The Fresh Loaf

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Po-Boy Victory!

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Po-Boy Victory!

What in damnation is a northern boy doing trying to make a traditional New Orleans Po-Boy? I haven't scarfed down one of those delicious handfuls in quite a while. But once bitten it's near impossible to get past the memory. After many failed attempts, I now believe that I am on the right track and have found a formula and procedure that gets pretty darn close. There is still some adjustment needed with the time and temp to get the crust at the right color when the crumb is just right but it's close now. At least to my recollection. I'll post the bread formula below.


Daughter Gabrielle is ready to try her first Po-Boy!


Crusty close up shows the stratified surface that makes a mess-a good thing!


This is sooo good, I totally understand why it's a secret.


400 F for 20 minutes and 375 for another 15. Door cracked open last 5 minutes.


150 year old dutch oven and chuck roast done NO style.


Po'Boy Roast Beef with Debris. So tender it falls apart just looking at it!

Blue Ribbon French Bread recipe from Bernard Clayton's "New Complete Book of Breads".

Ingredients:
2-1/4 t dry yeast
2T Nonfat Dry Milk
1T Sugar
1T Salt
5C AP flour (I plan to try swapping 1 Cup of cake flour next time)
2C Hot Water (120-130 F)
1T Butter
1T cold water

Method
Mix together 2 Cups flour, yeast, dry milk, sugar and salt.
Pour in the hot water and butter, mix well (2 min with beater blade) then add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Switch to hook near the end of flour.
Add additional flour if needed to get to a shaggy elastic but not sticky mass. I had to add an additional 1 Cup of AP flour approx.
Cover and rest for 10 minutes.
Knead on speed 2 for 10 minutes. Dough should clean sides of the bowl, adjust flour accordingly.
Turn out into a lightly oiled bowl with at least 2-1/2 times the capacity and cover. Let rise until doubled (1-1-1/4 hrs.
Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly to degas. Divide into 2 pieces, preshape into a loose rectangle and cover loosely, rest 10 minutes.
Press and roll into a 10X16 rectangle. Using fingers, roll up into a 10 inch jelly roll. seal the seam and ends.
Roll and stretch to longest dimension of your parchment (about16") and place on parchment lined sheet. Cover loosely with saran and proof for 45-60 minutes. The dough should double easily in 45 min.
Pe heat oven to 400F 20 minutes before bake time.
Brush dough with cold water, slash, steam oven and bake for 35 Minutes. Rotate half way through for even color. I lowered the temp after 20 mins. to control color. Clayton says to bake to a golden brown. For me that was just 35 Mins. Cool on a rack.

Clayton says this is a smooth creamy crusty bread. I would add it has a great flavor with complex after taste. I can't imagine this being much better. Honestly I didn't change a thing from Claytons suggestions and formula. It was perfect the first time. I plan to purchase the book to see what other great things he has to say.

I would appreciate any comments from those who try this.

Eric

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

that's what i call a sandwich

slidething's picture
slidething

   E --

 Only thing missing is an ICE Cold Jax Beer - LOL Got a southern boy living in PA.       HUNGRY -- Guess Ya`ll know whats for Half tyme on Sunday!!

 Gone Fishin' looking for some Fresh Oysters ~~ beer batter them pups and then it's time for an oyster Po`boy -

 Slide__Out

slidething's picture
slidething

 E ~

 If you plan to buy Claytons " New Complete Book of Breads"  go to the library first and check out his earlier book ~ the recipes in the "New " yield smaller batch`s.  I have both - now on shelf at work .

 I found this out after seeig B`s oatmeal sourdough bread posted here last week -

 I had the"new" copy here at home so wrote down the "starter" and made it at work - using the rest of the formula out of the "older version" did not get the rise I wanted - so checked them out side by side - the loaf yield is different .

 Don`t get Me wrong Both are good books - only the "new " yields are smaller.

 Slide__Out

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I guess it wouldn't matter as long as you know in advance, LoL. Do you work in the industry? Clayton isn't a name I am familiar with so I'm glad he's got some followers. I was thinking my loaves may be a little large, both in diameter and length. It made a large sandwich which was good but just maybe a little too much. What do you think? Around here we have a big Sub Sandwich chain that got famous by making great bread. They cut a section out of the inside of the bun so it closes up better and holds the filling without spilling all over. That might be something to try here.

Oysters, now that sounds great!

Eric

KNEADLESS's picture
KNEADLESS

Very nice job including the great photos.  Two questions-

did you use a stone and can can you give us the pot roast recipe?

 

Thanks.

