The Fresh Loaf

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Petite Pain (rolls) - S.S. France - Bernard Clayton's Recipe

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holds99's picture
holds99

Petite Pain (rolls) - S.S. France - Bernard Clayton's Recipe

 Petite Pain (rolls) No. 1  - S.S. France - Bernard Clayton

Petite Pain No. 1 (rolls)  - S.S. France: - Bernard Clayton recipe

 Petite Pain (rolls) Interior - S.S. France - Bernard Clayton recipe

Petite Pain (rolls) No. 2 - S.S. France: - Bernard Clayton recipe

Petite Pains (rolls) - S.S. France Note: The following excerpt is taken from Bernard Clayton’s NEW COMPLETE BOOK OF BREADS – REVISED AND EXPANDED, page 633. “The anchor of the cuisine aboard the S.S. France was French bread in its least complicated form---flour, yeast, salt, and water.  These four basic ingredients became something special in the hands of the nine boulangers. It is not French flour that makes the difference, said the bakers.  "American flour” can be used if one understands that it must be treated with deference.  Permit it to relax.  Don't rush it or it will get stubborn.  There is more gluten in American flour and it will fight back when it has been kneaded too aggressively.  Walk away from it. Let it relax, then start again. The bakers also cautioned not to pour hot water into flour because this, too, will toughen the dough.  Use water that is baby-bottle warm---about 97 degrees Fahrenheit. One surprising practice in the France bakery was the use of a piece of well-laundered wool blanket to cover the dough as it rises.  The bakers had cut 6-by-3-foot strips from wonderfully soft white blankets that in earlier times had been used by stewards to tuck around passengers taking their ease in deck chairs.  The names of famous French line ships were woven into many.  Now they were keeping dough warm. My one regret is that I did not ask for one of the old blankets as a memento of the voyage.  I fear they were tossed out when shortly thereafter the liner was taken from French line service. This method can be adapted by the home baker.  I have since cut up an old army blanket to use in my kitchen and have discovered that even the softer doughs will not stick to wool. To allow the dough to grow and mature and to become more flavorful, the S.S. France’ recipe calls for the dough to rise three times and to rest for one 15-minute interval. The petit pain or small bread is nothing more than an elongated roll about 5 inches in length and 1 1/2 inches in girth.  It is a golden brown and crusty on the outside, white and soft inside.  The dough can be cut into four 1-pound loaves if you wish.” 

Note:  Much the same as Monsieur Clayton I regret not having one of those lovely, soft, old S.S. France’ blankets for my rolls to cuddle under.  And to make things worse, my old army blanket got stolen out of the back of my Jeep at the beach a few years back, so that’s option is gone.  Just when things seem darkest there’s always a ray of sunshine…steaming to the rescue… the S.S. Walmart.  Sacrilege that it may be… I cover my roll pans with large, rectangular, clear plastic containers that I purchased at Walmart…and they work great.  I’m fairly certain that the S.S. France’ boulangers would thoroughly disapprove of this method, as in: “mon Dieu, Monsieur Americain!”  Be that as it may, my method works just fine for me... merci.

On a more serious note. I selected this recipe because the rolls are simple, delicious and it’s a good exercise for entry level bakers.  This recipe uses the “direct” method (yeast only, no pre-ferment) and produces very good results.  I made the dough just a little wetter to produce a good interior.  I also used the stretch and fold method rather than knocking down the dough, as Clayton suggests.  I use stretch and fold for everything…well, nearly everything… I am still working to perfect this technique on pancakes J.   Finally, I made round rolls instead of oblong/oval shaped rolls.  I used these two techniques (“stretch and fold” and round roll shaping) because Bill Wraith’s video (available on TFL) shows the "stretch and fold" method and Mark Sinclair’s folding and roll shaping videos (available on TFL and his Back Home Bakery home page) show the “stretch and fold” method and “shaping” round rolls. Mark makes shaping rolls look easy, which reminds me of the old story about a tourist visting New York asking a New Yorker: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” to which the New Yorker replied: “Practice”.  So, here’s a chance to practice.  The two videos will help you immensely.  So, if you’re an entry level baker and want to tackle some “direct” method rolls this might prove to be a good way to GET “ROLLING”.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

 

Comments

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Howard,

Great looking rolls and write-up. I enjoyed the discussion of the S.S. France blankets and your "sacrilegious" solution. Here I thought you were a stickler when it comes to proper and traditional technique, but I like your irreverently practical and effective solution.

