The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Leader's: Pain au levain, and Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancetta

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dolfs's picture
dolfs

Leader's: Pain au levain, and Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancetta

I got the book last week, so today, my regular baking day, I wanted to make some. As luck would have it, after having started baking in April, I had finally decided to create a sourdough starter, but had to delay until recently due to my vacation. Last week I started creating Maggie Glezer's firm french style starter (as well as a whole wheat and rye version). The composition of that starter is identical to Leader's stiff levain (although the feeding formula is slightly different), so I used this in the recipe.

Leader's Pain au levainLeader's Pain au levain

Leader's Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancettaLeader's Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancetta 

I refreshed the starter shortly before midnight last night and it was good and ready this morning at 8:30. Both recipes use the same stiff levain, and use the exact same formula to create the levain starter (with some whole wheat added), so I made this as a single batch. I used KA AP flour (I discovered that my local Whole Foods sells Guisto's type 55 in bulk, but have not gotten it yet). I mixed the dough for the baguette about an hour later than that for the levain (scheduling reasons). I pretty much followed the rest of the instructions. Did one fold after 1 hour. Bulk fermentation took about 3.5-4 hours. I did insert a 10 minute bench rest before shaping. Proof took about one hour and 45 minutes. I did use a linnen couche so there was some additional work and care needed to transfer to the peel.

 

One thing I noticed is that in this book I finally found the correspondence between mixing settings describe as low/medium and the corresponding numeric setting on the KA mixer I have. That, combined with the 8-9 minutes mixing time seemed to make a far better dough than I've had before (I never mixed that fast, or that long). Could also be the starter though. I'll find out next time I make a non-sourdough.

 

The Pain au levain was scored in two different ways: one long slash, and several smaller and diagonal slashes. The dough took the slashes quite well. Steamed in cast iron pan with hot water and ice, and used a 3/4 in baking stone preheated for 1 hour. Oven spring was unbelievable! The crust did not quite turn out as nice and brown as I expected from pictures, but cutting and testing proofed this to be a non-issue. The crust was crackling during cooling and was superb when I finally ate the bread.

 crumbLeader's Pain au levain: crumb

The baquettes were pretty much a similar story, except that I used pancetta instead of bacon, and I did not retard the shaped loaves overnight. They just had their almost 2 hour proof. I made them just too long for my oven, causing the tips to be squashed against back of the oven and door. Slashes worked out ok, but no ears. Crust and texture on the baguettes was fabulous. The pancetta is not as strong as bacon, and there was no overnight retardation to absorb flavors, so this was mild, but still very good!

 crumbLeader's Auvergne Rye Baguette with pancetta: crumb 

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Those look great.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Dolf,

Those are really great loaves. Absolutely beautiful.

I'm curious about the handling of the very long baguettes. Did you fold up a lot of couche fabric or have some kind of banneton or mold? Did you have to bake them one by one, or all at once?

Bill

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I have two pieces of couche. One is about 30" by 4 feet (bought from The Baker's Catalogue), the other is 26" by 6 feet bought form the SFBI. The latter seels three different widths and whatever length you want. I started with the small one and put the batards in there. Then, as I had the baguettes ready for the couche I realized I could not fit them in the small one also, and even if I could, it would complicate getting the batards out first (one side was bunched up and tucked in, so I could not unload on that side).

So I ended up using the second piece for the baquettes. It was way bigger than I needed. Used less than half so I just leave one half folded up and use it as the "wall" on one side. Then I placed the four baguettes with folds and had enough left one the other side to make another "wall". So this all worked quite well. As for length, that is another story. I had not done baguettes before and did not think about the length and made them, according to the instructions. Then when I got the peel out, I realized that they were slightly too long whether I put them on the peel one way, or rotated 90 degrees. I still never even thought about the oven! I put them on the peel with the best fit (on parchment paper), all four of them parallel.

Then, as I turned with the peel into the open oven and stuck the peel in I realized they we're practically touching the back wall (so I put them in pointing away from me), but figured it was now too late to get them out and try something else (they were already slashed), so I closed the door. That's when I found out they also slightly got mushed by the door.

All this has me thinking that I'll keep my eyes out for a slightly wider baking stone the will still fit my oven. If I find one, I will put baguettes in 90 degrees rotated. Also, next time I will use a flat baking sheet so I can support the full length if I want to slide them in sideways like this. If necessary I think I can also do two at a time, on a diagonal.

--dolf

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Dolf, I agree, those are terrific breads.

If you don't mind spending a little, you might want to consider a custom-sized Fibrament stone.

I think I remember you are in Silicon Valley? If so, we are neighbors.

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

dolfs's picture
dolfs

That's where I am. And you?

Thanks for the link to Fibrament. I may one day do that. I like the suggestion of two stones, one on bottom and one on top, but I also need room for my cast iron pan to create steam and I'm afraid that all won't fit and leave room for a rising bread.

