The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread help request

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ALANM's picture
ALANM

Bread help request

I've just returned from France and bought a loaf 'boulle'? in a bakery in Lille. It's exactly the type of bread I love and would like to be able to make myself.


It's a heavy tough white bread with a deep crust (probably not suitable for people with false teeth).It's vaguely similar to the batch loaf which is found here in Scotland in waxed paper wrapping and in Ireland usually unwrapped. Although not a batch loaf it's texture description is the nearest I can give.It is a world apart from the bland daily baked baguette sticks from local bakeries. I wasn't surprised that the Lille bakery had a queue of customers extending out into the street.


Can anyone help with a recipe that comes near to this bread? 


 


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sounds like basic lean white to me!

ALANM's picture
ALANM

OK. I don't know what it's called but I'm game to try a recipe that works.


I've heard so much rubbish spoken about bread and can only guess that 'great bread' is only great when compared to supermarket rubbish (whether baked on premises or not) by punters who normally buy the sliced steamed stodge that feeds the masses.The small bakers around here are not much better than the supermarkets either.


 


Still hopeful!


 


 

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hello AlanM


Welcome to TFL.  You have found a great resource for anyone who wants to bake really good bread.


I am also resident in the UK, but in the West Midlands area.


For the avoidance of doubt, MiniOven's description means a white loaf made without any fats or oils but there are many variations on the theme of white bread.  From your description I wonder if the bread was a sourdough.  If not, it is likely to have been made with some type of ferment as this will give a better crust than a standard yeasted white loaf.  I would suggest that you try the following recipe as a starter for 10 :)


250 g strong bread flour


175 g water


5 g salt


5 g yeast


mix this into a dough and cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel.  Leave this for six hours in a warm place, 21 Celsius or thereabouts, or place in your fridge and leave overnight.  If you refrigerate this dough, remove it from the fridge and give it at least an hour to come to room temperature before you move to the next step.


500 g strong bread flour


320 g water


5 g salt


5 g yeast


mix the water and flour together and leave for an hour.  Add the salt and yeast and all of the dough you made in the first step.  Mix these all together until you have a smooth and silky dough.  Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel.  Leave for an hour and then stretch and fold the dough before replacing it in the bowl.  Leave for half an hour before completing another stretch and fold and then leave for another half hour before dividing the dough into two (unless you want one larger loaf).


Shape the dough into a ball (or two) and place each ball in a separate proving basket or a bowl lined with a well floured tea towel then cover with another tea towel and allow to prove for one and a quarter hours.  During this time you should preheat your oven and baking stone or a baking sheet to 250° C, the baking sheet should be in the centre of the oven. 


During the last 15 min of proving you should place a baking tray at the bottom of the oven and put some boiling water into a jug ready to add to the baking tray once the loaves are being placed on it.


When the loaves are proved, turn them out onto a well-floured Baker's Peel or flat baking tray. Slash the top of the loaves using a sharp knife or razor blade in the pattern of your choice, using clean garden sprayer or similar to mist the inside of the oven and then slide the loaves onto the stone or baking sheet.  Taking care not to spill any water on the glass door of the oven, tip some of the water in the jug into the baking tray, mist the sides of the oven again and close the oven door.  Turn the oven down to 220°C and bake for about 20 min before turning the loaves around to ensure even browning.  Bake for another 15 to 20 min and then test for "doneness".


This should produce a bread similar to the one you describe.  One variation  that you could try would be to substitute 50 g of white flour with 50 g of rye in the first part of the recipe.


I hope this works for you.  I'm sure that there are many people on this forum who could give you better advice than mine so I won't be upset if you prefer another suggestion.  All I ask is that you keep this up to date with your efforts.


Ruralidle

ALANM's picture
ALANM

Thanks Ruralidle,


I did read somewhere that a slow overnight rise gave it  good texture.


As you live in the UK you may have seen batch loaves such as Mother's pride Scottish batch. I've never seen similar in England but have in Ireland.Interesting to give these a little squeeze if you come across them and compare that firmness to other wrapped loaves. The crust also has a totally different taste. The French bread I'm on about, although not a batch is quite similar.I guess these are not pushed by supermarkets as there's probably more profit in the other stuff.


Anyway thanks again and I'll broadcast the results if I achieve success.


 


 


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hey, I got one stuck on my mixer.  400g fresh cooled potato water, 450 bread flour, 50g rye flour, 9 to 11g salt and a half teaspoon of yeast (or for sourdough, 125g 100% hydration rye sourdough starter.   Do you kneed to know more details?  Oops, I guess it's not white bread...  I have a terrible time making white only...


Mix everything together except the salt (add later) into a shaggy mass and let sit 30 to 45 minutes.  Plop out of the bowl and with your fingers spread it out and sprinkle with the salt.  Fold it about 10 times to incorporated the salt.  You can knead it a minute if you like.  Return to a lightly oiled bowl, roll to oil the top and cover to double (3 to 6 hours).  Tip out of the bowl, stretch out and fold. (Now's the time to put it into the fridge if you haven't the time or want the flavor to get better overnight.)   Fold it again in the morning to warm it up or as it's rising to tighten it up if it needs it.  Let it rise until its ready to bake.  Meanwhile, heat up your oven good and hot... 240°C with a baking sheet and metal bowl to cover (or two inverted woks.)  Transfer the rising loaf to parchment paper, slash the surface making a palm leaf or hand.  Place onto the hot cookie sheet, mist the loaf and cover with a deep hot metal bowl and pop into the oven.  Uncover after 20 minutes to brown the loaf better and turn down the heat to 210°C to finish the bake.  Cool on rack.


Mini