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Gosselin's Pain à l'ancienne - rustic baguettes and ciabatta

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Gosselin's Pain à l'ancienne - rustic baguettes and ciabatta

pain à l'ancienne


Rustic baguettes and ciabatta from Gosselin's formula (as described by Peter Reinhart)


pai


Pain à l'Ancienne baguette crumb


I made these baguettes and ciabatta from the formula Reinhart says he got directly from Phillipe Gosselin. The version in "Bread Baker's Apprentice" is a modification.


This is a very high hydration dough (about 80%), and I made my dough with KAF's "French Style Flour," which is their T55 clone. This is a low-gluten flour, by American standards. The dough started out like a batter once the additional water was added. I mixed it in my Bosch Universal Plus for something like 15 minutes before it was smooth and shiney. It still flowed like a batter. For the next hour, I did Hamelman's folding in the bowl. It then doubled over the next 90 minutes. (This technique was improvised. I thought about chucking the whole project as a lost cause at several points, but I'm glad I didn't. I learned a lot.)


The loaves were divided and stretched onto semolina-dusted parchment. The baguettes were baked without further proofing. The Ciabatti were folded in the usual manner and allowed to rise for about 30 minutes before baking.


Note: No attempt was made to score these loaves.


The baguettes had the sweet taste and cool, silky mouth-feel of ciabatta. I count them a success. Whew!


David

Comments

davidm's picture
davidm

Those are real good-looking David. I like that rustic look myself as much as any other. Built for eating with bare hands. Love it.


I like the 'no attempt was made to score these loaves' part also. I'll take that suggestion and skip it too I think. :)


I've been cruising posts on ancienne as I have a tub of the BBA dough in the fridge for tomorrow, my first crack at this dough. It's been interesting to see the ways folks have approached it, lots of folding, some folding, no folding etc. I guess I'll contemplate the contents of the tub tomorrow and then wing it. I'm not at 80% though like this batch of yours. What was your baking temp?


Pretty bread, real pretty.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I preheated the oven to 500F (convection). For the baguettes, after loading them and steaming the oven, I lowered the temp. to 460F. After 10 minutes, I removed the steaming skillet and loaf pan, switched the oven to conventional baking at 460F and baked another 8 minutes or so.


For the Ciabatta, I did the same, except they baked for about 10 minutes longer.


David

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Love the look.

When I bake loafs identicle to these I ask my kids, Which do you want first?
I guarantee they would pick that one on the left. ;-)
  Salute,
    Mark

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

"It looks like a dog bone."


David

Frosty's picture
Frosty

Wow.  Fantastic.  I've made the recipe in BA many times, but never came out like this.  80% hydration?  I've never heard of Hamelman's method, will have to find out additional information on it.


 


Thanks for sharing!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have heard of other books describing this method, but I know it's in "Bread," however it only appeared in some printings. Strange. Anyway, here's how I do it:



"It is best for slack doughs. Most use a flexible plastic scraper, but I have found a rubber spatula to work as well. Remember, we are talking about very sticky doughs. Believe me: getting the dough to stick to the spatula or scraper is not a problem. Getting it unstuck? Well that's another matter.

So, your dough is in a bowl that is large, say 3 times the dough's volume. You insert your scraper between the dough and the bowl at 12 o'clock (assuming you are at 6 o'clock) and stretch the dough your scraper contacts up and over the ball of dough and press it into the dough. If you do this fast, the dough will release the scraper. Maybe some will stick to it.

Turn the bowl 1/5 turn. (I am right-handed and rotate the bowl clockwise.) Insert your scraper between the new portion of dough now at 12 o'clock and do as described above again. Repeat this turn, insert, stretch, press, release maneuver 20 times.

Cover the bowl and set a timer for when you want to repeat this procedure. Generally, this would be between 20 and 60 minutes.

How many times you repeat it depends on the degree of gluten development you want.

I have been doing 3 sets of stretch-and-folds 20 minutes apart for a dough with 75% hydration."



Maybe I should make a video of it.