--dolf

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Dolf,

I've used a cast iron griddle that is more low profile to save some space. Also, I've put the cast iron griddle sitting on the top stone. The steam seems to fill the oven from above about the same as if it were below. It allows the steam to develop a little better to pour the water on the griddle sitting on the stone, too.

I used to live in Palo Alto and then Mountain View when I worked for HP and Intel back in the day.

Bill

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Bill, I've thought of using a griddle but the only ones I could find have a groove around the perimeter for catching fat. I was thinking that all the water would just go into the grove and negate the benefit of the large surface area of the griddle. Does yours have this groove and if so do you find that it does not get in the way; if not, where did you find it?

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi Susanfnp,

Here's a griddle similar to the one I was using. It has much lower sides, so it fits in a fairly small space above a stone placed on the top rack of the oven. I've placed a small container made of foil with a couple of tiny pinholes in it and a cup of water or so that dribbles out over the griddle. I've also just sprayed some water onto the top surface of the top stone, but I've cracked my oven light housing doing stuff like that. Also, I once used a sawed off tin can with two tiny pinholes in it, but Eric warned me that some metals may be health hazards when heated to baking temperature. Then I got the brick oven, and I have some new different problems to figure out, now.

Another very questionable technique I'm embarrassed to say I've used many times is to take a lipless cookie sheet, open the oven door, and hold it so the lipless side is sitting at the bottom outer edge of the oven, forming a "ramp" for water. Then, I take a measuring cup and pour water along the top of the "ramp" formed by the cookie sheet. The water flows down the ramp like a river and spreads out nicely on the bottom of the oven, hopefully going underneath and therefore missing the electric elements. It's a great way to destroy the oven, but it does seem to generate some good steam just before the oven blows up.

Bill

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Oh, I see, a griddle with sides that's more like a low skillet. Good idea!

I've ben afraid to pour water on the bottom of my oven, ever. The first time I baked bread the hidden element underneath my oven floor somehow overheated and warped the floor and turned it red hot, looked like it was melting (and I DIDN'T pour any water on it). Luckily it was under warranty. They had to replace the entire oven part of my range and that was not fun.

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Yes, water and home ovens - a possible or even likely disaster even if you're very careful. What type of oven was it, Susan? Just curious, since I've observed some warping on the bottom of one of mine at times during bread baking. As I said, I've foolishly dared to stream water onto the bottom of my oven from a cookie sheet with a couple of them, but it's definitely not a recommended technique. I've seen sparks flying, warped oven bottom, and also some very disturbing sounds, sort of like a large animal grunting when I've poured water on the floor.

Bill

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

I am in Sunnyvale

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Really great looking bread, Dolfs!  I see you did get four baguettes where I only managed to get three.   Your crumb looks really nice and more open than mine was. 

 

How do you like the pain recipe?  I've wanted to make it as well.  Very nice loaves there.

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Haha. It tastes  great and has a nice mixture of the white/rye and whole wheat flours in it. It is still light.

--dolf

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Beautiful loaves--I have a soft spot in my heart for Leader's books as he really got me started in hearth loaves and sourdough.  Glad to see his new book is also good--it's on my list to buy soon!

 

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I'm baking Leader's pain au levain tomorrow and I'll double the batch since I just bought a new mixer that can handle the dough.  I'm planning to make one batch the "quintessential" and the other with flaxseeds (aux graines de lin).  Wish me luck!

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Unfortunately Dan seems to be swamped since we still do not have the correction to the Barley recipe. Remember: take pictures (as I am sure you will not hesitate to use that D200!).

What mixer did you get? My current KA will only handle about 3lb of dough, and that is really borderline. I'm considering something else. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

zolablue's picture
zolablue

That's ok, I'm fine to wait for Dan to get to that but hope he does figure out the errors for us.  Oh, sure, I'll take photos unless I have a total flop.  (hehe)

 

After doing as much research as I could stand I bought the Electrolux DLX and it is fantastic.  I purchased it about 10 days ago and the first bread I made turned out fabulous.  Easy as heck to use and I didn't have a problem at all getting used to it.  (I even made muffins the same day so I could test creaming sugar and butter which works wonderfully with that roller as well.)  In addition, it was much smaller than I'd imagined.  It is actually lighter and less cumbersome than my KitchenAid and stores beautifully.

 

If you're interested I highly recommend buying it from Pleasant Hill Grains which is a simply beautiful little farm here in Nebraska. 

 

http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/magic_mill_dlx_mixer.aspx

 

The people there are great, very professional and very interested and helpful, and since it is about 1 1/2 hours from where we live, we drove over there and even got a small discount for pickup.  I don't think I've ever seen such a perfectly manicured, beautiful looking farm as that one with a separate professional office building where they had my mixer all set up to show me.  We were lucky enough to run into the owner/President and he was just great.  I've spoken now to 3 employees of theirs (before the purchase and day of purchase) and they were all extremely helpful and it is nice to know you have a person at the other end of the line to help if necessary.  Since I love the mixer so much I'm planning to buy the grain attachment.

 


I loved my KitchenAid but, honestly, it is comparing apples to oranges.  They are worlds apart.