The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bernard clayton

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PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

This is the second bread from this weekend's bake that is from the late Bernard Clayton Jr.'s New Complete Book of Breads, as both an expression of gratitude and a memorial of sorts.


Mr. Clayton's Pain Seigle is one that I have not previously made.  It is an interesting bread, from the standpoint that approximately 50% of the flour is in two preferments: a "starter" made with commercial yeast and a sponge.  It also has a high rye content, with 2 cups bread flour to approximately 5 cups of rye flour.  


Starter


1 cup rye flour [I used the only rye flour available to me, a finely milled whole rye]


1 teaspoon dry yeast


1 cup warm water (105º-115º)


Mr. Clayton recommends a fermentation period in a covered bowl running from a minimum of 6 hours up to 36 hours.  I let mine ferment from Friday evening to Saturday evening, about 26 hours.


Sponge


All of the starter


1-1/4 cups warm water (105º-115º)


1 cup bread or all purpose flour


1-1/2 cups rye flour


Blend the water with the starter, then blend in the flours.  Cover and allow to ferment 8 hours or more.  I let this ferment overnight, then mixed the final dough around 11:30 Sunday morning, a total of 14 hours.  The sponge ballooned, at least quadrupling its original volume.  Plan accordingly.


Final Dough


All of the sponge


1/2 cup hot water (120º-130º)


1 tablespoon salt


2-1/2 cups rye flour, approximately


1 cup bread or all purpose flour


Stir the hot water and salt into the sponge, then add 1 cup of each flour.  Mr. Clayton's instructions say to mix by hand or machine for 15 minutes, adding the remaining rye flour until the dough is a shaggy mass that can be kneaded.  Here's where I took a slightly different path.  Mr. Clayton's descriptions and directions, while acknowledging that the dough will be sticky enough to warrant kneading with a bench knife or bowl scraper, still reflect a wheat-flour-based mindset.  Kneading, if by hand, should be done on a floured surface; "it will gradually lose its stickiness and become soft and elastic."  With all due respect, no.  I found that the white flour in the sponge had developed a very strong gluten network from its overnight hydration.  Adding the last cup of bread flour increased that.  However, the more rye flour that was added, the more this became a rye dough insofar as its handling characteristics went.  Being mindful of rye's fragility, I did about 3 minutes of stretch and folds in the bowl (as opposed to 5 minutes of kneading), then turned the dough out onto a wet countertop so that I could shape it into a rough ball.  That also let me clean and oil the bowl for the next fermentation which, per instructions, was timed at 40 minutes.  No indications were given for the dough's expansion or appearance at the end of this bulk fermentation, so I watched the clock.


Mr. Clayton instructs to "punch down the dough" and "knead for a minute or two to press out the bubbles."  I didn't see a significant change in the dough at the end of 40 minutes, certainly nothing to warrant punching down or kneading.  Clayton recommends forming into 3 boules of about 1 pound each.  I elected to form 2 boules.  This was followed, per instructions, by a 30-minute final ferment on the baking sheet. 


Glaze


1 egg yolk


1 tablespoon milk


The egg yolk and milk are blended together and brushed on the loaves.  Mr. Clayton recommends glazing before slashing.


The bread is baked in a 400º dry oven for about 45 minutes, until a finger thump on the bottom crust produces a hollow sound.


Here's how it looked:


Clayton's Pain Seigle


And a somewhat closer view:


Clayton's Pain Seigle


It is a handsome bread.  The glaze imparts a lovely sheen.  It is also obviously underproofed.  My kitchen temperature today was in the low 70's, perhaps not as warm as Mr. Clayton's "room temperature."


As noted in a previous post, my cup of flour probably weighs less than Mr. Clayton's cup of flour.  Therefore, it is likely that these are somewhat higher than his in hydration.  Now that I have this bake as a baseline, I would probably extend the bulk ferment and the final ferment to a point that I could see more obvious indications of inflation in the dough.  These may be somewhat dense and tight-grained when I get around to cutting into them.  That won't be until later this week, since they will go into the freezer once they have cooled thoroughly.  They don't feel like bricks, so I will keep my fingers crossed.  I can't remember whether I've made an unseeded rye before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the rye tastes all on its own.


Paul

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Given Bernard Clayton Jr.'s influence on home bakers in the United States, it seemed fitting for me to bake some breads from his New Complete Book of Breads in observance of his recent death.


This post will be about his Italian Bread.  I needed a fairly simple bread that could fit into a compact time so that it would be available to give to acquaintances who have a surgery scheduled for this Tuesday.  Not knowing whether their children would be agreeable to a whole-grain bread, much less a sourdough, I opted for a crusty white bread that would go well with the soup that my wife was preparing for them.  


The formula, all in volume measurements, is fairly simple:


1 tablespoon salt


1 tablespoon malt syrup [having none on hand, I substituted agave nectar]


1/2 cup nonfat dry milk


2 packages dry yeast


3 cups warm water (105º-115º)


6 cups bread or unbleached flour, approximately


1 tablespoon vegetable oil [I used olive oil]


The process is nearly as simple.  Mix together the salt, water, malt syrup, and yeast.  Place 4 cups of flour in a mixing bowl, form a well in the flour, and pour in the liquid mixture.  If using a mixer, mix 10 minutes at medium speed (2 on a KitchenAide?).  If mixing by hand, mix for a similar time.  Then add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a firm dough forms.  Knead for 10 minutes.  Place in a large, oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to ferment until tripled in volume.  Deflate the dough and allow to rise an additional 30 minutes.  [I opted for a shorter hand mix and a shorter kneading time, performing one stretch and fold when the dough had nearly doubled, then allowing to triple the original volume.]  Clayton recommends preshaping the dough, about 4 pounds, into boules, batards, or baguettes, then allowing a 20 minute rest.  He also recommends brushing the loaves with water immediately before placing them in the oven.  I elected to form 4 batards in the final shaping and rolled them in sesame seeds before placing them on the baking sheets, skipping the water brushing step.  Allow to nearly double in volume again before baking (Mr. Clayton says "about 1 hour").  Bake in a 425º dry oven for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Rotate the baking sheets about halfway through the bake to ensure even baking and coloring.