I see this technique as the equivalent of "the French Fold" technique associated with Bertinet. It doesn't get your hands or the bench all sticky and messy, though. These techniques really develop the gluten well without over-organizing it as machine mixing does. This results in a more open, uneven crumb.


Hope this helps.


David

hOrlando's picture
hOrlando

I signed up for this website just to say "thanks" for the informative post above and the original post. The pictures of this particular version of pain a l'ancienne are what drew me in. This is a beautiful loaf , especially the interior "open, uneven crumb", and I'll be trying your improvised method in order to achieve it. I have Reinhart's BBA, which is very good, but I must say that the above post has convinced me to pick up "Bread" as well. Jeffrey seems to give a lot more precisely detailed instructions than Reinhart and, now that I've become a bread fanatic, I think I'd like to delve a little deeper :) Do you perhaps know which printings include the above directions? ( I'd like to get the most bang for my buck.)

Again, absolutely PERFECT loaves there. I'm salivating...

brakeforbread's picture
brakeforbread

I have the standard BBA L'Ancienne dough warming on the counter right now, to back in about two hours. I'm hoping they turn out better than my attempt at BBA's ciabatta.


These look great though. Nice color, perfect crumb.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've never been able to get the formula in BBA to work the way it should. I'm thinking that the hydration has to be just right, and how much water you need to add depends a lot on the flour.


I actually like Gosselin's formula better than that published in BBA or the one in Leader's "Local Breads." FYI, here is my transcription of Reinhart's description of what Gosselin told him:


Pain à l'Ancienne of Philippe Gosselin, as described by Peter Reinhart

Flour.......................500 gms
Water......................375 gms
Salt.........................8.75 gms-
Instant yeast...............5 gms

Mix the flour with 325 gms of ice cold water and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove mixture from refrigerator. Add yeast, salt and another 25-50 gms of cold water and mix thoroughly for 4-6 minutes.

Ferment at room temperature until doubled in bulk (up to 6 hours).

One hour before baking, preheat oven to 460F.

Divide into 4 equal piece and gently pre-shape into torpedos.

Rest dough 10 minutes.

Shape into baguettes by stretching to 12-14 inches, score and bake immediately with steam at 460F.

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I can just taste it...Beautiful breads!


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

davidm's picture
davidm

David, thanks for sharing how you wrangle the oven for this bake. Curiously, I have been doing almost the opposite, starting out on conventional bake at 500 or so, then switching to convection mode after all the steaming is done. I drop the temp to 20 or so degrees less than most recipes call for to be sure the centre is baked well before the crust is too dark. 


Have never tried it your way, but I will, just to see. My theory was that the steam and water vapour would 'hang' in the oven (mine is not vented much) in conventional mode more readily than if the fan was moving it around. Then later the convection evens out the hotspots so I never have to rotate anything for even baking. I've had happy results with baguettes (not ancienne, they're still in the tub with maybe a couple of hours to go) this way, but you've got me interested to see what happens.


Just what I need, another variable!!


:)


best


d

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, David.


I'm not sure what I do is "the best." Somewhere in the oven owner's manual, I got the impression that there is more venting with conventional than with steam baking. This may or not be significant, and it may vary with oven brand and model. (Mine is a KitchenAid).


I've tried lots of combinations of settings and timings, and I can't say one has been clearly superior to the others. Nothing comes close to the dramatic difference in surface shine one gets by covering a loaf with a bowl during the bake, for instance.


So, as usual, YMMV.


David

davidm's picture
davidm

I got three baguettes and two ciabatti out of the ancienne formula in BBA. On the fly I decided to knead with the mixer (hook) for about ten minutes, slow, right as the dough came out of the fridge, (it really had not risen much at all overnight) then let it sit untouched until almost double. It poured onto the bench really smoothly, and spread out pretty fast, so one quick fold of the edges to the middle, without much stretch, again on the fly, just to get it to a manageable size, divide in half then the halves into three and two. Baguettes into the oven at once, the ciabatti set in a couche until the oven was empty and reheated.


