So this is my first post on this site. First I just want to say this site and all the members of the community are awesome. I am a school trained pastry chef and things have changed quite a bit sense I was last in the industry. Things like stretch and folds and autolysing were not used a decade ago when I was in school or in a commercial kitchen. This site has brought me up to date on quite a few things and for that I am thankful.
So on to my bread. I live in Sonoma County CA and also have lived in San Francisco. Growing up in the North Bay I have been very fortunate to have great bread everywhere. There are several great boulangeries in the area that produce what they call a sweet french bread. Being school trained I know that such a thing might be misnamed (and in France might get you some stern talking too). Normally french bread is a basic four bread ie flour,water,salt and yeast and sometimes starter. The bread in particular I am trying to re create also contains malt and shortening listed as ingredients. So in following with two of my favorite boulangeries I am also going to call this sweet french bread (all my chefs are probably going to yell at me for this lol).
Note-I know I am going to catch flack for this but all my measurements are in volume (my scale is busted and I'm kinda broke)
Also I am super lucky to have Keith Giusto baking supply within 10 minutes of my house. Centeral Milling flour is awesome and if you have a Costco in your area I suggest picking up some of the organic APF. Its the same as the Bee Hive lightly malted organic APF and about half the cost.
1-1/2 c High mountian (bread flour 14%)
1/4 tsp Instant yeast.
1/2 tsp Diastatic malt
1 c cool water
Mix the above and let it do its thing for at least 4 hours
All of the sponge
1-1/2 c High mountian
2 tsp Shortening (melted and sloghtly cooled)
2 tsp Non Diastatic malt
1-1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
Mix all but the salt yeast and salt autolyse for 30min.
Add salt and yeast knead for 7-8 min speed 2 on KA
Let retard overnight in the fridge.
Shape into baguettes let proof in a couche then bake at 525F with steam for the first 10 min then lower the oven to 450F for about 15 more minutes.
I will post photos ASAP.