'll still need to tweak it, but the second time round it would be easier than the first....


One comment that I got from Gerard via MC is that he said I didn't put tiny amount of salt in my second and third builds of levain and, as a result, the levain had fermented faster than would be optimal in that a slower fermentation would have allowed more flavour acids to develop.  


On the subject of open crumb, yes, hand kneading is in general better than machine mixing, and I have found, no kneading at all, just doing letter-folds, is even better!!   Hard to imagin how a few letter-folds would be enough to build up gluten structure, isn't it?  You'll have to try it to believe it.


Let us know how you go.


Shiao-Ping

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I second Shiao-Ping's letter-fold recommendation. So effortless, so effective.


The only doughs the technique doesn't work brilliantly on, in my experience, are stiff low-hydration ones (like bagel dough, for example - you've got to knead that, although only briefly x 2 for the recipe I use). Oh, and some high hydration doughs, like my SD pizza dough, are better 'air-kneaded' (slapped down repeatedly on the bench). Otherwise, S&F all the way.


Cheers
Ross

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I had gone off on letter-folds for a while and had been doing stretch and folds in the mixing bowl sort of thing.   Recently I've found in fact the double letter-folds is far more effective than S&F's in the bowl.   I think the reason is, in a double letter-folds, the gluten structure is kinda like being "inter-locked" from all directors of the dough, whereas S&F's in the mixing bowl are more or less one-directional.  Even if I took the trouble of turning the dough over at the end of the S&F's, the tension thus created when I touched the surface of the dough was not as strong as that on the surface of a dough that has just been double letter-folded.  Isn't that interesting.


I think for high hydration dough, I would dust plenty of flour on the work bench before I tip the dough out.  I would stick my hand underneath the centre of the dough to make sure that the dough is completely flattened out before any letter-folding.   

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Agree again, Shiao-Ping. For a while, I also started doing S&Fs in the mixing bowl (out of laziness as much as anything), and as you say, it is nowhere near as effective generally speaking. I now empty the dough into a lightly oiled 10L oblong plastic container with a lid and do all the S&Fs in there. Very convenient to just put the lid back on between folds, and when appropriate retard in the fridge overnight in the container. I do lay plastic lightly over the dough though, to prevent drying out.


And yes, also agree with flouring the bench well before shaping high-hydration doughs. (I find S&Fs of these doughs in the oiled plastic container easy enough as long as one's hands are wet).


For the SD pizza dough I referred to, though, I use the slap technique because I've found it better for faster gluten development (which is necessary with this dough), and it's a good way to incorporate a tablespoon of olive oil into the dough while simultaneously keeping the pretty wet dough easily manageable and avoiding sticking.

dakar007's picture
dakar007

Shiao-Ping, 


    I was inspired by your posting and chose this as a project bread for the Artisan breadmaking course  I'm taking.  Very nicely done.  I'm pretty new at this, but having a blast.   The miche tasted good but thankfully i have several weeks to try to improve on it before presenting in class.  


Can you explain the "Five sets of S&F's of 30 strokes each "..I did five sets of stretch and fold (four folds) with 30 minutes between.  I a bit confused by 30 strokes each 


the pics are from my weak first attempt.  Had a bit of a Turtle Head blowout on the one and made deeper scores on the other


Thanks,   Ian

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Ian.


Here are a couple links that explain this technique - one in words, the other in video:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10682/mystery-page-249-solved”


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10276/noknead-video


I hope this helps.


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Thank you, David, for chipping in. 


Ian, the way I did my stretches and folds was that after I hand-mixed all the ingredients with a 20 minutes rest (autolyse):


(1) With my left hand holding the bowl, my right hand went under the bottom of the dough and grabbed a corner of it, stretched it up (no more than 10 -12 cm high), then folded it onto itself.  This is what I called one stroke.


(2) My left hand then turned the bowl a fraction, so my right hand could grab another corner of the dough, and repeat the motion..., i.e., second stroke. 


(3) I did 30 strokes, but in fact two - three revolution of the bowl would be sufficient (each revolution about 6 - 8 strokes). 


Some tips about the strokes:


(a) You cannot tear the dough.  If ever you see that the skin of the dough is tearing, that means you are doing too much.  


(b) You don't want to be just stroking the surface of the dough; you want to sort of bury your hand under the dough a bit and grab a piece up that way.