Something of a breakthrough for me , as this was the slackest dough I ever met, but it worked out nicely. I did snip one baguette with scissors, really shallow angle like as if for an epi but even shallower, in five places just to see. Not worth the effort in my view as there was not much difference in outcome. Monster oven spring, though at 9000 feet that's not hard to find. Open crumb. I'm happy. I need much more practice with wet doughs though, just to not be so tense while handling it. Making this bread has really helped me to relax and just enjoy this wet dough process.


Oh, and yeah, this is really good  bread! I've been making a lot of the poolish baguettes, with about  a quarter of the flour being KA White whole wheat, and those have been pretty darn tasty too. It's a close call. Next time I may try some of this mix as a pizza crust. Gotta be good.


David your feedback was helpful, really, and you timed this post perfectly. How *did* you know?  :)


Many thanks.


d

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, David.


There was a funny convergence this weekend. Several of us were making one version or another of pain a l'ancienne.


I truly know what you mean about getting comfortable with the "wet dough process." That was one of the main things I learned from this batch of baguettes also.


I think you can use this dough for focaccia or pizza too.


If you like the flavor you get from the long, cold retardation, you should try some of the other breads that use this technique. Nury's Light Rye is wonderful. Anis Bouabsa's baguettes are pretty terrific. My "San Joaquin Sourdough" is derived from Bouabsa's baguette formula and is a really good pain de campagne. There are formulas for all of these on TFL.


Happy baking!


David

davidm's picture
davidm

Yes, I think it might be a super pizza crust. I do like the extended ferments a lot, and am creeping up with the poolish baguette dough both in time of poolish ferment and in proportion, just to see. I imagine I'll hit a wall at some point, and results will decline, but not yet. The loaves are slowly getting more and more open and lighter, though I'm increasing hydration slowly too, so that's a part of it surely.


I want to get into sourdough sometime again. I've done it twice before here in the high desert, but not at this location or altitude. I used starter from friends elsewhere both times, and it was good but gradually less and less interesting a flavour. I don't know if it was my lack of skill and experience with husbanding the starter, or whether it declined due to the (less 'tasty'?) local bacteria taking over. There is only one bakery I know of in this region, fifty miles away, that produces true sourdough products regularly, and their rosemary sourdough boules are quite good, though mild. Next time I'm in their neighborhood I plan to visit and pick their brains.


 just ate two baguettes, so am practically comatose.


Thanks for the formula tips.


best 


d

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Geez, David, those are awesome looking loaves! It'll be a shock when you show us some bread you made that looks less than perfect.


If you didn't tell us you thought maybe this was one of those scrap-heap jobs, I'm sure it wouldn't cross anybody's mind.


That in-the-bowl technique seems like the only way to go with wet dough. For one thing, you don't ever have to add any flour to the dough.


I have to thank you for a comment you made a while back about using a roasting pan lid: I found the turkey roaster down in the basement and have been using its lid ever since. The crust takes much longer to take on color and tends to get a much more even look using the cover. Also, it seems in my oven it has helped promote ears that I never used to get.


Keep up the amazing baking!


Soundman (David)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

for your kind words.


I'm glad you're pleased with the roasting lid effects.


David

Aprea's picture
Aprea

David - Thank you so very much for sharing your success.  I am a foodie - but a novice at baking.  I mss the breads from the SF Bay area so much - Jacksonville, FL doesn't have anything comparable, other than Panera.  For that kind of money  and my budget I am now trying to learn to do what you have made look so simple.  


 


My 3 attempts have been disappointing at the most.  I am now using the Baker's Apprentice - everything I have tried is too dense - I enjoy the challenge though and it is encouraging to see what is possible for a home baker to do.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Anna.


Welcome to TFL!


One can certainly get spoiled by living in the Bay Area.


I remember well the disappointing breads the first year after I started baking bread. (BTW, that was less than 3 years ago.) I got really good flavor from my sourdoughs pretty quickly, but, like yours, they were dense and flat. In my case, in hindsight, I was under-mixing and under-baking (to over-simplify).


