The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gerard Rubaud

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PiPs's picture
PiPs

I have baked and baked. Through a long winter I baked. Early mornings in my cold dark kitchen I baked. Every weekend I baked. For my friends I baked. For my family I baked … it was the same bread that I baked.

The fresh smell of spring surrounds us and the star jasmine hanging on our back fence is about to flower and flood our senses further. On our small porch a tomato plant has been busily producing a steady supply of tasty treats. Bruschetta nights have never tasted better. Bushfires colour the air.

With the coming of spring has also come change—unplanned change and unpleasant change—change I must learn to embrace. Our graphic design studio within a government agency has been affected by workplace change and my work colleagues and I have become surplus to requirements. This uncertainty has been ongoing for the past few months and it now seems we finally have some resolution and closure—just in time for the fresh beginnings of spring.

Baking has been a constant throughout this stressful process. Every weekend I would mix large batches of ‘Pain au Levain’ using Gerard Rubaud’s method to share with friends and family. I might perhaps adjust the amount of the freshly milled wholegrain flours in the levain or final dough but I never strayed from the path of consistency.

But consistency requires change. Spring means temperatures have risen (good grief, it is 31°C today). My levain expands quicker and the doughs proof faster—I have to change to adapt.

Spring Levain (4 x 900g batards)

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

3600g

 

Total flour

2057g

100%

Total water

1543g

75%

Total salt

41g

2%

Pre-fermented flour

205g

10%

 

 

 

Levain – 5-6hrs 25°C

 

 

Previous levain build

77g

50%

Flour (I use a flour mix of 70% Organic plain flour, 18% fresh milled sifted wheat, 9% fresh milled sifted spelt and 3% fresh milled sifted rye)

156g

100%

Water

90g

58%

Salt

1g

1%

 

 

 

Final dough. DDT=25°C

 

 

Levain

323g

17%

Laucke Wallaby bakers flour

1575g

85%

Freshly milled spelt flour

277g

15%

Water

1425g

77%

Salt

40

2%

 

Method

  1. Mix levain and leave to ferment for 5-6 hours at 25°C
  2. Mill spelt flour and combine with bakers flour.  Mix with water holding back 100 grams of water.
  3. Autolyse for 5-6 hours.
  4. Add levain to autolyse then knead (french fold) for three mins. Return the dough to a bowl and add salt and remaining 100 grams of water. Squeeze the salt and water through the dough to incorporate (the dough will separate then come back together smoothly). Remove from the bowl and knead a further three mins.
  5. Bulk ferment for four hours untouched—no stretch-and-folds!
  6. Divide. Preshape. Bench rest 30 mins. Shape into batards and proof in bannetons seam side up.
  7. Final proof was for 1.5 hours at 24°C before being placed in the fridge for 12hrs.
  8. Bring dough to room temperature for an hour while oven is preheating. Bake in a preheated oven at 250°C for 10 mins with steam then reduce temperature to 200°C for a further 30 mins.

It makes beautifully simple bread. Unfussy but elegant with a crust that shatters and sings—a silken crumb within.

So I continue to bake—and soon, who knows, maybe I will be baking even more that I could ever imagine :)

This post is dedicated to my amazing Miss Nat who watched over me and carried me through …  thank you XX
Phil

varda's picture
varda

When I first joined TFL over a year ago, I was completely blown away by a post by Shiao Ping.   Perhaps you remember it - a Gérard Rubaud miche stenciled with his initials and photographed with Japanese maple leaves floating around in the frame:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15778/g%C3%A9rard-rubaud-miche. I read the post over several times and just shook my head.   Maybe in another life...  That other life may be closer but it isn't here yet.    A few weeks ago I suddenly remembered this post and looked it up and tried it.   I tried to follow Shiao Ping's instructions to the letter.   I added tiny amounts of spelt and rye to the starter - in fact so tiny that they are not really measurable in my kitchen.   I mixed up the dough, and religiously did the 5 in the bowl stretch and folds every half hour.   I retarded overnight because she did even though she said that GR doesn't do it that way.   And what did I find the next morning?   Soup.   I poured it out onto my peel and it flowed over the edge.   I flipped up the overflow and slid it as best as I could onto the stone and it flowed over the edges of the stone.   Not a happy thing.   But I baked it, and pulled it out and cooled it down and cut off the overflow lips, and tasted, and oh man.   Ugly but delicious.   Here is the ugly.  