(c) At the end of each set, I find if I take the whole dough out, oil the mixing bowl, then place the dough back, it makes the next set of S&F really easy - the dough seems to come together as one whole piece easier.  (Just to confuse the matter a bit, I find if I place the dough back up-side-down, more strength is developed faster that way.  This  means it is important to remember to flip the dough over for the next set of S&F.)


You said you do four folds.  I assume that is 2 x letter folds.  I think that is a very good way of building dough strength. 


Great effort, Ian.


Shiao-Ping

dakar007's picture
dakar007

Shiao-Ping, 


     Thank you so much for your quick response and clear explaination. I love the technique and can't wait to try it.  Yes, I was using a letter type stretch and fold on the bench, slight oiled bowl, put in upside down and then one flip so smooth side up.   verry stong gluten bonds.  Method i was using was basically one i had seen in a Ciril Hitz video.    Makes total sense now.... I'm hoping it's one of the keys to your magnificant translucent crumb. 


 David, 


    thanks for the links...I dont have the Jeffrey Hammelman but we use it in class and have made some of his breads.... nice technique explanation.  The video was also very helpful.


great stuff, 


Ian


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

More about double letter-folds


 


Hi Ian


I didn't want to say too much at first in case I confuse you.  I have since found that double letter folds (ie, your 4 folds method) work better than strech and folds in the mixing bowl in terms of building dough strength.   People who do the S&F in the bowl method like the method because it is hassle free - no work bench to clean, etc.  But I think double letter folds method is superior because the dough is locked from all directions.  Some people place the dough in a big oiled rectangular plastic container when doing the double letter folding.   But I like doing it on the work bench so that I can dust flour on the work top (when the dough has high hydration) and also so that I can easily place my hands under the dough to smooth out (even out) the dough before folding it up.   Instead of flouring the work bench, some people lightly oil the work bench. 


 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I use a lightly oiled 10L oblong plastic container and find that by wetting my hands under the tap just before S&Fing, I can easily get them under the dough without any sticking. I prefer this method because it avoids adding extra flour (which I find can occasionally show up in streaks in the finished bread) and does away with any between-folds cleaning up.


I do drape a food-grade plastic bag lightly over the dough while resting, though, as well as putting the lid of the plastic container back on - this avoids any drying out of the dough surface.

jimbodeuxe's picture
jimbodeuxe

I am still a novice, progressively trying more challenging breads. I studied Shiao-Ping's notes carefully and then created a spreadsheet with of all Builds and timing for each step, each S&F, everything. One thing I noticed was that the hydration level was higher than any recipe I had ever followed, so I added to my xls model a hydration factor. With that, I could then vary not only the amount of flour but also the hydration level and everything adjusts. But this first time, I wanted to follow the formula precisely as Shiao-Ping so artfully laid it out for us.


Guess what... it was a mess. The rise was fine but when I turned out the dough, it just spread out, an oozy blob. There wasn't much I could do at that point so I proceeded to bake. I did get a nice little rise in the oven and the final result was flavorful, but this was nothing like the pictures I see here. I mean the concept of "shaping" the dough in my case was a joke -- how do you shape goo?


On my next attempt, I could easily drop the total hydration down to 70% or 60% or whatever but I must have missed something and I fear I will never know by making this adjustment. I mean, the formula works but not the way I am doing it. Could it be my S&F's? The flour I use (mostly KA)? The weather (it was cool and raining a little)? A slight adjustment for the weather would be one thing but this was not a slight mistake.


So please, I would appreciate any thoughts.


Jim

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

I am sorry that the formula or the method did not work for you.  I went back to my procedure and ingredient list.   What I can suggest is the following:


 


(1) The flour:  my plain flour is Australia's Kialla organic plain flour; if memory serves me right, that particular batch of flour had 13.6% in protein.  Your KA flour is 11.7% (+/- 0.2%) protein.   My flour is more thirsty and is able to absorb more water than yours.  Perhaps 72% would have been plenty for you. 


In formal bread making classes, they often advise participants to hold back 10 - 12% of recipe water for untried formulas and flours.  Gerard Rubaud's hydration is 80% (+/- 2%).  I know my flour can take 80% hydration.  But I really should have cautioned people.  Some European flours are quite low in gluten and they often think we (the New World bakers) are being macho talking about high hydration.  But it really comes down to the difference in flours. 