 

George 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I didn't use a stone with this bread. I try to avoid preheating and keeping the oven hot any longer than I have to. The bottom was plenty done. I have found most breads will bake fine put in a cold oven. This is the first time for this specific formula so I stuck with the author's instructions and preheated. If you were going to bake multiple batches, the stone might be a help.

I got the roast recipe from Nola Cuisine at http://www.nolacuisine.com/2005/10/25/roast-beef-po-boy-debris-gravy/

This is a great site if you are looking for down home full flavor cooking tips and interesting recipes. Back up a level and check out the links on the right side. There is some goood stuff hidden here.

My dutch oven was my great Grandmothers and was given to me years ago. When I need to simmer all day that's the only pot for me. My Mother and her mother never used it or rarely as I hear it. The first pot of stew I made for the family we discussed that the last time this was cooked in, most of the modern conveniences had not been invented and horses were the ride. Reliving history can taste good too.

Eric

slidething's picture
slidething

 E ~

  Yes - I am a chef/pastry chef/baker -

 As for Bernard Clayton - His Book The Complete book of Breads - was one of the first bread books I bought along with Laruels Ktchen bread book - way long ago ( late 70`s /80`s )  LOL Both have as many sideline notes as they do regular typeface.

   Slide__Out

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Slide, I would be interested in your opinion on how this bread stacks up as a PoBoy bread. This is the first recipe I have found that delivers that crispy flaky crust with a light high expansion crumb. The dry milk, warm water and butter along with well developed dough all seem to work together to make this just a little different than other french breads. Any suggestions?

Eric

cnlindon's picture
cnlindon

That is a very nice looking sandwich.  We love Louisiana cooking here at my house, so I will definitely be trying that recipe.  We try to get down there every year or two, but I am always fixing gumbo or jambalaya or something good here at home (Kentucky).  Love those spices.

Thanks for both recipes,

 -Chad

mariana's picture
mariana

 

Eric, I am so happy you found it. Congratulations!

Where in the book is that recipe, I can't find it. I would love to give it a try as well. Your loaves look tantalizing, my gosh, you are a good bread baker!

Thanks!

mariana 

p.s. your croissant dvds are on their way to your home.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hi Mariana, I don't have the book yet. It is called "Blue Ribbon French" I believe.  I had heard about this recipe and found it finally on Google in pieces. I have heard that Clayton uses a lot of older procedures to quickly get to his destination. This is very quick start to finish and I think it could stand a preferment to improve the flavor but the crust was what I was having trouble with. Let me know what you think. It would be nice if it had that flaky yet crunchy crust just a little thinner and more delicate still.

Thank you for comments.

Eric

slidething's picture
slidething

 Mariana  - I will find and post the page # on this forum tommorow when at work -- give both "new"  and older version page #'s.

 Eric will make bread recipe on sunday and post results Monday - I have baguette / batard pans at work - will use them and try to post pic,s if the Mrs. lets me use her camrea ( take it to work that is ) or maybe I should just invite her to lunch - the club I work at has NFL ticket and a whole passle of wide screen tv's thru out the place so her and the young`en can watch what ever team play they want - I do an NFL special - where I'll pick two teams and make that teams tailgate food as specials - like the Steelers and the Primonte Bro's sandwich - on this one ya got to make your on cole slaw - store bought just does'nt cut it . If the Saints are playin then I"ll run Po' boys as a sandwich special  -

 slide__out

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...on your hard earned achievements!  What a show off!  Wow Beautiful daughter Great pictures, Real food.  Isn't life grand?  :)

And I'm getting hungry! 

Mini O

slidething's picture
slidething

Hi ~

 The page numbers for "the Blue Ribbon French Bread" are - In "the complete book of breads " pages 274 - 275

 AND IN " The new complete book of breads " page 270 - 271

 Eric - the only thing about this recipe is in a true french bread the only ingredients are flour - water & yeast - maybe alittle acorbic acid ( vitim C ) 

 the additions of shortening and milk products - inprove the taste and keeping quality.

 P.S.S. did you steam it as directed ?

  slide__out

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Slide,
I didn't know there were any specific steaming instructions. I did steam for only 6 minutes which is half what I normally do.

Eric

mariana's picture
mariana

 

Thank you for the page numbers. I found it, whew... Are there any differences in recipe between two editions?

 

mariana

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I threw two cups of cold water and all the yeast together with 2 cups of flour letting it sit 24 hours. Then completed the recipe with less sugar and less salt and even less flour (also no powdered milk) :). Baked some in a can too. Now after all that changing, it still came out great. With crispy crackling crust and lots of rise, soft fine crumb and good flavor.