I can't show you the delicious.  I tried to figure out what I could do differently.   I decided to do away with some of the tiny measurements by only adding rye to one elaboration and spelt to another (it's a three stage starter) and I decided not to retard overnight, and to do two stretch and folds on the counter every 50 minutes a la Hamelman.   I also cut the total from around 4 pounds to 2.5 (is it still a miche?) And finally I moved around the times of the starter stages.   Instead of having the first tiny amount ferment overnight which I thought would just dry out since it was so small, I had the first stage go for 3 hours, and the second overnight.   So again.   This time the dough seemed a bit more manageable, but even when it would come together on a stretch and fold, it would seem to liquify immediately thereafter.   This is an 80% hydration loaf, and that's high, but I've made other formulas at 80% and something else seemed to be going on than high hydration.    Here is outcome number 2.   Not much better.  




but still really delicious and motivating me to figure out how to make this thing properly.    On my third attempt, I decided the main issue is that the starter was the culprit that was causing severe liquification of the dough.    This is a crazy starter.   You start out with a tiny amount and build up the flour by a factor of 40 over three stages.   It has a high percentage of whole grains which I thought might be the problem.   You also add such tiny amounts of rye and spelt in the first two elaborations that you end up asking yourself, why am I doing this?   So I decided that in the hands of an artist like Shiao Ping this might be doable but for a peasant like me, no way.   I decided to take my regular starter and build it up as I normally do in two stages, building up the flour by a factor of around 5 rather than 40 with white flour only leaving out the whole grains.   I compensated for this by adding the whole grains to the final dough and kept all the percentages the same as the original formula.   I felt that only by working with a starter that I understood could I have any chance of getting this bread made properly.   Here is the starter build and formula that I ended up using:



             
        First take half         Second    
  70%    10:15pm plus 9.5 hours plus 5 hours
Ripe Starter 132          
WW            
Spelt            
Rye 10   5      
White 68 100 84 100    
Water 54 67 61 46 56%  
Expansion         4.9  
Total / % used in final dough     296 52%  
             
  Final Starter        
WW 127 0     18%  
Spelt 64 0     9%  
Rye 19 3     3%  
White 405 95     70%  
Water 515 55     80%  
Salt 13       1.9%  
Starter   153     14%  
             
Total grams/Estimated pounds 1296 2.57        

 

This seemed a lot better behaved in the bowl coming together on the stretch and folds and not liquifying immediately thereafter.   Imagine my surprise when I tried to remove it from the bowl it was proofing in when it again flowed over the edges of the peel.   Again I quickly flipped up the overflow so the whole thing looked like a bialy and slid it into the oven without slashing (as if you can slash liquid.)   In the oven it expanded nicely and the sunken center filled out.   Again not a thing of beauty.   The crumb this time seemed more or less proper without the big caves of the first two at the top of the loaf.   But now I'm feeling tapped out.   I don't know where to go from here.   I don't understand the tendency of this dough to liquify at a moments notice.   Any ideas?   In other words - help!

The third try:

Aivaras's picture
Aivaras

There are couple miches I have baked.


2.9Kg JT's 85x3 Miche.


   


One of the largest breads I have made. Pretty much the same as MC interpretation, only I didn't retard and hydration was lower, about 65%.



1.5Kg Gerard Rubaud Miche.



35% starter (55% hydration, GR flour mixture 70% T55, 18% sifted T150, 9% T80 spelt and 3% sifted T150 rye), overall hydration 65-68%. First fermentation 4 hours, proof about 2 hours.


2.2Kg T80 Miche.




T80 flour, 30% starter (~60% hydration), overall hydration 65%, first fermentation about 3 hours, proof 2 hours.


2.2Kg Poilane Miche.



70% T80, 30% T80 spelt, 35% starter (55% hydration), overall hydration 65%. First fermentation 3 hours, proof about 2 hours.


2.2Kg Organic WW and Spelt Miche.



