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Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry Book

saumhain's picture

And that is how I celebrated it :)


So as I wrote before, I am now a happy owner of Michel Suas' "Bread and Pastry". I got it on Monday and ever since tried to figure out which bread to bake first - the problem was that I loved literally e v e r y t h i n g. My two final choices were "Rustic Filone" (made with 2 pre-ferments - yeasted and sourdough) and "Honey Wheat Pan Bread". I had almost decided with the last one, but as it takes only 8 hours to build levain and I could not get home that early, I had chosen "Filone".

It did not seem complicted at first glance. The truth is it's not comlicated at all. Things get messy when you fail to scale ingredients correctly. Like me. You see, I can handle pretty easily very wet dough, I can knead with my eyes closed, but I CAN'T FREAKIN SCALE! That is so annoying. Oh one more thing: I though I'd bake "Honey Wheat", because it involved double hydration technique. You mix the dough until gluten is developed and then you add some more water. You probably have heard about it, but I was honestly intrigued. So, back to my story. Instead of adding 191 g water I made it 161... I started kneading and immediately felt that something is wrong. I told you, I can handle wet dough really good, and I do prefer my dough wet. I like when it sticks to my hands a bit, because I know it would in the end result in nice open crumb and light texture. This dough was however not sticky at all; the floor would just remain somewhere on the bottom of the bowl with some crumbly ball in the center. Obviously it needed a lot more water. I splashed some more water, just to combine the remaining floor with that ball. I mixed it until there was about medium gluten development (I prefer to s&f the dough in the middle of bulk, instead of letting gluten fully develop at the beginning). I left my still too tight to the touch dough and thought I'd just sit and wait what happens to the dough next. I hesitated for a minute or so. Then added about 20 grams more water. At first I thought that I spoilt everything, because what I had in bowl now looked and the worse is that it felt like clay. However after about 2 minutes of intense kneading my dough was very soft, airy and finally sticky. So it almost like I tried double hydration technique and strictly speaking I think I liked it. Probably would try it with more breads, see how different types of dough react to it.

Oh and yes you can see my rustic filone on the photo above. Should have been two small batards, but I made it one. I am more than satisfied with the final product, although I need to bake it at least one more time to see what it's like with the correct amount of water :)

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