The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Michel Suas

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This weekend I made a miche with Gérard Rubaud's flour mix for the first time. It's nowhere near as beautiful as the ones with which Shiao-Ping introduced Rubaud's formula to TFL, but it is delicious. The miche does seem to have a more mellow flavor than the other breads I've made with this flour mix, but then I didn't slice and taste it for a good 15 hours after it was baked.


The flour mix and formula I used was ...



Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain

Ingredients

Baker's %

Total Dough

Flour 1 – AP

70

583.33

Flour 2 – WW

18

150

Flour 3 – Spelt

9

75

Flour 4 – Rye

3

25

 

Total Dough: 

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

833.33

Water

78

650

Salt

2

16.67

Conversion factor

8.33

1500

 

Pre-Ferment:

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

183.33

Water

56

102.67

Starter

47

86.17

Total

372.17

 

Final Dough: 

Baker's %

Weight

Flour

100

650

Water

84.21

547.33

Salt

2

16.67

Pre-Ferment

44

286

Total

1500

 

 

I also made a couple 1 lb boules of the San Francisco Sourdough from "Advanced Bread & Pastry" by Michel Suas. It was an extremely extensible dough, made this time with WFM AP Flour (non-organic. They were out of the organic). I retarded the loaves overnight but wanted to give them an early start, so I took them out of the fridge and turned on my oven when I first got to the kitchen this morning.

 

I trust you correctly inferred this was done before my first cup of coffee. Always risky. 

 

Well, I did have my baking stone in the oven when I turned it on but not my steaming setup. I discovered this when the loaves were ready to load, of course. I did give the oven a series of spritzes with a spray bottle, but my result was a nice illustration of why we bake with steam. So, for your interest ...

 

Note the dull crust and the modest bloom and spring.

 

I haven't cut it yet. I'm sure it's fine eating, but beautiful it ain't.

 

David

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Today's bake:

I was asked by a TFL member who had already packed his copy of Advanced Bread & Pastry in preparation for a move for the formula for this bread. I have added it, below. Happy baking!

Boules

Levain

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (Lbs & Oz)

Bakers' %

Bread flour

2 1/2

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 1/4

50

Starter (stiff)

2 1/8

80

Total

5.75

230

  1. Mix all the ingredients with a DDT of 70ºF.

  2. Ferment 12 hours at room temperature (65-70ºF).

 

Final dough

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (Lbs & Oz)

Bakers' %

Bread flour

14 7/8

100.00

Water

10 7/8

72.80

Salt

3/8

2.53

Levain

5 3/4

40.00

Total

2 lb

215.33

Method

  1. Mix to medium consistency.

  2. Ferment 3 hours with 1 fold. (I did 2 folds at 45 minute intervals.)

  3. Divide into 1 lb pieces.

  4. Preshape as light balls.

  5. Rest 20-30 minutes.

  6. Shape as boule or bâtard.

  7. Proof 12-16 hours at 48ºF, 65% relative humidity.

  8. Score as desired.

  9. Bake 35 minutes at 450ºF with steam.

 

 

Crackly Crust

Crumb 

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


Multigrain sourdoughs have a delightful complexity of flavor, wonderful texture and phenomenal keeping quality because of the moisture retained in the soaker, as well as the effect of the levain. They are delicious fresh-baked, but their flavor only fully develops after a day or two when the distinctive flavors of the grains and seeds have had a chance to meld.


I had made Jeffrey Hamelman's 5-grain Levain from “Bread” a number of times. Hamelman describes the flavor as “delectable,” which is not an over-statement. So, although my original intent was to make the Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread from Michel Suas' “Advanced Bread and Pastry” this weekend, when I saw his formula for “Sourdough Multigrain Bread” a few pages later, I couldn't resist it.


 



 


 


Levain

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (Lbs & Oz)

Bakers' %

Bread flour

2 5/8

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 3/8

50

Starter (stiff)

2 1/8

80

Total

6 1/4

230

  1. Mix all ingredients well with a DDT of 70ºF. (Tip: First mix the water and starter completely. I find a dough whisk is great for this. Then add the flours and mix thoroughly.)