70% very finely sifted Organic Stone Ground T150 flour and 30% Organic T80 spelt flour. 25% starter (55% hydration), overall hydration 65%. First fermentation 4.5 hours, proof 2 hours.


1.8Kg Pain a l'Ancienne.



50% T55 flour, 45% sifted T150 flour, 4.5% spelt, 0.5% malted barley flour, everything else as described by Shiao-Ping.


Aivaras

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


I'm continuing my exploration of bread baking with Gérard Rubaud's mix of flours. Today's breads were made with a firm levain, as used by Rubaud, and a high-hydration final dough. I made about 1500 gms of dough. The flour required is shown in the first chart.


Flour

%

Wt (gms)

All-purpose

70

583

Whole wheat

18

150

Whole spelt

9

75

Whole rye

3

25

Total

100

833

I divided the dough to shape two 500 gm boules and two 250 gm ficelles.

Total dough

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

Flour

833

100

Water

650

78

Salt

16

2

Total

1499

180

 

Levain

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

Flour

183

100

Water

103

56

Active starter

47

26

Total

333

 

 

Final dough

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

Flour

650

100

Water

547

84

Salt

16

2

Levain

286

44

Total

1499

 

 

We had some of the baguette with dinner. It is a mildly sour bread with a delicious flavor, like the other breads made with this mix of flours.

David

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


 


 


The "San Joaquin Sourdough" evolved from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes. Most of my deviations developed in discussion on TheFreshLoaf.com with Janedo, who first suggested adding sourdough starter and rye, and, then, leaving out the baker's yeast and making it as a "pure" pain au levain.


I have been using that formula – a 70-75% hydration dough with 90% white flour and 10% whole rye, raised with wild yeast – for the past 18 months, and it has been my favorite bread. However, I have recently begun using the mix of flours employed by Gérard Rubaud, as reported on Farine.com. The result is a bread with a wonderful aroma and flavor that can be easily made in two three to four hour blocks of time on two consecutive days.


San Joaquin Sourdough made with Gérard Rubaud's flour mix (Scaled for 1000 gms of dough)


Gérard Rubaud's flour mix

Flour

Baker's %

Levain

Final dough

Total dough

 

 

All Purpose

70

98

295

393

 

 

Whole Wheat

18

25

76

101

 

 

Spelt

9

13

38

51

 

 

Whole Rye

3

4

13

17

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

562

 

 

 

Total Dough

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

562

Water

76

427

Salt

2

11

 

Total

1000

 

Levain

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

140

Water

75

105

Active starter

20

28

 

Total

273

 

Final Dough

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

421

Water

76

322

Salt

2

11

Levain

58

246

 

Total

1000

 

Procedures

Mix the flours

Because the levain and the final dough use the same mix of four flours, it is most convenient to weigh them out and mix them ahead of time and use the mix, as called for in the formula.

Prepare the levain

Two days before baking, feed the starter in the evening and let it ferment at room temperature overnight.

Mixing

In a large bowl, mix the levain with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and salt and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula or a plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 30 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 3 times more at 20 minute intervals.

 After the last series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.)

After 45 minutes, transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and do a stretch and fold. Return the dough to the bowl. Let it rest 45 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold on the board. Return the dough to the bowl.

Fermentation

Ferment at room temperature for an hour or until it has expanded 25% or so. If you are using a glass bowl or pitcher, you should see small bubbles forming in the dough. Then place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours.

Dividing and Shaping

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Divide as desired or leave in one piece. To pre-shape for a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .

 

Preheating the oven

One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack and prepare to steam the oven. Heat the oven to 500F.

 

Proofing

After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina or a linen couche, liberally dusted with flour. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel or a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (30-45 minutes) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!

 

Baking

Pre-steam the oven.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf or transfer to a peel, if you used a couche. Score the loaf.

Transfer the loaf (and parchment paper, if used) to the baking stone, Steam the oven and turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove your steam source from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is br

owning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 12-15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.


When the loaf is done, leave it on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 5-10 minutes to dry and crisp up the crust.


 


Cooling


Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.




