The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain Cordon de Bourgogne

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freerk's picture
freerk

Pain Cordon de Bourgogne

The Cord of Poverty

If you want to go straight to the video, follow this link 

This loaf has it all. Great dough, great flavor, and; slashing not required! A rope of twisted dough, placed parallel on top of the loaf, magically takes care of that. And it has great visual appeal. The long twisted strand of dough is like an umbilical cord. Where it touches the dough, it folds open. It's almost hard not to have associations with life, birth and fertility when looking at it.

The origins of the bread go way back to the time of the crusades, to Vézelay, France. It was from this Christian enclave that people left for the 2nd and 3rd crusades. Among the many monastic orders around Vézelay, there were the 'cordeliers', followers of Francis of Assisi. They were called that because of the simple rope they knotted around their robes, as a symbol of poverty. They also used the rope for bread making. They marked the bread with it, and proofed the dough, draping it lengthwise over the cord, thus achieving a nice 'grigne' without any actual slashing of the dough. What would they use to hold up their robes while baking...

Somewhere along the line the actual rope was replaced with the doughy version. I think we all know why...

Pain Cordon de Bourgogne

flour-mix

300 gr. bread flour

125 gr. high extraction flour

75 gr. rye flour

First make the flour mix; weigh out all the flours accurately and sift all of them together.

poolish

ingredients

150 gr. active wheat starter (100% hydration)

100 gr. flour mix

90 gr. lukewarm water

20 gr. buttermilk

4 gr. fresh yeast (or 1½ gr. dry active yeast)

method

Dissolve the (fresh) yeast into the lukewarm water and leave to rest for 15 minutes. If using dry yeast, you can continue to the next step right after the yeast has dissolved.

Add the yeasted water and the buttermilk to the 150 gr. of active starter. Stir until it goes all frothy. Add the flour mix and stir it all together into a mushy porridge. Leave this, covered, at room temperature for about 1½ hours. It will be ready when it goes all bubbly and has doubled, or even tripled in volume.

Dough

ingredients

the poolish

400 gr. flour mix

40 gr. buttermilk

170 gr. water

12.8 gr salt

Stir the water and buttermilk through the poolish. Add the flour and mix it into a rough dough with the back of a wooden spoon. Cover and leave to autolyse for about 30 minutes.

Knead the salt through the dough, either by hand or in a stand mixer. About three minutes. Cover and leave for 15 minutes.

Knead the dough for another minute or so and cover and rest for 15 more minutes.

Knead the dough one last time for about a minute, or 2 minutes by hand. Form into a ball, cover and let the dough rest for another hour or until the dough has more or less doubled in bulk.

Put a baking stone in the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 240°C

Turn out the dough on your work surface and cut about 75 grams of dough off the dough, shape it into a small ball and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Flatten the dough into a rectangle, and shape it into a batard.

Dust your proofing basket royally with rye flour.

Roll the small ball out into two strands of dough, flour them lightly and twist them around each other. The cord should cover the entire length of the dough.

Place the cord in your proofing basket, centered and hanging over the far ends. Place the dough, seam side up on the cord. Cover and rest until doubled in bulk, about 1½-2 hours. When you poke the dough with your finger, and it returns slowly, your bread is ready to go into the oven. If it springs back within a few seconds, leave it to rest a little longer. When you poke your dough and the dent doesn't spring back at all.... you have over proofed your dough. Keep an eye on it, and remember; under proofing is a more common occurrence than over proofing.

Spray the walls of your oven with some water.

Transfer the loaf from the basket onto a peel. Bake it on the stone for 15 minutes on 240°C, then lower the temperature to 210°C, and bake for a further 30 minutes until the crust is nice and dark.

Enjoy!

sources:

panis nostrum

ma petite cantine

sweet & sour

 

Comments

yy's picture
yy

Great post! I love the look of this loaf. I noticed that two of your sources had cords that were quite flat and did not stand out as attractively as yours. Any advice on making sure the cord bakes up nice and plump? Also, the loaf in your video was proofed upside down with the cord on the bottom of the basket. Was the loaf in the final photo of your post proofed differently? It looks like the cord was not compressed under the weight of the batard.

freerk's picture
freerk

Thank you! I guess for making sure the cord stands out is to not proof it upside down. I first wondered if maybe it's 'slashing'-qualities would suffer from the 'normal' proof, but since then I know it doesn't make a difference;it will perform its trick no matter what. I do think it looks nicer when proofed upside down, because the cord partially merges into the dough. Most of us here know their flours, and a strong flour will result in a nice bulby cord that fades into the 'magic slash'. A royal dusting with (non whole) rye gives it contrast and texture, and I like a 'floury' bite :-)

Both breads have been proofed exactly the same way, both upside down in a basket

freerk

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

dough designs on the bottom of the basket before loading the rest of the bread in.  It makes for some exciting looks to the finished bread and doesn't require scoring..... for the slashing challenged.   I really like your bread especially the buttermilk addition.

