The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gosselin-Bouabsa Hybrid Baguettes à la DonD

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Gosselin-Bouabsa Hybrid Baguettes à la DonD

A few days ago, DonD blogged about some gorgeous baguettes he baked using a combination of unconventional mixing and fermentation techniques adapted from formulas developed by Pierre Gosselin and Anis Bouabsa, both very highly regarded Parisian boulangers. His description can be found here: Baguettes a l'Ancienne with Cold Retardation


Don used both the long autolyse under refrigeration of Gosselin and the cold retarded bulk fermentation of the complete dough employed by Bouabsa. He got such wonderful results, I had to try his hybrid technique.


I had been concerned that the double cold retardation would result in a dough that had so much proteolysis as to be unmanageable. However, Don described his dough as "silky smooth." Well, my dough was sticky slack. It was all extensibility and no elasticity. Fortunately, i have worked often enough with doughs like this to know they can make the most wonderful breads, so I shaped (best I could), proofed, slashed and baked. Voilà!



 




Since I was already afraid I'd over-fermented the dough, I erred on the side of under-proofing. The baguettes had almost explosive oven-spring. They about doubled in volume during the bake.


The crust was crunchy. The crumb was .... Oh, my!



The flavor was very good, but not as sweet as I recall the "pure" Gosselin Pain à l'Anciènne being.


These baguettes are worth baking again with some adjustments. I would endorse Don's decrease in the amount of yeast. I'll do so next time. And I will try a slightly lower hydration level. These were 73% hydration.


Thanks, Don, for sharing this very interesting twist in baguette techniques.


David

Comments

LindyD's picture
LindyD

For a dough described as sticky-slack, those are gorgeous baguettes, David.


Nothing wrong with your shaping, that's for certain - and your mastery with the lame is awesome.


I was just running the numbers for the time factor, to see if this was something I could start tonight (probably not) - and the yeast reduction.  Your original posting calls for 5 grams of yeast.  I came up with 3.75 grams.  What do you think?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I believe Don said he reduced the yeast by "1/4." I think I would try 3-3.75 gms next time.


BTW, a year ago, I couldn't have successfully scored this glop. Practice, practice, practice.


Oh, a sharp lame helps, too.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I can see where that old adage about skiing on ice could apply to scoring, David.


I'm curious about your experience (if you do it) with freezing baguettes.  I've tended to avoid taking the "make-them-till-you-get-it" approach because they stale within 24 hours.


Do you know if they freeze well, without losing too much quality?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Lindy.


I freeze at least half the baguettes I bake. I like them best when just cooled, of course, but we eat thawed baguettes as toast, pain perdu, sandwiches, bread crumbs and croutons. I rarely throw any away.


I am a fan of the Freeze-Tite heavy duty plasti-crap that KAF sells. I double wrap loaves in that stuff, then put them in a heavy, food grade plastic bag and tie the bag shut, with as little air in the bag as possible. I don't like using plastic bags, but I re-use each one many times over for freezing, retarding loaves, covering for proofing in bannetons, etc. before they finish as garbage bags. The only time I use them a single time is for gifting breads.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

wow, what a gorgeous bake, the robust bake, crumb, crust just makes me want to break off a big chunk and let it melt in my mouth.  Your discription of the extensibility, elasticity and oven spring reminds me of the way my pizza dough can behave after spending time in the frig or freezer.  Real Beauties!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I actually thought about freezing some of the dough for pizzas. It would work marvelously, I think. 


David

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Those are gorgous! Look at the ears and the hole-y crumb! I am set out to do the same experiment soon, but I want to make pure Gosselin baguette first, just so I can compare. I did make Bouabsa ones before with good results. Now I am wondering whether we can combine Mr. Nippon baguette and Bouabsa (i.e. instead of autolyse in the fridge, the dough mixture is mixed then put aside @ 60F), Mr. Nippon baguettes tasted impressively sweet to me. Too bad cool nights in Dallas are numbered, not sure I can do that experiment until fall.