You are starting off well, using BBA. A lot of us recommend choosing 1, 2 or (at most) 3 recipes you really, really want to master and making those breads over and over, problem-solving with each attempt, until you get them "right."


There are so many variables in bread baking that limiting them as much as possible while you master basic techniques makes for faster net progress. At last, you will get to know how a dough needs to look and feel to make your chosen breads just right, and you will know what you need to do to get that dough that way.


It's a long learning process, but it feels so good each time one of the little problems is overcome, it keeps you plugging away at it.


The wonderful thing about TFL is that you have all these other home bakers who have been through it and are happy to provide beginners a boost up the learning curve.


David

Frosty's picture
Frosty

So the yeast does not go in prior to the cold ferment.  I never would have thought this.  I'm going to get this recipe a try over the weekend.  Thanks!

Aprea's picture
Aprea

Thank you for your kind words of welcome.  When you say that you were undermixing in your early days of baking, did you mean that you did not knead long enough?  Also, what kind of flours do you use to produce these breads that you pictured?  I am still using the yeast envelopes from the supermarket.  Do I need to send away for special "instant" yeast and flour?


 


The breads of choice that I want to master are the ones that you showed.  I am starting with the basic french baguette recipe in BBA.  If I can ever make progress with that then I will move on to the Pain à l'Ancienne and the ciabatta.  If I can ever achieve that then I will move on to whole grains.


 


As you can see, I am really starting from scratch.


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Anna.


I have found that I often need to mix/knead doughs longer than what is described in the BBA instructions in order to develop the gluten enough.


I use a variety of flours for different breads. The Gosselin baguettes were made with KAF "French Style Flour," but you could use AP flour. I use SAF instant yeast which I order from KAF. I suppose yeast you get in the supermarket would be okay, as long as it hasn't expired.


Baguettes look simple but actually are among the most challenging breads to make well. For a beginner, I would recommend starting with boules or batards - maybe a pain de campagne. Look at the recipes in Floyd's lessons for good breads to use in developing your basic skills, then move on.


David

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

This is such an amazing site!


I have been making bread off and on for years--used to have a restaurant where we served home made bread, but never even imagined a bread as hydrated and slack as the pain a l'ancienne.


I've made the bread twice, and although my results don't look as good as yours, the bread is still amazingly good--crisp crust and good flavor.


I've gone back over the comments and have filled in the basic Gosselin recipe with what I have gathered. (Please forgive this fussiness, but I am a recipe developer, and I love to see things all written down. Plus, memory is bad! Could you please correct or add comments to it below, please? As a beginner at this, it's great to have experienced guides!


Also, I have a few questions. What is the purpose of the ice water and the refrigeration since there's no yeast in the dough at this point? I covered the dough as it was rising. Is this necessary? It's difficult to cut the dough. Do you use a razor? Also, I saw a Youtube demonstration of stretch and fold where the baker used water on the counter and on his hands. I tried that and it worked fairly well for shaping the loaves, but they still came out pretty free form. Any pointers for shaping such slack dough? I also found that in our winter house at 7000 ft., the dough takes longer than 6 hours to rise. The first time I made it, I gave up with room temp. and made a warm rising spot. The second time, I went away all day, and that seemed to do the trick. I threw a cup of cold water on the floor of the oven and used a steam tray, too. The loaves initially had dark spots on them, but by the time they were finished, they were uniformly dark. I probably baked them too long...20-25 minutes.


I appreciate any pointers! I would love to make loaves as gorgeous as the ones you have made.


Pat


 



Pain à l'Ancienne of Philippe Gosselin, as described by Peter Reinhart


Flour.......................500 gms
Water......................375 gms
Salt.........................8.75 gms- I found that I like a little more salt
Instant yeast...............5 gms


Mix the flour with 325 gms of ice cold water and refrigerate overnight.