       Extreme noisy crust by cooling "look Mom, no milk!"

PoBoy with Poolish

Mini O

slidething's picture
slidething

 Mini O ~~

 SWEET - Looks Good - Just  goes to prove what an old Chef use to tell me - A recipe is just a map to get to point A "how you get there is up to you" as long as you get there .

 Mariana ~ the recipes for this is the same in both books - only the little story behind it changed - He ( Clayton ) goes into a little detail about how his Mother & Sister are award winning bakers and that this was the first bread he made that got him a " Blue Ribbon "

  Slide__Out

slidething's picture
slidething

  Eric -

 The NOLA address / site is a warm  salt tinged breath of sea breeze here in a land locked state (PA. ) It's been years since I've had a muffulatte -almost for got about it ( just a faded memory of aftertaste that you get from a well built sandwich ) have the site book marked - And good God in Heaven - there's a Dixie beer in the background of the PO'Boy page LOL -- only thing missing is a Dr. John sound bite ----

 SLIDIN__Out befor I start to pack the Car & head south to the land south of I-10

  ( Sony Landreth song )

  Slide__Out

 And Have a Bless'd Day Ya'll

seagrape's picture
seagrape

I tried this yesterday and it was all it appeared to be.  We had it with Chinese spare ribs and garden salad.  It was a great meal.  Good crust and great flavor for the bread.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Thanks to txfarmer for posting a link back to this in her thread. I'd been scouring TFL for N.O. bread recipes, and this looks like a good version too. 

that pot roast looks positively mouth-watering!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks cranbo, it is good.  Yes, bless her heart for working on the Po-Boy bread that is so mysterious. I just knew she would do it justice.

Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I'd never even heard of a 'Po-Boy' until this thread...

Mouthwatering pics, Eric. Thanks for the education!

Cheers
Ross

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Sounds like you need a road trip to New Orleans Ross. The Po-Boy is a New Orleans specialty that features all kinds of meats along with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and usually Mayonnaise. The filling can include beef like I featured, fried oysters or clams, shrimp, rabbit, pulled pork, all kind of fish, alligator meat,  just to name a few. The breads that hold these delicious meats are a light airy interior with a crusty crispy exterior that shatters with every bite. The bakeries that make the breads use tunnel ovens and top secret recipes thus the quest to reproduce this unique bread/bun. The sandwich i s so good people have gone to great lengths to duplicate it. I dare say that even more so than San Francisco sourdough the Po-Boy sandwich is held in high esteem by all who have had the pleasure.

Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

I need to make an air trip before that road trip, Eric - a little matter of a change in hemisphere to negotiate! Travel details and timing aside, thanks to your fine tutelage I now have another must-chomp to add to my New York list...and New Orleans is on my itinerary of essentials anyway, so that road trip to Po-Boy Central is but a formality.

Cheers!
Ross

PS: I take it 'Po-Boy' is a play on poor boy? If so, you gotta consider NO is not the worst place to be impoverished.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Ross,

I'll try but culture is hard to explain in a few lines. The New Orleans area in the United States is so many things depending on your perspective and interest. I can't do justice to the rich history but I'll try to give you a thumbnail sketch.

As a port city, N.O. was populated by the French early and Germans and influenced by the slave trade.  The city sits at the end of the mighty Mississippi River and much of the raw material (oil, gas textiles etc) that is consumed here and sold elsewhere passes through the port. The original locals being native Southerners have a slow drawl all their own in their speech. Combine all those language influences together and you have a now native dialect that is unrecognizable as English by many  but is beautiful and widely  used. The The population generally speaks the variant of their ancestors. So a black, French fisherman would speak in a different tone than a white southerner with German heritage. You really have to hear it to appreciate the sound. Now, add the fact that the world of Jazz music is headquartered in New Orleans. Every great Jazz musician in the World has spent some time at the root of the source of "cool". The deeply religious city has a party till dawn and celebrate with a Jazz parade mentality that is best witnesses during Mardi Gras. This link gives you a brief idea of the enormity of the celebration. Bourbon Street, Music Clubs, Dance Clubs, on and on. The History and heritage of the people is unique in all of America. The often hurricane ravaged city has endured much pain over the years. The people are proud and productive in the many vital industries that call N.O. home. As a commercial pilot for 36 years, some of the very best meals I have eaten in America were in NO. From sophisticated French inspired white linen tablecloth places to roll up your sleeves seafood shacks, you can't get a better meal than a working mans lunch all over NO called a "Po-Boy".It looks like a sandwich, but in fact it is sooo much more.