Reading up on your Gosselin posts just now, thank you so much for such detailed account. So they are not shaped and there's no proofing? Hmmm, unusual indeed, can't wait to try.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You've shown us some beautiful baguettes yourself!


If you are making the Gosselin baguettes, the method I have read has you just cut pieces of dough and stretch them into "baguettes," but, if you feel the dough has enough strength, you could try shaping them. I do understand that they are meant to be "rustic," though.


I'm looking forward to reading about how yours turn out.


David

inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Jealous eye roll...


Those are perfect. Really beautiful. I may have to try this technique this week. Do you think that decreasing the hydration to say, 68% would work with this formula/ technique? 65% for that "uneasy shaper and score-er" (me)?


Also, what was the final proofing time and temp?


Congratulations on being able to make any bread you want and have it come out magnificently!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

"Perfect" is a retreating goal - always just beyond reach. 


I think you could decrease the hydration a bit, to, say, 70%. At some point, you have changed the character of the product. That's not at all to say it would be "bad," just a different bread.


The proofing time was about 30 minutes at about 70ºF. 



Congratulations on being able to make any bread you want and have it come out magnificently!



Thanks, but that's far from true. I'm not showing the SF SD I also baked today. I was on a tight schedule, with the baguettes pushing my timing. I only pre-heated the oven and my baking stone for 30 minutes and got inferior oven spring and a pale loaf.


If you want "perfect," you have to do every single thing perfectly. It reminds me of a saying of Dag Hammerskjold, Secretary-General of the U.N. (1953-1961). In his philosophical book, Markings, he wrote, "He who wishes to keep his garden tidy does not reserve a plot for weeds."


David

inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Wink*, smile. That's a great quote.


I went ahead and used the word perfect with the understanding that the "perfection" a baker is usually after is an end product that just exceeds our current abilities. I think we all have varying levels of what would be "that bread that turned out perfect!" My comments were also coming from a somewhat frustrated baker- it seems my latest breads are getting worse! Ones that used to turn out so well are now gladly hidden from view. My plot of weeds is coming along nicely :-)


I just wanted to convey to you in my message that I thought your baguettes turned out lovely- something for a baker like me to strive for- so yes- somewhat of a standard of perfection in my eyes.


Cheers

Crider's picture
Crider

As if you have steam for your oven.

DonD's picture
DonD

Crust, crumb, scoring, everything looks super. Don't you just love the deep rich color of the crust? I find that I can only get that with the ice water overnight autolyse.


About the IDY amount, I remember reducing the amount of 5 gms that you posted for the Gosselin formula when I made it so I checked my notes and I jotted down 1/2 tsp instant yeast and that is what I have been using for this hybrid formula. I reduced it because the Bouabsa formula only uses 1/4 tsp yeast. I just reconverted 1/2 tsp IDY to grams which comes out to 1.6 gms so it looks like I reduced the yeast quite a bit from the Gosselin formula. Sorry for the confusion.


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You were wise to reduce the yeast. This morning, when I first checked the dough, I found it had tripled in volume during the 18 or so hours in the fridge! I was afraid it was so over-fermented the yeastie-beasties would be marasmic and unable to raise the proofed loaves. However, they woke up and performed well.


I get the reddish color with many cold retarded breads. I don't associate it specifically with the ice water autolyse, which I've only used a few times. Whatever, I do love it, especially since it generally also tastes terrific and is super-crunchy.


Thanks again for providing the idea for this baguette!


David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,


these look great; a testament to your dough handling skills.


When I made these, around the same time as Don, I used your formula from the link you gave me.   Hydration for that worked out at 71%.   I was really happy with the dough quality in the second experiment.


The first attempt had too much yeast, as I overdosed on the fresh stuff, then struggled to keep the dough temperature down in my fridge.


Do you think your dough was "sticky slack" and "over-fermented" principally on account of slight over-hydration, and possibly not maintaining your dough cold enough?


Hey, they are much better than both my attempts, for all you write!


