The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain Rustique - kinda. alfanso-style

alfanso's picture

Pain Rustique - kinda. alfanso-style

Pain Rustique as a batard and baguettes.  I've seen a few pain rustique posts come through recently.  Well maybe one, maybe more.  And it occurred to me that I hadn't made this before.  Being poolish based, it is a rare bake these days where I don't use a levain as my pre-ferment.

This is modeled on the WeekendBakery version. The poolish is a mix of AP and Whole Wheat flours and is unusual in that it uses a levain starter rather than IDY for the poolish.  Knowing that I was planning on retarding the dough, I cut the amount of IDY for the Final Dough in half and also shortened the bulk rise times.

The dough is surprisingly sticky at "shaggy mass" time considering the overall hydration of the dough is only 65.5%.  But it mixed by hand quite nicely and was quite extensible during Letter Folds.  For this particular bread I attempted to be as gentle as reasonable while shaping the dough so as to avoid disturbing any future open cell structure within.  I did over-flour the couche in an attempt to ward off any recalcitrant dough that would want to stick to the linen.  As it turned out, the dough released without a hitch from the couche and the excess flour was probably not very necessary.

The mixed flour poolish took about 11 hours to mature.  In the picture the small black mark on the container was where the just mixed poolish started.

625 x 1 batard

330 x 2 baguettes

Pain Rustique w/levain based Poolish      

Weekend Bakery, mod. by alfanso

    Total Flour    
Total Dough Weight (g) 1000 Prefermented50.00%   
Total Formula   Poolish  Final Dough 
Ingredients%Grams %Grams IngredientsGrams
Total Flour100.00%589.3 100.00%294.7 Final Flour294.7
AP Flour90.00%530.4 80.0%235.7 AP Flour294.7
Whole Wheat10.00%58.9 20.0%58.9 Whole Wheat0.0
Water65.54%386.3 100.0%294.7 Water91.6
Salt1.67%9.8    Salt9.8
IDY0.25%1.5    IDY1.5
Starter2.22%13.1 4.5%13.1   
Totals169.68%1000.0 204%602.5  1000.0
Mix  poolish and allow ~12 hours.      
Mix  poolish, flour and water.  Autolyse 30 minutes    
Add IDY & salt.        
150 French Folds, 5 minute rest, final 150 FFs.    
75 minute bulk rise. Letter Folds at 35 & 60 minutes.  Rest for 15 additional minutes.
Retard for ~8-12 hours.       
Divide & shape anytime after 2 hours.  Onto moderately floured couche seam side down.
Retard again until ready to bake.       
Preheat oven to 475dF       
Onto oven peel seam side down.  Score.      
Bake at 455dF till brown.  ~13 minutes with steam, ~12 minutes more for baguettes or 15 more for batards.  2 minutes venting.

The crumb is surprisingly tight considering the oven spring, which does not bother me.  For a long time now, I'm no longer in search of large open crumb as my "holey grail".  I believe this type of dough is not meant to be shaped, even as gently as I attempted, hence the rustique name as others have pointed out.   But more importantly the taste is mild and pleasing for an almost all AP bread.  And although it received the same amount of steaming as my other bakes, this one does not carry the same amount of sheen as others.

Still, certainly worth placing the formula in my notebook for future bakes.  Man cannot live by levain bread alone.

N.B.  If you want to bake this the same way, without retardation and with the full amount of IDY, refer to the link at the top of this entry for timings.


PalwithnoovenP's picture

I thought it's a levain, I'm a little confused. Anyhow, beautiful breads; they look so light!

alfanso's picture

excepting two points.

The authors refers to this as a poolish, so I'm just parroting their term.

For a full levain, I don't think anyone would really use so much pre-fermented flour.  10%, 15%, 20% and maybe a little more.  But 50%, as in this bread and other "standard" poolish based breads, would be off the charts.

Thanks - and welcome back, alan

leslieruf's picture

they all look great, that is for sure!

Can you clarify what a french fold is? I cant see how I could do this, but obviously you can - you and others do but how?


alfanso's picture

but I stubbornly stick to my own nomenclature...

Here are two short videos on the technique.  I recommend them not because they're mine, but mainly because I have received positive feedback on the demonstration.  There are certainly other informative examples out there too.

These are for the Bouabsa baguette which has a pretty high hydration, and as you know, every mix will yield a slightly different set of characteristics.  But the technique which I use basically never varies from one dough to the next.