  2. Ferment 12 hours at room temperature.

 

Soaker

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (Lbs & Oz)

Bakers' %

Flax seeds

1 1/2

39.13

Sunflower seeds

1 1/2

39.13

Rolled oats

1 1/2

39.13

Sesame seeds

1 1/2

39.13

Water

3 7/8

100

Total

9 7/8

256.52

  1. Toast the Sunflower and Sesame seeds for 4-6 minutes at 350ºF to bring out their flavor.

  2. Suas says to soak the seeds and oats for at least two hours. I soaked them overnight.

 

Final Dough

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (Lbs & Oz)

Bakers' %

Bread flour

10 1/8

65

Whole wheat flour

3 7/8

25

Medium rye flour

1 1/2

10

Water

11 3/8

72.8

Yeast (instant)

1/8

0.16

Salt

3/8

2.53

Soaker

9 7/8

59

Levain

6 1/4

40

Total

2 lb

274.49

 

Method

  1. Make the levain the night before baking and ferment it overnight, as above.

  2. Mix the flours, water, yeast and salt.

  3. Add the levain and mix thoroughly.

  4. Mix to medium gluten development, then add the soaker and mix only until incorporated. DDT is 75-78ºF (24-25ºC).

  5. Ferment for 2 hours.

  6. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape into loose balls.

  7. Rest the pieces, covered, for 20-30 minutes.

  8. Shape as bâtards. (Gently pat each ball of dough into a disc. Fold the right and left sides to meet in the middle. Then, roll the pieces up, away from you. Make sure the seam is sealed as you roll the loaves into bâtards and place in well-floured bannetons or on a floured couche.)

  9. Cover tightly and proof f

    or 60-90 minutes at 80ºF.



  10. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and your preferred steaming method in place.




  11. When the loaves are expanded by 75%, transfer them to a peel and to the baking stone.




  12. Immediately steam the oven and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.




  13. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 205ºF and the bottom sounds hollow when thumped.




  14. When the loaves are fully baked, turn off the oven, but leave the loaves on the stone with the oven door ajar for 5-10 minutes to dry the crust.




  15. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.


     





This bread has a crunchy crust and chewy crumb. There is a distinct but mild sourdough tang, and the flavor of the oats and seeds is very present. Compared to Hamelman's 5-grain Levain, Suas' bread has a higher proportion of seeds, and I toasted the sesame and sunflower seeds darker than I had for Hamelman's bread. Suas also uses a firm starter while Hamelman uses a liquid starter, which accounts for the relative sourness of Suas' bread.


While the comparisons are interesting, I can't say either is “better.” Both are outstanding breads and highly recommended.  


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The Honey Whole Wheat pan loaf from Advanced Bread and Pastry is made with a white levain, more as a pre-ferment for flavor than for leavening. It also uses instant yeast. It is otherwise 100% whole wheat. I used KAF Organic WW.


Suas' formula calls for a "double hydration" method, where most of the water is mixed with the other ingredients and the remainder is added gradually, after the gluten is moderately developed. The dough is rather high hydration - quite gloppy at the finish of mixing. Suas doesn't call for any stretch and folds during fermentation, but I added some to strengthen the dough. By the time it was ready to shape, it was surprisingly manageable.


This dough was so different from the whole wheat breads I had made before from Reinhart's BBA and whole grain baking book. His doughs are quite dry in comparison. This dough had me kind of spooked until after fermentation was complete. But the results were quite satisfactory, some cosmetic issues aside.



The spots on the crust are from oil I sprayed on the loaf before proofing it. Not pretty.



The crumb was not dry, but less moist than I expected. It was somewhat chewy. It has a wonderful wheaty flavor with none of the grassiness that I find in some 100% whole wheat breads and even in some white breads with as little as 10% whole wheat. It was slightly sweet, but not so sweet as to detract from the wheaty flavor. 


This is pretty close to my personal ideal for a whole wheat sandwich/toast bread. I'll be making it again, probably with a bulgur soaker and maybe some sesame seeds.


David

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I've been on a buckwheat kick lately and wanted to try Michel Suas' Buckwheat Pear Bread. Suas' book, Advanced Bread and Pastry, poses some problems for me in that its recipes all assume the baker knows what he or she is doing. While I generally know what I'm doing, I don't always remember to do what I know.