The next day, remove mixture from refrigerator. Add yeast, salt and another 25-50 gms of cold water and mix thoroughly for 4-6 minutes. (The dough should be wet enough to be pourable.) Fold  the dough over itself in the bowl 20 times using a spatula or flexible dough scraper, moving the bowl clockwise (for right handers) as you scrape. Repeat for a total of 3 times over a hour.


Ferment at room temperature until doubled in bulk (up to 6 hours).


One hour before baking, preheat oven to 460F. (David preheats the oven to 500 degrees on convection.)


Divide into 4 equal piece and gently pre-shape into torpedos.(Or divide into ciabatta shapes.)


Rest dough 10 minutes.


Shape into baguettes by stretching to 12-14 inches, score and bake immediately with steam at 460F. (If making ciabatta, let rise 30 minutes. David cooks unscored baguettes for 10 minutes on parchement sprinkled with semolina. He adds steam initially at 500 degrees, bakes the loaves for 10 minutes, then lowers the heat to 460, removes the steam pan, and turns off the convection and bakes for 8 more minutes. Ciabatta requires 10 minutes more.)


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Pat.


I think I've made this bread about 3 times. In the instance illustrated above, I added more water than before. Naturally, the dough was even more slack. With less water, I could actually pre-shape the baguettes, shape them and score them. Sort of. See this blog entry:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8524/philippe-gosselin039s-pain-%C3%A0-l039ancienne-according-peter-reinhart-interpretted-dmsnyder-m


With the more highly hydrated dough, I divided the dough with a bench knife dipped in water, floured the cut edges, rolled the pieces gently on the floured bench then stretched them to shape. No real "shaping" and no scoring. Interestingly, these look more like the photos of pain a l'ancienne in BBA. Needless to say, the wetter dough with minimal handling had the most open crumb. I like it better, personally. BTW, I had some sliced lengthwise, then toasted with butter and jam for breakfast this morning.


Handling super slack dough with wet hands and a wet bench is something I have done. The alternative is lots of flour on the bench and on your hands. I have also tried oiling my hands once.


As to the purpose of the cold "rest", in a previous long discussion about what to call this, we more or less ended up saying it was a "long autolyse." What actually goes on chemically with this, I can only guess that the gluten continues to develop. Maybe the goal is to get maximum gluten development with minimal mixing.


I may have subverted this goal with this latest bake. I really mixed the dough a long time in the Bosch, then did lots of stretching and folding. The dough was lovely, but extremely extensible with minimal elasticity. I might have gotten a different dough using a higher-protein flour, e.g., bread flour.


I hope this rambling answer helps.


David

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

Your answers do help, as does the bounce to the other discussion. Everyone who tastes this bread has the same response--This is amazing! You MADE this?--I think people are astounded by the texture and flavor because for many years the recipes for "French bread" or baguettes produced such disappointing results.


Kudos to your discovery, and thank you so much for sharing it! I'll keep you posted, as I have another batch going in today...


Pat

Frosty's picture
Frosty

Pat,


Thanks for condensing the discussion into a recipe.  I'm going to try it this weekend.  It seem interesting not to include the yeast until later, but I can't wait to try it.  A few questions, however:



  • When the flour and water are mixed the first time, is it kneaded quite a bit at this point, or just until combined? 

  • As I don't have the KA flour mentioned, it sounds like I should use unbleached AP flour instead of bread flour.  Is this accurate?  Should I combine a bit of both?

  • I believe in the past I have been under kneading.  I think I'll throw the dough back on the mixer the next day.


I'll try to take good notes and let post here afterwards.  Thank you very much David. You've inspired me!


Frosty

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

David and Frosty,


Here is a fairly detailed recipe. David, I would love your feedback. For instance, I sprayed the loaves with water before putting them in. Perhaps that's unneccessary because you got great loaves without that step, I believe.


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Pain à l'Ancienne of Philippe Gosselin, as described by Peter Reinhart


Flour.......................500 gms (David uses KAF French style flour)
Water......................375 gms
Salt.........................8.75 gms- I found that I like a little more salt, and my scale is not fine enough to measure exactly
Instant yeast...............1 envelope Red Star dry yeast


Mix the flour with 325 gms of ice cold water and refrigerate overnight.