Very nice baking.

freerk's picture
freerk

Aha! This was what I was hoping for. I'm a bit of a slashofobe myself, so this technique is interesting to me. Have you ever tried to score a baguette with it, because that's what I really would like to try when I get around to it.

thanks!

p.s. i'm gonna try and make it with the fermented milk the 'original' recipe is talking about.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi freerk,

I think,the cubans use a strip of palm leaf to get the slashing effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0WGL6pIlnw

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Wow!  What a work out those guys get.  Interesting technique - one I have never seen before.

Thanks for posting the link :)

Janet

freerk's picture
freerk

wow, that is a great find AND the answer to my question! it can b done. Great video altogether! thnx man

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

for a great looking loaf.

Welcome back!

Juergen

freerk's picture
freerk

Thanks Juergen!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Freerk,

I so enjoy what you post.  When I see something you have done I know I will always learn something new.  I love the historical tidbits you include because they add so much to the loaf - to know it's origins and history.  

The formula on this is interesting with the use of a leaven,  fresh yeast and buttermilk.  I will have to give it a try so I am adding it to my 'to bake' list :)

I also love that you include thorough videos of your process.  Lets me see what each stage looks like and today I learned a new way to make a 2 strand braid.  I am excited about making one of my own!

Thanks again for the wonderful post!

Take Care,

Janet

freerk's picture
freerk

Thank you for your kind words Janet. Give this formula a good spot on your baking list, the dough works really nice. I've called it a "real squeaker" before. I'm certain you know what I mean with that.

I love the history of bread; show me what bread you eat (or not eat) and I tell you who you are! 

The way I do the two braid in the video works well for me. I keep control of evenness, and tapering it is easier, especially when starting from the middle.

thank you!

freerk

 

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Freerk,

I got these loaves baked a few days ago.  I have been experimenting with 'bold' bakes hence the darkened crusts... This is a 'fun' loaf to do.  I have to practice with the cord placement though.  My loaves kind of rested lopsided in their baskets but still turned out nicely.  I gave the loaves to friends and they liked it so your formula has been added to my baking binder files :)

Thanks for posting!

Take Care,

Janet

freerk's picture
freerk

They look wonderful, and they benefit from a good bold bake. Your cord did a perfect job.  And they look stunning. I would love to see the inside.

I feel honored to be in your baking binder :-) 

happy baking! 

freerk

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Both loaves went to friends so I don't know how the crumb looked but both recipients LOVED the bread.  I will try to remember to take a shot of the crumb when I make a loaf the we keep. 

Take Care,
Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

You should more often post here again. And the Cordon de Bourgogne is so TFL-worthy.
Note to yy: I think Freerk's cord stands more out because the other people had a softer dough with less rye in their breads. Note to DBM: you can do this with more rye, too, as I did. TRY IT!
All in all, a wonderful bread, and I'm glad that Freerk shared it with us.

Karin

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey K!

I'm getting a bit more organized in cross posting nowadays, so yeah, I should. And I should not worry too much (I guess) about the sloppy lay out. 

it IS a great bread indeed. All thanks is being forwarded to the monks baking in the nude (or at least with their habit undone) down there in the 13th century!

see ya, on some platform or other (if all the places we virtually meet would be pubs, we would be serious alcoholics!)

F

hanseata's picture
hanseata

in the www.... So it's probably a good thing you can't do a pub crawl.

The problem with the layout happens when you copy and paste a post from your BreadLab blog - here it looks different. Happened to me, too.

Karin

 

freerk's picture
freerk

 there was a trick to make the window ur typing in bigger. Its all that scrolling up and down that makes it confusing. Ah we'll, ill make it work somehow !

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Love the history and the rustic character of the bread, just gorgeous!  Between your "cord of poverty" and dabrownman's chacons, I feel I must explore this technique, pronto.

The color of your crumb leads me to think that your rye flour is medium or light rye, is that right?  Divine.

freerk's picture
freerk

It was whole wheat rye in the mix and light rye on top. The crust is really nice on this bread, and it loves a good bold bake. 

I'm very interested to hear if you find other unthought and unheard of applications for this technique! will it work on all rustic breads?

thanks for the compliments!

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Your posts are always very interesting with their history and wonderful talented video's.  What a lovely bake!

Thanks for sharing all.

Sylvia 

freerk's picture
freerk

thank you Sylvia