The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Did I finally get Pain de Campagne Honfleur right?

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berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Did I finally get Pain de Campagne Honfleur right?

First, my fighting with the Electrolux DLX disappeared. I think it A. either knew I was ready to replace it or B. I suddenly got smarter about using it (I think I was using too slow of a speed and the dough hook just doesn't work as well for me).


Second, I had to modify, modify, modify to get it to behave the way the book says it should behave. Every other time I made Bernard Clayton's recipe, it rose WAY TOO FAST. So, I made the preferment, let it sour for 20 hours.  Then, when I went to make the bread, I used COLD water instead of the hot water it asked for. Then, i stuck it in the refrigerator to rise and it doubled in 2.5 hours even in the fridge (and I finally got a way to get the dough oiled that slid out of the bowl AND didn't affect the bread's texture)! Then, I've found that a second rise works better with this one for me, so I rose it again in the fridge for 2 hours. Then, finally, I shaped them, put them in the banneton and let them rise for 1.5 hours. Scored them and put them in a 450 degree oven with steam. Baked at 450 for 10 minutes, then turned it down until it was baked through to 205 at 400 degrees. 


The crust is great and the crumb finally seems right to me. Not as light as the whole foods version (don't knock it - I love it and would love to duplicate it), but it's really good.


Does it look right to you all pros and semi pros?



Franko's picture
Franko

I'd say so! Great crust and a nice even but open crumb is never a bad thing. Nice Bake!


Franko

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

One thing to remember about Clayton's recipes is that they were written in an era when convenience and speed were the perceived (or at least proclaimed) holy grail for home cooks and bakers.  To some extent, Clayton actually bucked that trend, although it is hard to appreciate for someone who began baking in today's artisanal / slow food environment.  The recipes he introduced, and some of the techniques, were a significant departure from what one found in the more general cookbooks of the day.


That said, many of the recipes in the book still reflect the then-prevailing thought that faster is better, even this one.  He does note that if you use one of the "new" IDY-type yeasts that rising times will probably be about half the time he recommends, since he was primarily using ADY.  Based on today's techniques and terminology, I'd probably put only 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of yeast in the poolish or sponge, rather than an entire packet in the "starter".


I'd say you have done a good job of adapting, based on the observed conditions and your desired outcomes.  That's a good sign of a baker who is growing in their craft.


Paul

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Paul, this is really helpful. I love a lot of the sounds of recipes in Clayton's books, but if they aren't accurate for today's ingredients, what's an equivalent book? at this point I am NOT interested in going wild yeast (yet). it's a stretch of my time and patience NOW with making my family's bread (busy household),


Or, is there a sure fire way to translate his past yeast needs to today's yeast? Or is it recipe by recipe. We LOVE pain de campagne bread and his is the only recipe I have for it that isn't a wild yeast recipe.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

There really isn't a set conversion factor.  More often than not, I bake the breads exactly "as is" in the book.  Since I use IDY, fermentation times are typically faster as per Mr. Clayton's note. 


I made the same bread yesterday.  Thank you for reminding me of it.  I did make some adjustments as I went.  First, I knew that my window for letting the "starter" sit was in the 5-6 hour range, with temps in the upper 70's, so I guesstimated 1/2 teaspoon of yeast and that worked well.  Second, the rest of the "starter" contained 2 cups of water and all 3 cups of whole wheat flour.  The WW flour I'm using is stoneground, therefore coarser than GM or Pillsbury or Wheat Montana WW flours.  Putting all of the WW flour in the "starter" with a larger portion of water allowed the bran particles to soak and soften.  When it came time to make the final dough, I stirred in the salt, honey, remaining water, and bread flour.  Since I wanted a more open texture in the crumb, I substituted 3 stretch and folds at 30-minute intervals during the bulk fermentation for kneading.  Finally, I steamed the oven for the first part of the bake.


Did I have to do any of those changes to get the bread to work?  Nope.  It would have been fine if I had followed Mr. Clayton's recipe faithfully.  I know because I've done it as written a number of times.  I'm sure that it would have proceeded differently (shorter fermentation times because of yeast quantity, for instance) if I had but it would still have been good bread.  All I wanted to do was apply some of the things that I've learned in the past few years so that I could achieve some specific flavor and texture outcomes.  I'm not going to say that the bread is better because of my adjustments, just that it better fits my desires.


Do try other breads from the book.  I'm especially fond of the Honey Lemon Whole Wheat bread and the Pain Allemande aux Fruits, to name a couple of examples.  If you want to employ specific techniques that depart from the recipe, go for it.  If you want to adjust ingredients because, well, because you want to and you have a good idea of the effect of the change, knock yourself out. 


The only time I've ever had a flop with any of Mr. Clayton's recipes is when I've done something spectacularly boneheaded.  That is quite a testament to the work that he did in developing/refining these recipes some 30+ years ago.


Happy baking.


Paul