The next day, remove mixture from refrigerator. Add yeast, salt and another 25-50 gms of cold water and mix thoroughly for 4-6 minutes in a machine. (The dough should be like a heavy batter and wet enough to be pourable.) I mix the dough with a dough hook for 4-6 minutes until it looks very stretchy and glossy. Fold the dough over itself in the bowl 20 times using a spatula or flexible dough scraper, moving the bowl as you scrape. Repeat the folding two more times over the course of an hour.


Ferment at room temperature until doubled in bulk (may take from an hour and a half to 6-8 hours depending on warmth of the room).


One hour before baking, preheat oven to 460F. Use a baking stone if you have one.


Divide into 4 equal pieces using a wet knife. Lightly flour dough and hands in order to gently pre-shape into torpedos, or to divide into ciabatta shapes. It may be that working with a wet counter and wet hands will work as well as dusting with flour and produce better results for you. I have done it both ways and can't say which I prefer, but the flour makes the dough easier to handle. Here is a demonstration of the water fold:


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6265759416999738742


Because only two loaves will fit on my stone at a time, it works well to bake two baguettes while the ciabatta rises.


Rest dough 10 minutes if making baguettes. If making ciabatta, let rise 30 minutes. While dough is resting, boil some water. Reserve.


Prepare a piece of parchment sprinkled with coarse cornmeal or semolina.


Shape dough into baguettes by stretching to 12-14 inches. Place on parchment. I have been spraying the loaves with water at this point, but David didn’t do it, and his loaves are awesome. Put the hot water into a bread pan and place in the oven with the bread. (Bake on convection if you have it.) I throw a cup of cold water on the floor of the oven when I put the bread in, too. David bakes 18-20 minutes for baguettes, but mine take longer (altitude?), and the ciabatta a few minutes longer than the baguettes. Peel the parchment off the bread and cool on a rack.
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The problem is, we all tend to use different flours. The same formula can result in pretty significant differences in the dough according to various variables, including the flour used.


I've been thinking about Soundman (David)'s description of the desired dough behavior for the "1-2-3" bread and wondering if a similar description should be included in most recipes. The problem is, to be helpful, the author would have to be familiar with the specific bread in depth, probably after making it dozens of times. For most of us, myself included, there are very few breads we have made enough times to be able to do what Soundman (David) did.


Just some thoughts.


David

kanin's picture
kanin

Thanks so much for the sleuthing, David. I'm done with trying out baguette formulas for now -- your interpretation of Gosselin's method will be tough to beat.


I used 375g KAF all-purpose + 125g KAF bread flour. I also increased the salt slightly to 10g.


I managed to bring up the hydration to 80% with this mix -- 350g ice water for the autolyse and an additional 50g to go with the salt and yeast the next day. I didn't do any stretch and folds and let the dough sit for about 5 hours before preshaping.


Pain a l'ancienne test run

jonledrew's picture
jonledrew

Hi Everyone,


Thanks to this thread, and others you have all been a part of on this site, I've produced what I would call a sucessful batch of pain a l'ancienne.  It was sort of a mix between the BBA instructions and David's advice throughout.


I have had several failed attempts at making rustic loaves in the past.  The crust was good but I could never get the crumb to work out.  After scouring this site I realized I was missing two critical elements.  The first being proper hydration.  My dough was never wet enough in the past.  As well I'm certain I over handled my dough and knocked out the gas. I think these two inparticular made the difference to my loaves.  I still have some experimenting to do but overall I'm happy with the result.  Thanks again to everyone for your advice.


The complete batch.  They are small as I cut them to fit my pizza stone.


The finished batch.


The crumb.


Kind Regards,


Jon

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Frosty's picture
Frosty

Looks good Jon.  One pointer I've learned over the years is you might want bake them a bit longer.  I struggle with this as well at times, but I find if I can get a darker brown crust, the flavors are even better.

Congratulations.

Frosty