I haven't cracked open the Bernard Clayton book in a long time, but I like another roll recipe in that book very much (my kids especially used to like it), which I believe is called "Aunt Lenore's Potato Rolls". It's another good one to check out sometime, if you haven't already. I used to make the recipe as crescent rolls, and the kids would devour them in literally minutes. They are horrible for the diet, though. I guess I've been utterly lost in sourdough hearth bread land for years now and forgot about them. Your writing brought back old memories.

Bill

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Bill,

Thanks so much for your kind words.  Bernard Clayton's book was one of, if not the first baking books I purchased way back when I first got serious about baking.  I really enjoy making different types of rolls.  I sort of do rolls because my wife really likes French style hard rolls.  I'll try "Aunt Lenore's Potato Rolls".  I'm sure my wife will love them.  They sound great. My first introduction to artisan bread was Madame Doz Pain de Compagne and Pain de Compagne Honfleur from Clayton's book and I got hooked.  Throughout the time I have been on TFL you have always been more than helpful with your time and advice and I always thoroughly enjoy hearing your thoughts and reading your excellent posts. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

Your rolls look great nice shiny crust and good crumb.

But plastic!!! You know how the French are with their food

The American baker says to the French baker “I use plastic to cover my rolls do you know what I got?

The French baker says “ I don’t know what you got BUT it should have been 25 to LIFE”
holds99's picture
holds99

Norm,

Thanks so much and you're so right...more like life without parole.  As you well know I love your sense of humor.  Hope all is well with you.  I read all your posts and enjoy them very much.  Take care my friend.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

sannimiti's picture
sannimiti

Hi holds99, the rolls look great, just the fluffy interior I'm always trying to recreate (compared to bakery rolls). would you mind posting the recipe as I don't own the book or send a link? That would be highly appreciated, thanks in advance, sanni

holds99's picture
holds99

They're excellent rolls.  If you decide to make them check out Mark Sinclairs video on rolling rolls.


Here's a link to Mark Sinclair's Back Home Bakery site and his tutorials, one of which is rolls.


http://thebackhomebakery.com/Tutorials.html


Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Susan's picture
Susan

Let us know what you've been up to, please.  Hope all is well.  AnnieT, Mini Oven and I were thinking of you.


Susan from San Diego

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Glad to see you back! Hope all has been well.


Betty

breadandbreakfast's picture
breadandbreakfast

to sanni.... if you ever received this recipe from holds99, could you please


email it to me.... faldaice@gmail.com. thanks very much. i would love to try it.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

and the write up. How interesting re the wool blankets. Hard to imagine they wouldn't stick to wool. I'm always amazed by what I think dough will stick to and doesn't. I have a large "Tupperware" bowl that has a pebbly (sp?) surface and the dough slides right out, but will stick in pyrex or stainless steel. Go figure..

holds99's picture
holds99

I appreciate your kind words.  I know what you mean about dough sticking. It would seem logical the wool would stick to the dough.   Maybe French bakers have a secret they're not telling us about.  Just made a couple of baguettes yesterday and they stuck a little to a heavily floured couche but easlily pulled away from an unfloured formica countertop while shaping...dough, the ongoing challenge :-).

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

breadandbreakfast's picture
breadandbreakfast

Could anybody who requested and received- SS Roll France recipe from holds99.


published it in this forum. would greatly appreciate your time. thanks so much.

orville76's picture
orville76

I am but an amateur baker...best damned french bread I've ever made!  Merci mille fois!  FYI...the recipe is easily googleable.

holds99's picture
holds99

Thanks so much for your kind words.  Glad you enjoyed the rolls.  I just looked at the date on that post and I posted that recipe nearly 6 years ago.  Wow!  Time sure flies. 

Howard