The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Poilane

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dmsnyder's picture

Leader's Pain au Levain Complet (a la Poilane)

October 20, 2007 - 10:49pm -- dmsnyder

I have made Peter Reinhart's Poilane-style miche many times, but this was my first attempt at Daniel Leader's version. The formulas are different in a number of ways. Leader uses autolyse, which Reinhart does not, and does not use cold retardation of either the starter or the formed miche, which Reinhart does. Leader uses a higher hydration dough and folding an hour into bulk fermentation.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

This is a recipe that Kenneth, a long-time poster to rec.food.sourdough, has posted a few times in response to requests. I made it this weekend and can safely say it's delicious. Tangy, but not overpoweringly so, with a smooth crumb that, though not full of big holes, is nevertheless a moderately light bread. It sprung well in the oven. In fact, it reminded me of some of the better Desem breads I've made. The hydration of this loaf is 68%, so one could go higher, I'm sure, and the salt is higher than usual at 2.5%, but the bread did not taste overly salty.

On a side note, I'm beginning to think my quest for holey, super hydrated whole wheat is misguided. The breads are no more tasty, in my experience, and though the crumb is more open, the high hydration has made the loaf flatten out considerably in the oven.

Back on topic. Kenneth, I believe, uses an authentic Poilane starter in his bread (I used Carl's) and emulates the high-extraction flour that Poilane uses through a combination of AP flour and freshly ground whole wheat (the loaf is about 40% white flour). He also uses 30% whole spelt flour, based on this page on Poilane's Web site.

How well does it imitate a true loaf from Poilane? I have no idea. The last time I was in France was 17 years ago when I was a not-so-well-heeled student, and today ... well, I'm not willing to part with the kind of cash it would take to have a loaf delivered to me from across the Atlantic.

All I can say is, it makes a nice loaf of bread. Here's my result:





And here's Kenneth's recipe, or at least, the version of it that I used:

Day 1, 9:30pm 474g Water + 120g starter + 236g coarse whole wheat, ferment at 69F.

Day 2, 7:30am add 65g coarse rye, 254g KA AP flour, 170g wholespelt flour, 20g salt.

Knead fully, then refrigerate 24 hours. Then, form boule, ferment at 69F for 5 hours.

Slash, then bake at 490F for 35 minutes, the first 15 minutes with steam...
Of course, I fiddled with the recipe. First, I didn't knead on Day 2. Instead, I mixed it up and then let it ferment for 2.5 hours. I gave it a fold at 1 hour, 45 minutes and then another 45 minutes. Then, I popped it in the fridge. When I baked it, I did use a preheated oven, stone and steam, but I feel certain that a cold start would do fine as well. I baked at 460.

I'll be making this again ....
ryaninoz's picture

Grey Flour?? and Poilane in Paris

August 6, 2007 - 7:10am -- ryaninoz
Forums: 

This relatively recent article  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1980288.ece discussed Poilane's use of 'grey flour', how good it is for you, etc. Along with thoughts that steam injection is a relatively 'new' invention for us in bread baking and the 'old' french breads did not use this 'technology'...

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