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Ganachaud Baguettes Experiment

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DonD's picture

Ganachaud Baguettes Experiment

I have read a lot of press about a special baguette called "La Flute Gana" made by Bernard Ganachaud, one of the pioneers of the artisanal bread revival in France during the late 70's. I have tried to follow different interpretations of Ganachaud's recipe available in some  bread books without much success so I decided to experiment and develop my own interpretation of "La Flute Gana".

I went on Ganachaud's website and saw snippets of the making of his baguettes and read all the materials available such as press releases, interviews, quotes etc.

Although he never published the exact recipe, I was able to piece together the principles behind his famous baguettes:

1- It is a Poolish baguette.

2- It is based on a Type 65 flour.

3- It calls for a minimum use of yeast.

4- It calls for very gentle mixing of the dough.

5- It calls for an extended fermentation at low temperature.

6- It has a signature one stroke end to end score of the baguette.

Following is my formulation for a 500 gms total Flour mixture and 70% hydration:

- 300 gms KAF AP Flour

- 150 gms KAF Bread Flour

- 50 gms KAF WWW Flour

The Poolish:

- 150 gms Flour mixture

- 150 gms Water

- 1/16 tsp Instant Yeast

Dough mixture:

- 350 gms Flour mixture

- 200 gms Water

- 1/8 tsp Instant Yeast

- 8 gms Sea Salt

Mix the poolish and let it ferment 8 to 10 hours.

Mix the water, flour and yeast to the poolish with a flat beater at speed 2 for 1 min. and autolyse for 1/2 hr.

Add the salt and mix with dough hook at speed 2 for 1 min.

Stretch and fold 10 times using the Bertinet method and threepeat it at 20 mins interval.

Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 1 hr until almost double in size.

Refrigerate dough for 24 hrs before dividing into 3 roughly 280 gms pieces and gently preshaping into torpedo shapes and resting for 1 hr.

Gently shape baguettes trying not to de-gas too much and proof for 45 mins.

Score end to end with one stroke of the lame 1/2" deep at 45 degree angle. Bake immediately at 460 degrees with steam for 10 mins.

Reduce oven temperature to 430 degrees and continue baking without steam for another 12 mins.

Turn off heat and let cool in oven with door ajar for 5 mins before cooling on wire rack.

I have made this recipe 3 times and it turned out great everytime. The baguettes had a golden brown crust that smelled sweet and caramelly and sang loudly while cooling. It was not too thick but was nicely crackly. The crumb was open and not too gelatinized. It had the right balance of sweetness, richness and wheatiness.

Ganachaud shaped his baguettes before retarding them in the refrigerator for a prolongued second fermentation. I do not have a big enough refrigerator to do this but am wondering if this will make a big difference in the end result. Nonetheless, my wife and I enjoyed the fruits of my experiment with some home made Jambon de Paris, sweet butter, cornichons and a glass of Burgundy as a toast to Bernard Ganachaud!




dmsnyder's picture

This is very similar in method to Anis Bouabsa's, except Anis doesn't use a poolish. I may give this a try in my never-ending baguette quest.

I think there is an error in your formula. In the "Dough mixture" section, I think the "1/8 tsp" is meant to be instant yeast rather than sea salt. N'est pas?


xaipete's picture

Beautiful looking baguettes, Don. I bet they taste fabulous.


SylviaH's picture

Don, you have some very lovely baguettes on your blog.  Also this is a nice write up of the recipe!  Great pictures!  Thank you for the recipe!


DonD's picture

David, you are absolutely right, the dough mixture should call for 1/8 tsp instant yeast instead. If you get around to trying the recipe, you might want to retard the fermentation in the fridge until after shaping as this is what Ganachaud said he does. My wife insisted on a side by side fridge/freezer so the baguettes would not fit inside!

Pamela, I am quite satisfied with the look and taste of the baguettes but am still working on the shaping to get the middle section to bloom evenly with the ends.

Sylvia, I tried to be short and concise in my recipe description but as you know, there are so many variables in bread making and working with dough is such a tactile thing that you can tell by the feel when things are right.

dmsnyder's picture

I'm usually game for trying yet another baguette recipe. Maybe this weekend.


Yippee's picture

game for trying yet another baguette recipe

But I'll have to wait until the week after next week.  Just shaped your SJSD for the 2nd time.  Plan to bake it before Saturday. 


Paddyscake's picture

but very pretty! I have just tried my first pseudo baguette by accident "David's Pain de Campagne.. sorta". It wasn't meant to be, but just came out that way.

Someday, I'll look forward to making a baguette like yours.


DonD's picture

David, if you get around to trying the recipe, let me know how it turns out.

Betty, it is really not that hard. I tried to make baguettes when the Village Baker and Bread Alone books first came out and did not have great success so I gave up until about 4 months ago when I discovered TFL. I was inspired to try again and thanks to the info and tips from members on the site, it got better pretty fast. Once I got a feel for the dough, it was like a revelation.