David


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


The Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain au Levain has been a smash success for all those who have made it. Thanks again to Shiao-Ping for bringing this remarkable bread to our attention after reading about it on MC's blog.


The most remarkable features of this bread are its fabulous aroma and flavor. How much they derive from Rubaud's very special flour mix and how much from his fermentation and other techniques has been a matter of some speculation. So, today I made my San Joaquin Sourdough using Rubaud's mix of flours. I did not use Rubaud's flour mix in the sourdough starter. I used my usual flour mix of AP, WW and Rye.


 Gérard's blend of flours comes through. It's my new favorite San Joaquin Sourdough version.


The aroma of the baked bread was intoxicating, and the flavor was wonderful. Rubaud is not a fan of cold fermentation, if I understand MC correctly. The San Joaquin Sourdough uses an overnight cold retardation of the dough before dividing and proofing. In comparison to the Rubaud pains au levain I've made, the San Joaquin Sourdough was noticeably tangier. I happen to like that, but others may not.


I also tried to use Rubaud's method of shaping his bâtards, which accounts for the “charming rustic appearance” of my loaves. I trust that, after another 40 years of practice, mine will be almost as nice as Gérard's. 



 


 


Flour Wts for Levain & Dough

Grams

Flour

Total Wt. (g)

Total for Levain

156.33

AP

404.38

Total for Final Dough

421.35

WW

103.98

Total of Flours for the recipe

577.68

Spelt

51.99

 

 

Rye

17.33

 

 

Total

577.68

 

Total Dough:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

Flour

100

561.8

Water

76

426.97

Salt

2

11.24

Yeast

0

0

Conversion factor

5.62

1000

 

Levain:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

Flour

100

140.45

Water

75

105.34

Starter

20

28.09

Total

 

273.88

 

Final Dough:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

Flour

100

421.35

Water

76.33

321.63

Salt

2

11.24

Pre-Ferment

58.33

245.79

Total

 

1000

 

Procedure

  1. Mix the firm starter (1:3:5 – Starter:Water:Flour). Let it ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.

  2. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Add the starter and dissolve it in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let it sit for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly using the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Repeat the “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 30 strokes 2 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and do a stretch and fold.

  7. Return the dough to the bowl and cover.

  8. After 45 minutes, repeat the stretch and fold on the board.

  9. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl.

  10. Allow the dough to continue fermenting until the volume has increased 50%.

  11. Cold retard the dough for about 20 hours.

  12. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and immediately transfer it to a lightly floured board.

  13. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape them into logs or rounds, depending on whether you want to make boules or bâtards. Cover the pieces with plasti-crap and let them rest for 60 minutes. (Give them a shorter rest if the kitchen is very warm. You don't want them to expand very much, if any.)

  14. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  15. Shape the pieces and place them in bannetons or on a couche. Cover the loaves and proof them until they have expanded by 50-70%. (30-45 minutes)

  16. Pre-steam the oven. The transfer the loaves to a peel (or equivalent). Score, load them onto your baking stone and steam the oven again.

  17. Turn the oven down to 450ºF.

  18. After 12 minutes, remove your steaming apparatus. Turn the loaves 180º, if necessary for even browning.

  19. Continue to bake the loaves for another 15-18 minutes or until their internal temperature is 205ºF.

  20. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  21. Cool the loaves completely before slicing.

     

    David

    Submitted to YeastSpotting

    P.S. If your scale doesn't measure to 0.01 gms, don't be concerned. I'm playing with a new spreadsheet which generated the numbers above. Feel free to round at will.

 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hi All,


Just want to start out by thanking both MC, and Shiao-Ping for their detailed postings and directions on making the Gérard Rubaud Miche.


Also, since so many people have tried out this method, I figured that I'd try it out too...  And my hand crank grain mill arrived a few days ago, and today was a snow day, so no work...


So here is my attempt that came out of the oven earlier today.  I have to say that it is the most amazing bread that I have made so far...  I probably should have let the loaf age for 1 day before cutting, but I was impatient and cut into it when the internal temp almost hit 80F.  I was not disappointed.


Please find the pictures and recipe below.  Also, I didn't really follow MC's or Shiao-Ping's instructions on building the levain, or on mixing, etc...  Lemme know what you think.  Thanks.