As your travel guide Ross, I would take you New York to see where the World has settled. But if you want to see America and it's raw culture, you have to visit New Orleans, Louisiana. Spend a few days learning the pronunciation of the City and State. You could go there and promise to stay until you can pronounce New Orleans like the locals. Haha, that's a trick.

All you locals reading this, please bear with me on my description of NO. No disrespect intended at all. The best food and music to be found in the South for sure. Oh damn I forgot about the Cajun thing. Well, another time on that.

Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks for that elaboration, Eric. Can't say I'm a jazz fan but I was aware, of course, of NO's musical heritage...and when in Rome...!  Bet Mardi Gras is a blast. And be assured, you've more than sold me on Po-Boys. On my bucket list!

As is NY, NO and some exploration of the States generally. All a question of time and finance. Laos, Thailand and Cambodia are our next travel destinations (flights booked for next year), but after that...we shall see.

Cheers!
Ross

catim65's picture
catim65

testing

Gorm2's picture
Gorm2

I have Bernard Clayton's book and I love, love, love it.  One thing I noticed missing from the formula given above was his direction to sprinkle the loaves with  1 Tbsp coarse salt after brushing with the cold water.  This I did.  I, too, steamed my loaves - 15 seconds of steam for 10 minutes.  The crumb and flavor of the bread was divine.  The crust...not so much.  After reaching an internal temp of 211 degrees F, the outside of the loaves was not nearly as beautiful a brown and not at all crispy and crackly as were those shown above.  This is def a recipe deserving of a "re-do."  Several times over, 'til I get it right.  I use the steamer with the cover and the hand-held steamer that shoots steam in the little hole of the cover.  I am temporarily using a gas oven (I'm used to electric baking).  I plan to try to reduce the steam time.  Maybe no salt on the exterior?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Many thanks!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I don't have the book and didn't know about the pre bake water and salt suggestion. Lately I have been spraying oil over the dough just before baking and that seems to give me the crust I'm looking for.

It would be nice to see your results. Can you post an image?

Eric

Gorm2's picture
Gorm2

Eric.  Thanks for the suggestion! I will try that for sure.  I would love to post a picture, but not only am I the worst EVER when it comes to technology, but I'm working out of a kitchen that I hope will only be a temporary living condition...nice, small and not what I'm used to.  I swore I would not even bake bread here, but when you're "hooked" your hooked!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I understand totally.

 

Eric

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Great recipe. Best "po-boy" recipe, for me, yet.

Final results pretty much identical to your pictures.

Keeping this one.

Jlynn's picture
Jlynn

Being from New Orleans.

I Know the real deal. But finding the recipe is next to impossible.

Even though I can go fetch a loaf anytime I wish. I would like to be able to make it.

I have made french bread and it was great. But French bread is no way shape or form Po-Boy

A  german bakery a few blocks from my house. made the best bread in the world it had the old brick ovens

and on Sunday morning the smells that came out of there were pure heaven. Still don't know why they call it french bread when it is a german recipe. Now they have vetinamese bakeries making Po-boy bread. Would like to know how they got the recipe. Because they nail it. yumm. hoping this recipe will be close. Would have come in handy when katrina hit was here five days after the storm with no bread and no where to get anything. But I had gas and could have made some.

Will post after I try this. question? the 1-1-1/4 hours is that a typo confused.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Jlynn,

I take it you are referring to the rising or fermenting time of 1-1/4 hrs. This will vary with temperature of course so you have to watch it depending on conditions. When I wrote that post in 2007, I wasn't as tuned into the inmportance of controlling dough temperature. I hope you find the recipe worthy as a local. For some reason this recipe has remained a big secret outside of NO. The Vietnamese do make a nice Po-Boy but they call it Banh-Mi I think. Same concept. It isn't really strictly French bread in any case.

Another tip I can pass on on this subject is I learned to brush the dough with liquid oil just before baking. I had the best luck with melted lard, just a small amount on the top. The result is a more cracked crispy surface crust. That's my memory of the best Po-Boy sandwiches I have had in NO. Good luck with this. Please post your results and anything you do to get it "perfect". I see the images have faulted from photobucket. I'll look around and try to fix that.

You might want to look at this site. A nice write up on the VN style sandwich and it's history. One thing I was able to get from the story is they used a blend of rice and wheat flour. That bears looking into. The recipe link didn't load for me.

ADDED BY EDIT: Here is the recipe link. It took a bit to get it to load but keep trying, it's well worth a look.

Eric