The Fresh Loaf

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BBA Pugliese

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ericjs's picture
ericjs

BBA Pugliese

I made the pugliese recipe from Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice yesterday. The flours I used were the NYB Type 55 Clone, and KA Extra Fancy Durum, in about an 11 oz / 6 oz ratio, counting the all-55 biga made the day before. I didn't bother with the optional mashed potatoes. It came out pretty well, resembling the picture in the book, maybe the holes not quite as large on average, but close. The next day the interior had even receded from the crust as in Reinhart's picture (it's always struck me as a little odd he didn't use a picture of a fresh one). Unfortunately I didn't take a picture but there's a second loaf from the batch in the fridge so I'll get a shot of that one once I bake it.


The color was slightly yellowish from the durum. The texture was quite good, and it tasted fine, but I can't say the flavor impressed me all that much. It seemed pretty plain, and whatever nuance the semolina added, I wasn't able to detect it.


A few bobbles along the way:


The dirrections to mix it the bowl for 5-7 minutes didn't really appeal to me. I enjoy kneading by hand and am not afraid of sticky doughs, so I took it out and kneaded it (with the French lift, slap, and fold method that you see Bertinet and other french baker's use). The kneading went well, the dough wasn't unmanageable, even though I'd been on the generous side with the water, adding at least the 9 ounces and probably a little extra in the biga as well). However after only a couple of minutes of kneading, suddenly it seemed like the dough started losing cohesion. It had been coming together but suddenly it became looser and wanted to stick to the board and come apart in my hands instead of folding properly. So I stopped. I figured a few minutes of such kneading was probably equal to the 6-8 minutes of bowl mixing, so I proceeded with the rest of the instructions (a few rounds of 30 minutes rest plus stretch and fold treatment).


Now I understand durum can encourage gluten to break down, so I'm tempted to blame that. However I should mention that something similar happened when I kneaded the biga, though maybe not as quickly and it was perhaps less pronounced. Is this something to do with the 55 clone? Or does this tend to happen with very wet doughs?


Shaping was a bit tricky...despite using plenty of flour the dough kept wanting to stick to my hands so I didn't feel confident in getting a tight cloak.


I was running out of time at the end (had a birthday gathering to attend) so I didn't proof the loaf as long as I would have liked. I don't think it quite reached 1 1/2 size, though I guess it was close enough.


None of these bobbles seemed to hurt the end result much.

Comments

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Hi Eric,

I think what happened is that you've run into the fact that soft wheat, which is a significant part of European flours generally and my T55 in particular, can't take the kind of manhandling that we're used to with American flours, which are made up almost entirely of hard spring wheats. Take any AP or bread flour and you can keep them under the dough hook for 15 minutes and you won't find much gluten breakdown.

Not so with European flours, which really are made for hand kneading or a combination of hydration with the paddle mixer and then 3 or 4 folds at 20 minute intervals.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

ericjs's picture
ericjs

I think you're right. So what's a good rule of thumb? I am kneading entirely by hand, but apparently need to stop a lot sooner! 2 minutes? Is the windowpane test a good guide with this kind of flour?


Do you think if I hadn't kneaded it to the point where it "broke down" would I have gotten a much opener crumb? It seemed to come out alright except for the unremarkable flavor, but I don't expect that should have anything to do with the kneading.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

knead until you feel the gluten come together. autolysis during the fold/ferment will take care of finishing the formation.

as for flavor, soft wheat is much more cake-like, much softer, tighter crumb. i've found that to open the crumb i hydrate somewhat more ....up into the 70-75% range. you might also retard the dough for at least 8 hours and cut the yeast or preferment back by about 50-75%, then bake at high temp -- start at 550 and dial it down to 450 after a couple of minutes of steam. that should also give you a more open crumb.

also, i've frozen and thawed baguettes i made with this T55 and found that the flavor improves enormously after thawing, even with a direct dough, no preferment. from my experience this is a flour that needs a couple of days to develop; the challenge is keeping the bread fresh for those couple of days ... maybe wrap in plastic and then re-crisp at 200 for 5 min or so?

ericjs's picture
ericjs

Thanks for the tips, Stan. I'm liking today's loaf a little better, so perhaps the day retarding in the fridge helped, as you suggest. Maybe I'll save some of it for a few days and see if the flavor develops.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi Eric,  Nice write-up about your experience with the pugliese loaves by P.R.


I love the pugliese loaves!  I often thought about trying P.R. formula.  I haven't tried it yet.   I did make R.L. Beranbaum's..it's pictured on the cover of her book.  I 3X's the recipe.  The two nice size loaves I made are pictured on my blog under Blog entry, pugliese loaves and the recipe is there also if you care to take a peek.  I also used K.A. fancy Duram flour and did all my mixing, stretch and folding by hand.


Sylvia


 

ericjs's picture
ericjs

Hi Sylvia,


Thanks! I found your pugliese entry and your loaves look great. Great oven spring.

SumisuYoshi's picture
SumisuYoshi

I had more of an opposite problem with this recipe when I made it, but that was because I misread the recipe as saying to add less water with more durum versus adding more. Anyway, they turned out quite a bit less hydrated than intended I think. They still turned out to be really nice loaves with great flavor, I used 100% durum flour though.


 


Baked Pugliese

ericjs's picture
ericjs

They look great! I'll have to try !00% durum at some point, I'm really curious what it does to the texture of the dough and the crumb.

SumisuYoshi's picture
SumisuYoshi

Stick is what it does to the dough! Even at lower hydrations the 100% semolina was VERY, VERY sticky. The biga wasn't too bad when I set it out to ferment, but after the fermentation it was like glue! It wasn't as bad with the whole loaf either, but if you try it definitely watch out for the stickyness.


The openness of the crumb could have been better, but I think that was mainly because I ended up at a lower hydration that I was supposed to be. It wasn't dense though, maybe a bit chewier than most breads, but with a very different flavor.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Thought it might be helpful to show you my results with the T55, both direct yeast-only and sourdough retarded overnight. In both breads, you can see how yellow the crumb is.


These are the direct:





 


And this is the sourdough baguette crumb:



Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

ericjs's picture
ericjs

The both look great. So this T-55 itself produces a yellowish crumb? I'd just been assuming my pugliese had that color from the durum.

I've got some pain de campagne proofing right now, some with a little whole wheat, some with a little rye, so I'll soon have more samples to compare. This flour handles very differently than I'm used to, I think it's going to take a bit of getting used to.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

much softer gluten, much less elastic, but with considerable extensibility, especially at higher hydrations, which will also produce a very bubbly crumb at nearly full proof, i.e., loading when the dough retains a finger-poke. it's also less forgiving, i think, than higher gluten hard wheat flours, but i guess you're already learning that <s>