Enjoy!


Tim







Special tools:


Small Iron Grain Mill from Lehman's as described on MC's blog about Gérard Rubaud


2 - 8" linen lined bannetons or brotforms


2 baking stones


Steam tray or method to create steam.


Ingredients:


600g AP Flour (60%)


100g Bread Flour (10%)


150g Organic Winter Hard Wheat Berries (15%)


100g Organic Spelt Berries (10%)


50g Organic Rye Berries (5%)


250g Firm Sourdough Starter @ 60-65% hydration (25%) See notes below.


750g Water (75%)


20g Kosher Salt (2%)


Total Dough Weight: Approx 2000g


Yield: 2 x 800g loaves after baking


Evening of Day 1 - Preparing the Firm Sourdough Starter


8:00pm


Ingredients below not included in above recipe.)


- Grind 25g wheat berries, 15g spelt berries, 10g rye berries with a grain mill.


- Take 100g of your firm storage starter from the refrigerator, mix with 150g AP flour, and 50g of the freshly ground wheat/spelt/rye berries, and 130g water.  Cover and let rest on counter for 2-4 hours.  Starter should double...


11:30pm


- Measure out all ingredients.


- Grind the wheat/spelt/rye berries.


Day 2 - Mixing Final Dough and Baking


12:00am (Midnight)


- Put water, and 250g of firm sourdough starter in large mixing bowl, place dry ingredients on top, mix with wooden spoon until all combined into shaggy dough.  Knead dough in bowl using wet hands using the french fold method for 1 minute making sure to squish out any dry bits or lumps.  Do not add any extra flour.  Dough should be pretty smooth.  Put dough into oiled plastic container, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.


12:20am


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 25 minutes.


12:45am


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 20 minutes.


1:05am


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rise overnight on counter.  Go to bed.


7:30am


- Check dough to see if it has doubled in size.  Also press dough with we fingertip.  If impression remains, dough is ready to be divided and preshaped into 2 boules approx 1000g each.  Cover with towel and let rest for 15 minutes.


7:45am


- Final shape into tight boule, then place into lightly floured banneton/brotform seam side up and place into large plastic bag so they don't dry out, and proof for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs.


9:45am


- Arrange 2 baking stones on racks in oven, one should be the 1st space from the bottom, and the next should be 2nd from the top.  Arrange steam pan.  Preheat 550F with convection.


10:15am


- Remove proofing baskets from plastic bag, and cover with dish towel.


10:45am


- Lightly flour the boules before turning them out onto a peel, slash as desired, place directly on baking stone.  Repeat for 2nd loaf.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water to your steam pan, close oven door.  Turn oven down to 450F with covection and bake for 25 minutes.  After the 1st 25 minutes, rotate the loaves between the stones and bake for another 25 minutes with convection at 425F.  Loaves are done when the internal temp reaches 205F to 210F.


11:45am - Take loaves out of oven and cool for 3-4 hours or until internal temp is 80F.  Loaves should weigh approx 800g after baking.


Notes: for the AP flour, I mixed Whole Foods 365 AP, and Gold Medal Unbleached AP.  The bread flour is King Arthur.  The organic whole grains are from Fairway Market in NYC.  The grinder is really cool!  Hard wheat is hard to grind.  Spelt is easy, and rye is about as hard as hard wheat...


 Submitted to Yeastspotting on 2/11/10

DonD's picture
DonD

Acknowledgements:


I have been following the fascinating recent posts and the excitement generated by the breads of Gerard Rubaud on TFL, so I decided to try a make a batch on this snowy weekend in Washington DC. I want to thank MC for introducing Gerard to us on her excellent blog and also Shiao-Ping for transcribing the formulation and testing the recipe with her gorgeous miches. Thanks also to David Snyder and Eric Hanner for their detailed step by step instructions and observations of their own experiment.


Ingredients and Formulation:


I used the same flour mix of 70% AP to 30% whole grain. I used the T55 AP flour from La Milanaise. For the whole grain mix, since I cannot grind my own, I used 30% Whole White (winter)Wheat, 30% Whole (Spring) Wheat, 30% Spelt and 10% Rye all from Bob's Red Mill. I mixed all the flours to use for both the levain build and final dough.