I made the levain yesterday, soaked the pears in riesling wine for an hour this morning, and then completed dough. The recipe didn't specify whether to dice the dried pears, but fortunately I was able to find some information about it on the SFBI site and figured out they were suppose to be diced. Still, I didn't know whether the weight of the pears was before or after soaking. I used the before soaking weight, and that was probably a mistake. The final dough was pretty sticky, and although not unmanageable, I think I would have been better off if the dough had been a bit firmer. Another thing that the formula doesn't tell you is how to assemble the final dough. After I had dumped everything in the mixer bowl, I thought, "I should have mixed the water with the levain before putting in the rest of the ingredients." That was a good thought but unfortunately I thought it a little too late. Anyway, I mixed everything up as best I could, but had trouble getting the pears and walnuts incorporated during the final minute of mixing and had to work them in by hand; the final dough was pretty sticky. The dough took about 2 hours to double. I shaped it into 3 rounds and let them rest 30 minutes, then formed them into loaves for my mini pans. I wasn't interested in making my loaves into the recommended pear shape--I'm way too utilitarian for that. I let my loaves proof for 1 hour and then baked them with steam at 400º for 35 minutes.


The crumb is a slightly spongy and a little wetter than I think it is suppose to be. Perhaps I under- or over-mixed the dough. You can see darker and lighter parts in the crumb; I think that is probably owing to my failure to incorporate the levain and water at the beginning. The pear taste is very prominent but not overwhelming; the buckwheat taste is very subtle. If nothing else, these little loaves will make great toast.


buckwheat pear bread


Levain:


39 g buckwheat flour


138 g bread flour


174 g water


1/8 t yeast


1/8 t salt


 


Final Dough:


280 g bread flour


135 g water


11 g salt


3 1/2 g yeast


39 g toasted walnuts


92 g dried, diced pears reconstituted for 1 hour in white wine


 


My interpretation of how to put this bread together:


Make the levain 12 hours beforehand. Mix the levain with the water for the final dough, add in the remaining ingredients except the nuts and pears, and knead on speed 2 until you achieve improved mix (window pane forms but breaks when stretched). Add the pears and walnuts on speed 1 after the dough has been developed.


Let ferment at room temperature until double, about 2 hours. Preshape into 3 pieces and let rest for 30 minutes. Form into mini-loaves and let proof for about 1 hour. Bake in a 400º oven with steam for about 35 minutes.


--Pamela

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I've been experimenting with various method of making San Francisco Sourdough for some time now. Suas' SF Sourdough loaf came out pretty well. I baked it with steam instead of under a cloche and didn't get as much oven spring as I hoped for. This loaf underwent bulk fermentation on the counter and was proofed in the refrigerator. It isn't quite as sour as I would like. I achieve the degree of sourness I'm looking for only when I do both the bulk fermentation and proofing in the refrigerator.


Suas San Francisco Sourdough


                      The crumb of this loaf is medium open and doesn't have a glisteny wet look about it.


Levain:


2 1/2 oz. bread flour


1/8 oz. rye flour


1 1/4 oz. water


starter (stiff) 2 1/8 oz. (50% hydration)


Mix all ingredients until well incorporated. Allow to ferment 12 hours at room temperature (65º - 70º).


 


Final Dough:


14 7/8 oz. flour (I used bread flour)


10 7/8 oz. water


3/8 oz. salt


6 oz. levain (all of the levain)


My Method: mix water and levain in mixer with paddle to loosen levain (about 1 minute). Add remaining ingredients and mix for an additional minute. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes so flour can hydrate. Resume mixing with dough hook for about 4 - 5 minutes to achieve a medium consistency (gluten structure is developed, but not fully--window pane forms but breaks upon stretching). Put dough into an oiled container with a lid. Let ferment for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature. Do a stretch and fold. Let ferment for another 1 1/2 hours at room temperature. Form into a ball and let rest 20 minutes. Shape into batard, put into a banneton, cover with a plastic bag sprayed with pan-spray and refrigerate for 12 to 16 hours. Turn out onto pan-sprayed parchment and bake on a stone in a 450º preheated oven for about 25 minutes with steam.


Makes a single two pound loaf (weight before baking).


