Alsace Region Moricette Bread
Hi all. I was recently on a trip to the alsace region of france and happened across some fantastic bread entitled moricette which can be found in any branch of the poulaillon bakery chain. So impressed i was with it that i wanted to make it at home but my efforts so far have failed. At first glance it looks a cross between a boule/baguette type bread but with a crust/colour like a pretzel and with a wonderful salty taste. The crust and crumb are very soft and it is well suited to sandwhich bread. The only recipes i can find around this site for something similar is either bretzel or pretzel bread recipes and they look kind of similar but after a few attempts im still having trouble. As i gather the basic idea is to mix/knead/shape/proof the dough, then put it in a boiling salty water bath and then score and brush it before baking but the last few steps seem to always fail me.
So far in my bread baking i have reached acceptable competance on soft sandwhich/roll breads made from white flour and always i find with these breads they require either a loaf pan or neighbours in order to be forced into a shape when they are rising, as the dough is quite soft with a higher hydration. When making these types of bread freeform it almost never works because when the rise is happening it will just spread out and not up.
When following the recipe for the pretzel style bread i am coming across the same problem. I have to make the individual rolls/boules into individual shapes and rise separately but when this is done they only spread and dont rise up. If i make them together they will rise against one another but then it is impossible to separate them for the bathing. Another problem is when they have prooved (i wont say rose) then it is difficult to move/handle without ruining the delicate dough in the process. When they go in the hot bath mostly the bread shrivels instead of puffing out like i would expect. the subsequent slashing hurts it further still and then it never recovers once it is in the oven (i suspect after the boiling bath the yeast are all dead hence no recovery, also the water content should help the spring but i guess the skin of the bread is more or less set after bathing)
I guess im needing some advice on how to improve freeform bread shapes, and also how to handle the dough before it goes in the bath. I thought maybe individual cloths that i could use to lower the bread in or, moulded trays to hold the bread shape better. Hopefully someone on here will have a better idea of the right process.
As an aside has anyone here actually seen/tried the bread im talking about?