Since I used two baking sheets and had to position one fairly low in the oven and the other fairly high (it's a relatively small oven compared to U.S. ovens), I chose to use convection baking and lowered the temperature 40º, as suggested by Mr. Clayton.  At the 20 minute mark, I rotated the baking sheets and swapped their positions.


Other than some clumsy slashing, which is in no way attributable to Mr. Clayton, the loaves expanded very nicely in the oven, more than one might expect given the lack of steam.  Here is how they look:


Clayton's Pain Italien


And a slightly closer look:


Clayton's Pain Italien


We did keep a loaf for ourselves, so I will post the crumb shot once we cut into it.


When I next bake this bread (I have before and it is too good not to continue to use it), I will try steaming the oven.  I expect that it would enhance the blooming of the slashes as the ovenspring occurs.  It is possible that my decision to use the convection setting also had an effect on how much the slashes opened.  Given the oven capacity, the convection setting was the better choice in terms of promoting an even bake.  I will also probably skip the sesame seeds in future bakes, even though they seemed like a good idea at the time.  From Mr. Clayton's description of the dough, I suspect that I had a higher hydration than he would have used.  My impression is that he may have packed more flour into a cup than I do.  


Given that this formula came from a bakery in Monaco, one can argue about how "Italian" it really is.  Regardless of its pedigree, it is good bread.  Thank you, Mr. Clayton.


Paul

BellesAZ's picture

Anyone ever bake Clayton's French Bread with beaten egg whites?

August 31, 2010 - 2:37pm -- BellesAZ

Tonight I'm making a nice lemon chicken picatta and I thought I'd do a quick Italian bread.  I dusted off my Bernard Clayton New Complete Book of Breads, just because I haven't opened it in so long and thought I could find a quick recipe within it.  Instead, I became fixated on a recipe for French Bread made with beaten egg whites.  I was curious - French bread made with egg whites?  It didn't call for an overnight ferment, although it certainly could have had one, I suppose, but it fit the bill.. looked easy enough and was quick.

Urchina's picture

Lenora's Yeast Rolls, parker-house style

July 8, 2010 - 11:06pm -- Urchina
Forums: 

My first all-bread cookbook was Bernard Clayton's, and I've got several favorites in there. But right now my kids' favorite is Lenora's yeast rolls, so I made some tonight to go with dinner. 


They go together quickly, have a wonderful texture, and make great mini sandwiches (my son splits them like a taco, fills the inside and chows down). 


 


jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Recipe from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Bread - White Bread Chapter





I have an interesting bake last night.  This bread is very very tasteful,  with the caraway seeds,  brown sugar, and orange zest.  The taste is exceptional.  Somehow, this reminds me of gripe water that we give to babies.  Very very refreshing taste...if you are one of those that like caraway seeds,  try this...


Ingredients:




3/4 cup water
2 tbsp brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange, grated
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 package yeast
2 cups of bread flour


1.    Boil water, sugar, orange, butter and caraway seeds for 3 minutes.
2.    Mix 1 cup of flour, yeast and the boiled ingredients (after cooled).
3.    Knead well and let it rise for 1 hour.
4.    Add rest of flour slowly and knead well.
5.    Shape into loaf pan and let proof for 1 hour.
6.    Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour


This bread is so easy to eat,  we had ate 3/4 loaf in the morning.  Eat it plain or just put tuna,  taste just as a good...


 

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

For the love of bread,  I woke up 5 am,  with 4 hours of sleep just to see this bread rise and baked.  I didn't regret.  


Adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads,  I tried my hand again on this Pain de Campagne Poilane.  In addition,  I also tried using a claypot to bake this.  


I'm quite satisfied with my results,  the crust was crispy,  the texture is amazingly soft unlike those others that I tried.  I would have liked more holes,  but I think what matters is the taste.  The taste is good,  a little sweetness, if I changed to sourdough,  it probably has better effect.


My 3 days experiences are here with recipe:  http://sites.google.com/site/jlohcook/home/breadmaking/pain-de-campagne-poilane


 



By the way - after it cooled, the boule cracked a little and seem to have shrunk. Is that normal?


 

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

 


In the middle of the week,  I decided to make some bread after returning from 2 full days of meeting,  I need to de-stress.  Picked up Bernard Clayton's book and saw this attractive name - Feather Bread.  I wondered if this is the same kind of bread that I had at the restaurant of the hotel that I stayed.  So,  I started late in the night.  Click here for the recipe


 


Well,  it didn't turn out like the bread from the restaurant,  although I shaped it like it,  it turned out tasting really good when it is fresh.


 


Somehow,  I realised that white breads seems to harden fast?  Rye bread taste even better as the days goes by.  I tried heating up the bread,  but it was not the same as freshly baked.


 


My son and I discussed that perhaps I should wait till we want to eat these breads,  have it ready in the fridge and bake it near meal times.  suggestions anyone?



 

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