Below is a picture of a loaf I baked several days ago. This loaf underwent overnight bulk fermentation in the refrigerator after the stretch and fold, overnight proofing in the refrigerator, and was baked with a cloche; it got much better oven spring and had better sour flavor. I'm sold that this is the way to go. I don't think it is so much the particular formula as the method. Additionally, in my experience, loaves that undergo this much refrigeration, tend to be pretty wet (slack, extensible, whatever you want to call it), but seem to bake up well in spite of this characteristic. I'm not sure how you go about successfully scoring such a wet loaf, but perhaps that isn't as important as the taste. Yesterday I read in Local Breads that wetter doughs have bigger holes. Based on my experience, I'm a believer.


San Francisco Sourdough


                      The crumb of this loaf is very open and has a glisteny wet look about it.


--Pamela

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Howard's been baking his way through many of Suas' recipes at a furious pace. His posts have been equally inspiring and enlightening. With Howard way ahead of the curve, the last few weeks I've found myself sifting through the debris and studying the dough scraps left in his wake. Wanting a simple, clean and filling every day loaf, I had my first crack at the whole wheat sourdough (dough scrap #1).


I branched a stiff white starter off my rye starter on Saturday morning. By Sunday morning, the stiff white levain was good to go. The whole wheat flour I'm using has a very high content of bran, so I'm paying close attention when mixing the dough. As opposed to Howard, who did a shorter mix followed by a series of folds, I went with Suas' directions, and did an improved mix. Due to the many bran particles in the dough, it's difficult to get a perfect windowpane, but after a total of 8 - 10 mins. in the mixer, and a few folds in the bowl using a dough scraper, the dough was remarkably strong when I tugged at it. With the improved mix, there are usually no folds during bulk fermentation, so the dough was allowed to ferment for two hours uninterrupted.


Whole wheat sourdough


Just yesterday I received my first ever brotforms, and I was a bit nervous that the dough would stick during final proof. A liberal dusting prevented that... thank heavens. Instead, a nicely risen boule bumped down on the peel, and off into the oven it went.


 Whole wheat sourdough


As you can see, the crumb is a bit darker than Howard's (probably due to the coarse WW flour in my mix?), and the above crumb is also more uniform. I'm guessing that Howard's initial autolyse (increased extensibility) and his shorter mixing time are both contributing to a more irregular crumb structure in his version of the bread. Additionally, I shaped the dough into a quite tight boule, which also usually suggests a more uniform crumb. The desired loaf characteristics should dictate the choices made during the baking process.


This is a solid everyday bread that can be used to virtually everything. It's got a deliciously moist crumb, and a splendid aroma. Top it with cheese, meats, fish, jam or nothing - it's a terrific bread either way!

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

I'm eating a lot of bread these days :)


The latest batch to come out of my oven, is pictured below: Two loaves of Suas' caramelized hazelnut squares.


Hazelnut squares


A total of four different preferments are mixed 12 hours before the final dough: Two levains (a white and a rye levain), and two stiff sponges (a white and a whole wheat sponge). The two sponges and the white levain are very stiff, probably to make the final dough stronger. I did consider doing an autolyse on the non-prefermented flour, but I feel the resulting increased protease activity would counteract the effect of the stiff preferments, so I dropped the autolyse. The recipe doesn't call for any either, and I think it was a wise choice as the overall dough is very wet (77%).


Hazelnut squares


After an "improved mix" and some folds in the bowl using a plastic scraper (thanks to mountaindog for updating me on the vocabulary!), roasted and caramelized hazelnuts were incorporated on first speed. The mixed dough was bulk fermented for two hours, with a very gentle fold after one hour. The dough was a bit sticky but not overly so. Wet hands and a dough scraper saved it from getting stuck to the table :)


Hazelnut squares


No pre-shaping on this one, just cut it in two pieces and scooped them into rectangles and 35 mins. proof.


The rustic "squares" (yeah, mine aren't exactly square now are they?) are incredibly rich in flavor. To me, the recipe is perfectly balanced between a wheaty, slightly sour note and the sweet, decadent hazelnuts. The crumb is very airy and light, and the crust is crunchy and strong. What to put on top of these slices? I tried one with some Dutch cheese and one with a bit of honey, but for this loaf, my best advice is: Bread alone. :)

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