Abel's Pain Viennois, takes 1 & 2
Above: chocolate babka filling and cinnamon swirl
At the start of this month, Abel posted his version of a Pain Viennois, a bread I'd not ever heard of before, but it is a pretty darn good looking loaf. At least the way he does it! Much more appealing than the "traditional" version which looks more like a baguette in shape and adorned with as many as 20 or so scores diagonally down its length.
So it bubbled up to the top of my to-do list. I've now gone two iterations with this bread and have my report to turn in to teacher. Some steps forward, but falling quite short of where Abel is. For the first time through, I probably made too many cuts in the dough surface, corrected on the second try.
One major difference is the coloration and char on the 2nd bake vs. the brighter luster of the 1st. Baked at the same temperature for the same amount of time, the only difference is that I used steam for the 1st bake. I had this notion that enriched breads were less "needy" when it came to steam, but apparently that is not the case.
And then there is the significant difference between Abel's bread opening up from oven spring vs. mine. So here are some of the gory details.
- These are the both the same dough, treated in a similar fashion, and following Abel's ingredient write-up. The major difference is the internal filling of the 2nd bake.
- Bulk rise for 90 minutes, until doubled in volume.
- Shaped to fit 8"x4" tins.
- Proof for 1 hour, until dough just peeked out from the top edge of the tin.
- Brushed with melted butter just before and just after the bake.
- Bake at 410dF for 22-25 minutes, until internal temp is ~190dF-195-dF.
- Rotated at the 10 minute mark. the second bake was already showing signs of scorching at the halfway point.
There was hardly any oven spring and the loaf came out being fairly square. So, where am I missing the mark? I want to keep this bread in rotation, but there are some significant gaps between where the bread is now and where it should be. Looking for some guidance here.
***With feedback and help from a few of the TFL farmhands, I'll be applying some changes the next go-round.
This dough is quite stiff when being mixed, and my Kitchen Aid mixer's dough hook treats the dough as not much more than a horse-tail treats a fly. It just spends its time swatting away the dough.
- Mixing by hand is the real option. Too stiff for French Folds, but my pasta hand kneading technique sure comes in handy every so often. My notes have me kneading the dough for 4-5 min. but I'll add an extra two minutes onto that to attempt o get a better gluten structure. A problem is that the butter is part of the mix and it acts as a gluten inhibitor by coating the strands in its oily self.
- I'll bump the hydration up a few percent in an attempt to soften the dough during mixing. There will be a balance to be reckoned with on this one, as the dough is designed to be scored before placed into the tins. The extra few grams of water may create a small problem if the dough slackens up enough on its way into the tin.
- I will give the final proofing more time to push the dough further than just past the "peeking out" above the rim I had followed.
- Deeper scoring. My curved lame is not appropriate for such a deep cut, but I have a few of those absurdly sharp ceramic knives that I'll rely on for this task.
At the outset of the proof.
Out of the oven and not looking too swift.
Comparison to the crust from the 1st bake, but again, no oven spring.
As this is a "plain sandwich" bread, beyond a mild "pleasant" taste, there really isn't much to it. Makes a fine toast, and I'm sure that it would also make for some dandy French Toast too. So for bake #2, I added the chocolate filling that I use for a babka on one and a cinnamon swirl (cinnamon and sugar mixed together). Just for fun. And really to try and bump up the flavor of this bread.
Abel describes his learning this bread from a fellow baker at Granier Bakery. Located in Sunny Isles Beach, just north of Miami Beach. Sunny Isles has so many towering residential skyscrapers lining the beach side of the road that it has somewhere along the lines been dubbed "Shady Isles Beach". We took a drive down there the other day...