Okay, say you hold back 10 - 12% formula water, how are you to know how much is enough?  You need to pinch your dough to feel the "consistency" of your dough.  With Gerard Rubaud miche, what we are looking for is "soft to medium" consistency.  For an example, the dough consistency of a ciabatta is "soft" (super high hydration), and the dough consistency of a normal Pain au Levain is "medium."  So, the GR miche is in between.


 


(2) The stretch and folds:  I know I wrote (and did) "five sets of S&F's of 30 strokes each at 30 minute intervals" but I now would question if that is not too many stretch and flods for your flour.  Too many S&F's might have caused your gluten to break down and that might be why your dough was like "goo" (felt very, very wet and totally unmanageable).   Excessive kneading (or stretch and folds, same thing) will cause gluten to break down.  More is not better.  If ever we see the skin of the dough tearing, that means we have gone too far.  Even though my procedure reads 5 sets of 30 strokes each, you may not need all 30 strokes, or indeed, not all 5 sets.  But, how are we to tell how many are enough?  You see, the purpose of S&F is to build up dough strength while fermentation is happening.  If when S&F is due but your dough feels "tight" (ie, won't stretch easily when you try to stretch it), that means your dough is strong enough and that it doesn't need more S&F as yet!!  If you try to stretch it, you would just tear the skin.


That said, I cannot be sure if that was your case.  The reason is you did say your dough felt very wet and normally wet dough needs more kneading (S&F) for dough strength.  (With drier dough, gluten strength happens faster.)


 


(3) Ample dusting of flour to assist in handling the dough:  Say you have come to the end of your bulk dough cycle, you cannot reverse whatever has been done and you are left with a "goo," as you said.  To manage your shaping, you can dust plenty of flour on your dough as well as where the dough meets the side of the bowl, then, use a plastic scraper and scrape the dough out onto a flour dusted work bench.  Then, try to shape by minimalist handling - the more you handle the dough, the more the dough becomes wet and hard to manage.  What I do is:


(a) fold the mess over by half (a deeper fold makes the shaping tighter);


(b) pat excess flour off;


(c) fold the dough over again by half and pat any excess flour off; then


(d) swiftly with two hands, shape the dough into a miche/boule.  I would pay attention to where the right side is and make sure it is on top.   I would also think clearly how I am going to do it before I actually tackle.  The more you are hesitant, the more the dough is going to feel lumpy and wet.   Thankfully, once the shaped dough is retarded in the fridge, it hardens up and is easier to score.  


That is all I can say.  Hope this is some help to you.


Shiao-Ping

jimbodeuxe's picture
jimbodeuxe

Wow, Shiao-Ping, I am overwhelmed by the generosity of your thoughtful response. It's all a learning experience and at least this was not so bad a turnout that we could not enjoy it... my wife rejected my suggestion that we give a hunk to a friend who liked my last batch.


So I am ready to go at it again next weekend. I will make adjustments along the lines you suggested and will let you know how it turns out.


Thank you so much.


Jim


NYC

jimbodeuxe's picture
jimbodeuxe

Hi Shiao-Ping. When do you put your dough in the oven relative to removing from the refrigerator? Is it based on time, temperature, rise? 


Also, do you think that retardation at earlier stages could be used without adverse impact? Being a weekend baker, I would love to get this bread on the table a little earlier in the weekend.


Thanks again,


Jim


NYC

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

that I have ever come across, and that was developed by Johnny of the Australian bread site, Sourdough Companion, is a formula which involves refrigeration of the bulk dough (or, what you called, retardation at earlier stage) AND retardation at the proofing stage when the dough is shaped.


 


Hi Jim at NYC


 


You might want to check out Johnny's awesome formulas here:


(1) Ciabatta Integrale; and


(2) Rolled Oat & Apple Bread.


Like you, Johnny is a weekend baker.  He bakes enough for a whole week for him and his wife (children have left home).  He starts his process on Wednesday night after work (refreshing his starter), and he bakes on Saturday morning.   I have just posted my Home Bread on Sourdough Companion, which also mentions about Johnny's formulas. 


You asked me when I place my dough from the refrigerator into the oven to bake.  I bake my dough cold, straight out of the fridge.  I discussed why in my Home Bread post.


Shiao-Ping

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