I followed the 3 step levain build and added 1% salt to each levain build. In his interview with MC, Gerard said that he increases the levain percentage in winter so I decided to use 40% instead of 30%.


I noticed in the video on MC's blog that Gerard ferments his dough in a wooden trough so I thought that the wood has to absorb some of the water from the dough. Also since I am using the T55 flour which is less absorbent than regular AP flour, I decided to lower the hydration to 75%. 


I used 500 gms of flour mix, 200 gms stiff levain, 408 gms spring water, 11gms grey Guerande sea salt for the final dough and made 2 Batards.


I essentially followed David's fermentation, shaping and baking techniques.


Assessments:


Each step of my levain build took from 8 to 12 hours to ripen because of the cooler ambient temperature. I probably could have omitted the salt.


The lowering of hydration did not affect the character of the dough. Visually, its consistency during fermentation and shaping is very similar's to Gerard in the video.


The loaves had good oven spring. The crust is slightly paler that my usual high extraction bakes probably due to the spelt flour which I have never used before. The crumb is fairly open with a light tan color unlike the light color of Shiao-Ping's miche. The crust is quite crunchy and has blisters which I usually get with levain breads.


The smell after baking is reminiscent of toasted germs, slightly grassy more similar to a levain baguette than a high extraction bread.



The crumb has a gelatinous character, has more weight and is quite chewy. It smells like a sweet honeyed pipe tobacco with a slight acidic touch. The taste is not as sweet and has a definite tang probably due to the long levain ripening and the higher percentage of levain. Overall is it a whole new flavor profile unlike any that I have had before.



Epilogue:


My wife and I just finished a light lunch of Vegetable Beef Soup with Bone Marrow and toasted slices of 3-grain Country Loaf inspired by Gerard Rubaud on this beautiful sunny Sunday in the aftermath of the Blizzard of 2010. Delicious!


What's next?


I will try to make this bread using T80 high extraction flour instead of the AP/WW mix as a comparison. I will post the results.


Happy Baking!


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


I baked Gérard Rubaud's pain au levain for the second time this weekend. For background and detailed procedures, see my previous TFL blog entry. Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain


I altered my procedure in two major ways: First, I followed MC's suggestion that I try this bread with a single levain build, rather than the three builds used by Gérard. Second, rather than mixing the flours for each build, I weighed out the total flour mix and then used the necessary portions of it for the levain and the final dough. In addition, following Rubaud's lead, I scored these loaves very lightly, and I baked them at 450ºF, which yielded a lighter-colored crust.


When I made this bread a few days ago, I had problems with the proofed loaves sticking to the couche and to the transfer peel. MC said that Rubaud does not flour his couche. He dusts the bottoms of the loaves with a high extraction flour. I dusted my couche with some coarsely ground whole wheat flour, and this worked better than the AP flour dusting had. I also dusted the tops of the loaves with AP flour to prevent sticking to the covering folds of the couche. As a result, the baked loaves have a quite prominent flouring. I don't find this particularly attractive, so I'll try to avoid it in the future.


 



 


Levain

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)

37

AP flour

35

Whole wheat flour

9

Spelt flour

4.5

Rye flour

1.5

Water

28

Total

115

 

Final dough

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)

115

AP flour

322

Whole wheat flour

82.5

Spelt flour

41.5

Rye flour

14

Water

377

Salt

10

Total

962

 

This bake was essentially identical to the first in oven spring, crust consistency, crumb aeration and, most importantly, flavor. The flavor, as described before is simply astonishing.

 

This bread is highly recommended.

 

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


Shiao-Ping's beautiful miches, based on MC's interviews with Gérard Rubaud, inspired me to attempt Rubaud's pain au levain myself.



 


Rubaud's bread is made with 3 very firm levain builds, the final being incorporated in his final dough. He uses a flour mix with 70% AP flour and the remaining 30% a mix of whole wheat, spelt and rye flours. Remarkably, he grinds the flours to feed his levain fresh for each build, and he uses the same flour proportions for each levain build as used in his final dough. Not having a grain mill, I used store-bought flours. I measured out each flour for each build. If I make this bread again, I would make one batch of mixed flour for all the builds and the final dough. This would save time and also be more precise, given the very small amounts of flour in the levain builds.