Part 1:

Part 2:

leslieruf's picture

I do do that but doubt I get anywhere near 150 folds. but next time I will count.  I often find that the dough has tightened up after about 10-15 and is hard to stretch out so I will stop. I probably hand mix a bit longer.  but have found that, as you demonstrated above, the dough goes from shaggy mess to lovely and smooth quite quickly.

thank you Alan, the journey continues :)


alfanso's picture

of French Folds over the course of the first hour(?) of mixing time.  Maybe 15-20 and then lets the dough relax until the next set of FFs.  I let the dough relax for 5 minutes halfway through. There are so many variables to doing this stuff, and as I mention on the video there are lots of right ways and probably lots of wrong ways too.  Whatever we come up with that works for us is the "right" way. 

The 300 folds are way less than what a mixer will do to dough in a matter of no time, so I don't think there are too many.  With the lower hydration doughs, the FFs can be like folding a deflated basketball, but as the hydration goes up, it gets easier.  Again, whatever works for you...


dabrownman's picture

them French folds and I would call two of these Fat Bags:-)  These look great as usual and have to be tasty.  Poolish is only made with yeast, so this is a levain as you note and since poolish isn't French there little reason to use it in connection with Fat Bags:-)  Well done and happy baking Alan

alfanso's picture

With so much pre-fermented levain flour one would think that the dough would burst out of any container.  But this must be pretty weak levain at best, and it is apparently only used as any other poolish would be, as a matured flavor enhancer to the bread.  It even takes additional IDY to make this dough move during bulk rise.

As far as nomenclature goes: my short baguettes seem to fall under the nome d'pain as "long batards".  According to page 74 from Msr. Calvel's, "The Taste of Bread", not only is the picture of a "long batard" appropriate, but so are the characteristics: ~350g, 4 cuts, and a length of 35-40cm.  He must have also had a conventional oven with similar dimensions to mine at home ;-) .  Who knew?  Not me!

So if you wish to raise the ire of my blade man Leo "Fat Bags" Baglioni, do so at your own risk.  Just keep an eye out behind you.  He's been doing reconnaissance in the Sonora* for a new base of operations...

*Leo is also working on a prototype catapult with GPS guided technology to be used for tall walls and fences down by the border, but he won't clue me in.  Any idea what he has in mind?

Licopevel's picture

Hi Alfanso !  Excellent tutorial.  I am new to Fresh Loaf and have started sourdough bread baking.  Your program helped me tremendously in building confidence with baguette baking. On another note --I am amazed that the glass pan with the watered towel sustained the 480 temp heat w/o breaking.  Where can I get lava rocks ??

Mr Alfanso thank you -- love your video


alfanso's picture

The glass loaf pan.  It is made from tempered or Pyrex glass, and can withstand the heat.  I think that as long as there is some amount of liquid in the loaf pan, the temperature of the pan will be moderated.  Therefore, I'd never attempt to either place or leave a dry pan in the oven at that temperature, especially directly on top of the heating element.

Lava rocks are extremely common in gas or propane barbecue grills.  They are cheap and plentiful at "any" store that sells barbecue grills and supplies, and also at larger home supplies and gardening shops.  I've been using the same set of rocks for three or more years now and although I really don't check up on their wellbeing, I don't think that there is any degradation to them.  I recall that a bag cost me ~$4USD and I still have ~1/3 of the bag left over.

A handful of other baguette centric nuts on TFL to rely on for information too.  Thanks, alan

IceDemeter's picture

and thanks so much for making me giggle when I saw the pic and the blog title and realized that you (only you!) couldn't resist taking a formula for what is supposed to essentially be a baked blob and tried to make baguettes out of it.  What a grand way to have fun with a new-to-you bake!

Even without the usual shine, you still managed to get the overall appearance most distinctly yours, and it's nice to know that the flavour came out so well.

Nicely done - and thanks!

(now I'm off to watch your vids...)

Keep baking happy!


alfanso's picture

I was surprised at the staying power of this bread.  The typical baguette type of dough made with commercial yeast has a minimal shelf life - if not gobbled down immediately!  Pain Rustique seems to have the same qualities considering the formula.  But in this case, I suppose that the small amount of levain in the "poolish" was enough to inoculate the dough with sufficient stale-retarding capabilities.  All the better.

And remember - it is poor manners to be making animal noises like pig snorts or whinnies at the screen when watching any video with me in it.  Just plain wrong!  Well, maybe one or two is okay...

thanks, alan