The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

French

  • Pin It
Half Baked's picture

First attempt at making Baguette with Poolish didn't come out too well...

April 8, 2013 - 7:19am -- Half Baked
Forums: 

Hi all, I found this site not long ago and it’s been nigh on invaluable after I recently got into baking. The tips and recipes have all really inspired me, and I have been happily experimenting away with different flours and types of bread for the last couple of months. I tried to test my abilities and learn some new skills over the weekend by using making a French Baguette using a poolish, and it failed and I’m really not too sure why, I was wondering if you ladies and gents had any suggestions as to where I went wrong?

 

grace.18's picture

French wheat flour available in Australia

December 9, 2012 - 7:03pm -- grace.18

Hello - this is my first time here and I have been enjoying all your posts.

Sadly, I have zero tolerance to all grains (not just gluten) and can therefore not eat bread of any kind.  On a recent trip to Paris, a friend suggested I try the bread as the protein is quite different to that in Australian flour.  To my joy, I found I could eat the bread with no side effects.  When I arrived in UK, I set about reading labels to find bread made with French flour and this I also tolerated with no ill effects. In fact I felt great the whole 2 months I was away.

cookingbyheart's picture
cookingbyheart

http://vimeo.com/48925507

My guy, Paul, is a lover of bread. In particular, he loves a good baguette. Through him, I have been initiated into the life of baguette enthusiasm.  A good baguette is dark and crusty on the outside, fluffy and light on the inside. That seems simple enough, most baguettes should fit that description vaguely, but there is a scale within that description. In France we found that the artisanal handmade loaves are usually best and everything else is, well, not best.

In France, bakeries prepare baguettes and other breads daily, usually preparing a morning batch and an evening batch in order to provide the freshest loaves all day long. In order to stock the shelves with the freshest breads when the shop opens at 6a, Boulanger William Courderot begins his day at 1am. When we arrived to meet him at 5am, he was well into his daily routine. Each day, Courderot rolls out 600 traditional baguettes and each day they fly off the shelf.

There are many types of baguettes. The hand rolled ones are usually called tradition or l'ancienne, they are made in the old French way. You can literally taste the love with which they are made. This is why I advise you to steer clear of the standard machine made baguettes! They are usually lighter in color, less crispy. They are longer and more uniform, there is no trace of flour on the finished crust, and they are maybe 10 cents cheaper. I'm not sure why anybody buys them.

In the states, it's getting more and more possible to find quality bread but it's still always fun to see what you can do yourself. When we were in France, I made a pact to learn how to make a good baguette by baking them daily. But after a couple of sad attempts, I gave in to the fact that everywhere I looked I saw perfect baguettes for €1 or less. I was in the land of incredible baguettes and I wasn't about to waste time and empty calories on bad ones! It takes a lot of patience to come up with a method that works for you in your setting. It's tough for a recipe to account for the moisture or dryness of the air in your environment. Consumer ovens just don't get as hot as industrial ones. But have no fear, Julia Child is here! Julia offers a thorough recipe with helpful pictures in her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, and you can see her recipe sans photos here.

One useful tip I can offer to fresh bread lovers: the best way to keep baguettes and other breads fresh and tasty is to wrap them in aluminum foil and freeze. If you have a big country loaf, cut it into smaller more manageable meal-size pieces and wrap each piece separately. When you want to eat some bread, place it in the oven or toaster oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes. When you can easily squeeze the baguette in your hand (with a glove of course), remove the foil, turn off the oven and put the bread back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so to crisp it up. Enjoy!

William Courderot's French Baguette

Ingredients

1 kg farine / ~7 cups flour

650 g eau / ~3 cups water

20 g sel / ~3.5 tsp salt

20 g levure / ~5 tsp yeast

Method

Mix all ingredients in kitchenaid or cuisinart mixer until smooth. Let rest for an hour and a half.

Flour prep area and separate dough into three equal pieces. Generously flour a linen cloth. Gently fold the dough over itself and roll while pushing the dough outwards until it becomes a long snake. Notice how little Courderot handles the dough as he forms it into baguettes. Don't handle the dough more than you have to. Place the baguettes on your floured linen cloth, cradling each loaf in fabric so they don't touch one another. Leave to rest for one hour.

Preheat oven to 550°F (or as high as your oven will go).

Use a new razor blade or very sharp knife to score the bread with evenly distributed diagonal marks, about 4-5 scores per loaf. Fill a cast iron pan with ice water and place it on the bottom rack of your oven. This helps keep a good amount of moisture in the oven while the bread bakes. Place the baguettes in the oven for 20-30minutes or until they are crusty and brown. When they're done, let them cool on a rack for 10 minutes or so before you break bread.

Enjoy!

-Cookingbyheart.org

JustinB's picture

Roasted Garlic / Gruyere / Sun-Dried Tomato (French Bread)

April 30, 2012 - 8:39pm -- JustinB

My friend at work wanted a custom loaf done, and I said "SURE!" He brought me the ingredients to make a flavored bread out of our french dough, which was Roasted Garlic, Gruyere Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomato. The result: a very delicious looking and smelling bread. I unfortunately didn't get to try it, but I'm hoping he saves me a piece :)

 

MNBäcker's picture

No decent crust on French Bread

December 4, 2011 - 11:34am -- MNBäcker

So,

I finished my WFO earlier this fall and am baking in it now. Breads are great and sell faster than I can bake them, but I encountered one particular issue:

I seem to have a problem gettin that nice, crispy crust on my French Bread. I am told that with my Whole Wheat or even Whole Wheat mix, the crust usually gets softer after the loaves cool off, but I'm a little disappointed that even the French Bread (Reinharts recipe, made with Sam's Club high-gluten bread flour) gets soft after it cools off.

Juergen Krauss's picture

Simple White Bread with Water Roux

May 23, 2011 - 4:20am -- Juergen Krauss
Forums: 

Hi,

I made some Hokkaido Milky Bread using water roux starter - the only formula where I used this so far.

I had about 200g starter left over and wondered what to do with it -

I decided to make the basic white bread which I know quite a bit from porevious experiments.

The overall formula is simple: Flour 100%, water 70%, salt 2%, fresh yeast 2%

The amounts I used this time:

Flour is Shipton Mill No 1

Water Roux starter:

Flour 20g

Water 100g

Dough:

Flour 280g

Water 110g

BKSinAZ's picture

My very first loaves of french bread & some lessons learned.

February 20, 2011 - 8:29am -- BKSinAZ

I finally decided to break free of my bread machine and hand make my bread for the first time. I really never liked the look of the loaves that came out a bread machine and felt more of a reward for doing it all by hand. I did use the same machine recipe (3 cups of Flour, salt, sugar, yeast, shortning, water)

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - French