The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

james mcguire

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dmsnyder

Shiao-Ping's blog entry on James McGuire's Pain de Tradition  certainly stimulated a lot of interest. I made the sourdough version a couple days ago. Today, I made the straight dough version.


The formula is in Shiao-Ping's posting. I followed it, changing only the flours. I used Giusto's Baker's Choice rather than KAF AP, and I used 10% KAF Organic White Whole Wheat. 


Shiao-Ping, in her excellent write up, mentioned that this dough could be used for baguettes. I was a bit skeptical regarding a 80% hydration dough for baguettes, but I gave it a try. 


The dough developed beautifully with the stretch and fold in the bowl procedure. By the 3 hour point, it had moderate gluten development and was already pulling away from the bowl. In my warm kitchen, it was quite puffy and expanded.


I treated the dough to pre-shaping and shaping as I would any straight dough. I lost some of the openness in the crumb, but it was still pretty nice. I baked at 460F with light steam. I removed the steaming skillet at 10 minutes. The baguette baked for 20 minutes, the bIatard for 30 minutes. The loaves were left in the oven for another 10 minutes with the oven off and the door ajar.



The cuts didn't open up as well as I had wished, but the crust ended up the closest to classic, crackly baguettes as any I've baked. The loaves sang for a long time, and the crust cracked during cooling, which I take as a positive sign of a thin, crisp crust.



As I said, the crumb was nice, but not as open as expected, given the high hydration. This may reflect my firm-handed pre-shaping and shaping. I may have erred on the side of under-steaming, too. I had proofed to 1.75 times the original volume. I feared over-proofing and may have slightly under-proofed. Oven spring was fast and large. 



Baguette Crumb



Bâtard Crumb


The flavor was amazing. It was wheaty and slightly sweet, and it had an almost herbal overtone and complexity of flavor I can't say I've ever tasting in a white wheat, straight dough bread before. Perhaps this was due to the White Whole Wheat. I'm sure the long fermentation played an important role. Whatever. The flavor was there in both breads. It was not there when I first tasted the baguette but developed about 3 hours after baking.


This is a remarkable bread.


I like the results from baking it at the higher temperature, especially on the crust crispness. A longer bake at a slightly  lower temperature is worth a try though. This is my new method to fiddle with on the continuing baguette quest for sure.


David

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dmsnyder

 


Even before the recent crop of beautiful breads made with James McGuire's “Pain de Tradition” formula, I had been planning to bake the “Miche, Point-à-Callière” from Hamelman's “Bread” this weekend. Hamelman attributes this bread to McGuire, whose intention was to replicate the type of bread baked by the first French settlers of what ultimately became Montreal. The name of the bread, “Pointe-à-Callière,” was the name of their first settlement.



Miche, Pointe-à-Callière


The other, more well-known, bread meant to approximate French bread of that era is Pain Poilâne. Hamelman's formula is for a 82% hydration Miche (very large boule) made with high-extraction flour. It is a pain au levain with no added yeast. The principal difference between McGuire's and Poilâne's miches is the higher hydration of McGuire's. Actually, I make this bread with 2 oz less water than Hamelman calls for, which makes it a 76% hydration dough.


I have made this bread with first clear flour, Golden Buffalo Flour (a high-extraction flour from Heartland Mills) and with a mix of bread flour and whole wheat. Personally, I prefer the results with first clear flour over the others.


 


Overall Formula

 

 

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

2 lbs

100.00%

Water

1 lb, 8.2 oz

76.00%

Salt

0.6 oz

1.80%

Total

3 lb, 8.8 oz

177.80%

 

Levain Build

 

 

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

6.4 oz

100.00%

Water

3.8 oz

60.00%

Mature culture (stiff)

1.3 oz (3 T)

20.00%

Total

11.5 oz

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

1 lb, 9.6 oz

 

Water

1 lb, 4.4 oz

 

Salt

0.6 oz

 

Levain

10.2 oz (all less 3 T)

Total

3 lb, 8.8 oz

 

 

Procedure

  1. Make the levain about 12 hours before you want to mix the dough. Dissolve the mature culture in the water, then mix in the flour. Cover tightly and ferment at room temperature. (I let the levain ripen at room temperature for about 10 hours overnight. I then refrigerated it for another 6 hours. This was a matter of my convenience. It probably did increase the sourness of the final dough, which happens to be fine with me.)

  2. To make the dough, mix the flour and water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one that can handle this much dough. Cover and let stand for an autolyse of 20-60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the dough, add the levain in chunks and mix thoroughly. Hamelman says to mix the dough at second speed for 2 to 2 ½ minutes to get a loose dough with only moderate gluten development. This time would be for a professional spiral mixer, of course. DDT is 76F. (I mixed the dough in a Bosch Universal Plus. It took about 4 ½ minutes to get what I regarded as “moderate gluten development.” I think one could easily use the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique with this bread and achieve equally good results, if not better.)

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, large bowl, cover tightly and allow to ferment for 2 ½ hours. Fold the dough twice at 50 minute intervals. If the gluten development was less than “moderate” after mixing, a third fold may be needed. If so, do the three folds at 40 minute intervals.

  4. After fermentation, transfer the dough to a floured board and lightly pre-shape into a round. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes, then gently round up the dough and transfer it to a well-floured banneton. Cover with a slightly damp towel or with plasti-crap. (The miche could be proofed on a well-floured linen couche, in principle. I have never attempted to transfer a slack dough loaf of this size from a couche to a peel. I imagine the results would be … amusing.)

  5. While the bread is proofing, pre-heat the oven to 500F and set up your steaming method of choice. (Hamelman calls for heating the oven to 440F.)

  6. After steaming the oven and loading the bread, turn the oven down to 440F. After 15 minutes, remove the steam source and turn down the oven to 420F. Hamelman says the total bake time is “about 60 minutes.” You can leave the miche in the turned off oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes after the bread is done. This will dry out the crust somewhat, but this is a very wet bread, and the crust will soften.

  7. Cool thoroughly on a rack. Hamelman prescribes covering the cooled miche with baker's linen and delaying slicing for at least 12 hours. (I think I actually did forgo slicing it for 12 hours once. It is an excellent idea, but I am weak.)

Miche Crumb

Miche crumb close-up

The flavor of this bread, like Poilâne's Miche, definitely improves over 1 to 3 days. I personally like the flavor best the day after it was baked. Of course, the next day is also pretty terrific, and the next … Hamelman says that the bread gets more sour and the “wheat flavor intensifies” over several days. My experience has been that the sourness does increase. I would describe the change in flavor as “mellowing” rather than intensifying. I think that is the same as what Hamelman describes as “the flavors melding.”

This bread has excellent keeping quality. Kept in a bread bag or bread box, it is very enjoyable for a week. It also freezes well. I usually cut it in quarters to freeze, wrap each quarter in 2 layers of freezer wrap and place them in food-safe plastic freezer bags.

Enjoy!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


When Shiao-Ping showed us the “Pain de Tradition” of James McGuire, I knew I was going to make it. The bread she made was gorgeous and good to eat. The techniques used were very congenial to me, since I have really had good results from “stretch and fold in the bowl” mixing with other breads. Besides, the one bread attributed to McGuire I've made (repeatedly) – the “Miche, Pointe-à-Callière” in Hamelman's “Bread” - is a wonderful bread.


I immediately thought of making this bread as a sourdough. Shiao-Ping and then Eric beat me to the draw. Here is mine.


I followed Shiao-Ping's formula. My starter has some rye and some whole wheat flour, but I used KAF Bread Flour exclusively to make the dough. I did add 2 gms of Instant Yeast, although my feeling was, like Eric's, that less would be better, particularly since my kitchen temperature was around 80F.


As I did the repeated stretch and folds, I felt the dough was not developing as well as I was accustomed to using this technique. So, for the last two sets of stretch and folds, I folded 15-20 times, rather than 8-10 times. At the end, the dough was still very loose. My inclination would have been to do a tight pre-shaping, but I stuck with the directions and just transferred the dough to a floured board to rest for 15 minutes under the bowl. I shaped a boule by gathering the edges of the dough to the center and sealing the seams. I then transferred the loaf to a well-floured, linen-lined banneton to proof.


I proofed for about 40 minutes, at which time the loaf had expanded no more than 50%. I transferred it to parchment on a peel and loaded onto my pre-heated baking stone. The rest of the baking procedure was as Shiao-Ping described.



 


This is the lightest-colored loaf I've baked in years. I might like this bread baked darker (by baking at a higher temperature), but the light-colored crust sure shows up the yellow pigments in the flour. Others have remarked on how yellow or “cream”-colored the crumb is on this bread. Well, my crust was too!


I baked the loaf to 210F internal temperature, then baked it 5 minutes more, then left it in the oven for 10 minutes more with the oven off and the door ajar. The crust still softened as the bread cooled.



The crumb is classic sourdough - randomly scattered holes of varying size. The mouth feel is cool and tender yet chewy. When first tasted, completely cooled, it has a lovely aroma and flavor. It is actually more assertively sour than expected.


This is a lovely bread. I'll make it again. I'd like to try it with a darker crust and a thicker one. 


David


 


 


 

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