Best wishes


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Why was the dough "sticky slack?" My refrigerator is pretty consistent at 41ºF. I don't think that was a factor. I think the dough consistency reflected higher hydration (73%) and the new batch of flour. I used Whole Foods 365 Organic AP flour, which I understand is from Central Milling, in my area. 


The flour seemed to absorb less water than it usually does. (I was using a new bag.) I'm pretty sure of this. Although I'd obviously never made the "hybrid baguettes" before, I also made a couple loaves of the San Francisco Sourdough from AB&P yesterday, using the same flour. This is a formula I'd used several times before, always weighing the ingredients and following the procedures  precisely to Suas' specifications. The SF SD dough was also remarkably more slack than ever usual.


I will either continue using this bag of flour with more attention to the need to compensate by holding back some water during mixing or reserve it for pastries and switch to the 25# bag of KAF AP I just got. (I pounce on their occasional free shipping offers.)


David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,


I've never used it, but I'm thinking you folks are very lucky to have access to KA.


I mean there are very few millers out there sensitive to the requirements of the Artisan bread industry -professional or amateur.   Certainly the case in the UK.


As you probably know, I use local flours from time to time.   But they require special attention, and in no way could be described as being conducive to what you and I would take for good bread.


We don't have AP flour in the UK.   Commercially, it is sold as Bakers Grade, and I find it alarmingly average, and, therefore disappointing.   That is the bread is never good enough, and the scones and pastries are too tough to enjoy.   At the home end of things, we have a grade called "Plain" flour [as opposed to "self raising"]   It's typical soft flour from English wheat, so it's a non starter for bread.   That's why all my recipes stipulate bread flour.   Given they are written for UK production.   Things are very different in North America where your wheat grows so much harder.   Anyway, undoubtedly you have flour which will not take up the water as you are used to.   Still, what is the bread like once you've corrected the hydration of the dough?


I'm not of the "wetter is better" school.   To me correct hydration of flour is all-important.   So if your flour asks for more water, fine.   But don't force in what the flour doesn't want.


Anyway, great to hear back from you.   Eric knows, I've been busy with high level Rye yesterday.   Today I'm just finishing off  Miche Pointe a Calliere.   Will post later.   Meantime Eric's unhappy as his scales have died after a frustrating week of not being able to bake.   I think your post on our incentives for being here really kept him going this week.


Best wishes


Andy

benjamin's picture
benjamin

Great looking baguettes David... its amazing how similar they look to the beautiful baguettes that Don produced using this formula! 


congrats 


ben

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

wally's picture
wally

...for a 73% hydration dough, David.  And the crumb, oh my, that could be ciabatta!


Really well done!


Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Frankly, I was totally amazed by what these baguettes did in the oven - both their oven spring and the way the cuts opened.


I'm starting to think the lame I got from TMB must have been blessed by Michel Suas himself. 


David

Bixmeister's picture
Bixmeister

Very atttactive bread David.  Great crumb!  How long are your baguettes and what are the dimensions of your oven and make/model?  Is there a recipe asscociated with this bread?


 


Bix

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The baguettes were 18-20 inches long. The oven is a KitchenAid. It's 24 inches wide. It's a convection/conventional model. The closest to a recipe is the Gosselin baguettes. Don modified the procedure, and I followed his lead. A link to DonD's blog entry is in the first entry in this topic.


David

Bixmeister's picture
Bixmeister

Thanks for the info David.


 


Bix

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy

Beautiful baguettes, now which is it Gosselin or Bouabas formula?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

These baguettes were made using a combination of Gosselin's and Bouabsa's methods. You follow Gosselin's formula and methods but add an additional cold retardation after mixing in the additional water with salt and yeast. Then you pre-shape, rest, shape, proof and bake following Bouabsa's method.


DonD described the hybrid method in Baguettes a l'Ancienne with Cold Retardation


If this is not sufficiently clear, please ask.


David

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy

Thanks David,


sort of living on fumes, 12 hour shifts in the kitchen and I see your baguettes and want to bake them!


 


Thanks