Note that MC's interviews also indicate Rubaud salts his levain builds at 1% of the flour weight, in order to control their speed of ripening. I did not do this.


My formula is taken from Shiao-Ping's calculations which were taken from MC's interviews. I divided her quantities in half and, rather than a miche, made two smaller (480 gm) bâtards. Rubaud mixes his dough by machine. Shiao-Ping mixed her dough entirely by hand. I started my mixing in a stand mixer, but continued developing the gluten by hand, as described below.


 


First build

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)

3

AP flour

5

Whole wheat flour

1

Spelt flour

0.5

Rye flour

0.5

Water

4

Total

14

 

Second build

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)

14

AP flour

10.5

Whole wheat flour

2.5

Spelt flour

1.5

Rye flour

0.5

Water

8

Total

37

 

Third build

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)

37

AP flour

35

Whole wheat flour

9

Spelt flour

4.5

Rye flour

1.5

Water

28

Total

115

Notes for levain builds

  1. The first levain was made with my usual firm sourdough starter which I feed 1:3:4 (starter:water:flour) with a flour mix of 70% AP, 20% Whole wheat and 10% Whole rye flours.

  2. To mix each build, dissolve the firm starter in the water in a small bowl. (I use a small dough whisk.), then add the flours and mix thoroughly into a ball.

  3. The first build was fermented for 10 hours, the second and third for about 8 hours each. This was in a cool kitchen, so your times my vary with the activity of your starter and the ambient temperature.

 

Final dough

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Ripe levain (stiff)

115

AP flour

322

Whole wheat flour

82.5

Spelt flour

41.5

Rye flour

14

Water

377

Salt

10

Total

962

 

Method

  1. Mix the flours and the water. Cover and let it sit to autolyse for 20-60 minutes.

  2. Divide the starter into about 6 pieces and add them to the autolyse. Sprinkle the salt over all and mix thoroughly.

  3. In a stand mixer, mix with the dough hook on Speed 2 for about 10 minutes. There should be some gluten development, but the dough will be very gloppy. It will not clean the sides of the bowl.

  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly.

  5. After 20 minutes, stretch and fold in the bowl for 30 strokes. Cover the bowl tightly.

  6. Repeat Step 5. twice more.

  7. Transfer the dough to the board and stretch it to a large rectangle and fold it like an envelope. Replace it in the bowl and cover.

  8. After 45 minutes, transfer the dough to a floured board and do another stretch and fold.

  9. After another 45 minutes, transfer the dough to the board and divide it into two equal pieces.

  10. Pre-shape each piece into a round and let them rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

  11. Shape each piece into a bâtard.

  12. Proof en couche until expanded by 50-75%.

  13. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  14. When the loaves are ready to bake, pre-steam the oven.

  15. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score them, and then transfer them to the baking stone.

  16. Steam the oven again. Turn down the oven to 450ºF.

  17. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the loaves is at least 205ºF, the bottom gives a hollow sound when thumped and the crust is nicely browned.

  18. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  19. Cool completely before slicing.

 

Although I got good gluten development, the dough remained very loose. This was expected, given its high degree of hydration. However, I did not expect how the loaves stuck to the “well-floured” couch and transfer peel. The loaves deflated significantly in the process of transferring them to the Super Peel ™. The latter handled the loaves beautifully in transferring to the stone. No additional sticking.

There was very good oven spring, and the cuts on the loaf which didn't stick to the transfer peel as much opened up reasonably well, suggesting that the loaves were not as over-proofed as their deflation on transferring had suggested.

By time the bread had cooled, the crust was chewy with just a bit of crunch. (I did not follow my customary practice of drying the loaves in the cooling oven for a few minutes after they are fully baked.) The crumb was very well aerated. It had an aroma that seemed whole-wheaty, yet different. The flavor was excellent – complex and wheaty with some sweetness and more sourdough tang than I expected.

 

Wonderful bread. I want to make it again, but next time I'll flour the couche more heavily.

David

 

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