The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Abel's Pain Viennois, takes 1 & 2

alfanso's picture
alfanso

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.
  • Steam!  
  • 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...

 

 

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

with the oven spring, I am sure it still tastes amazing! Good for you for trying something really different!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

(double negatives to a school marm may not be the thing to endear oneself)

Just a head scratching experience.  Clearly, as I've mentioned before, I'm not Abel.  He has a quarter of a century or more of full time baking on me, so I'll never be an Abel.  But that's okay.  

I surely would like to understand the nuances about the delta between what he did with this dough vs. what I'm doing. There have to be some basic concepts that I'm not yet up to speed with on this dough, and would like to understand better.  A rare venture for me into the realm of enriched doughs.

It's a hobby, tasty as it may be, and so it is all just a fun learning experience and lab experiments brought to real life.  And certainly beats spending the day watching cooking shows and getting vicarious thrills trying to imagine what it might be like to bake a bread.

The chocolate filling was just a serendipitous decision to do something with the dough other than the cinnamon swirl.  The dough had, as anticipated, a hard time adhering one layer to the next as the gooey chocolate created a no-go barrier between spiraled concentric circles.  Still quite tasty.  But if I'm to do the chocolate thang again, I'd rather spend the extra few steps and make a chocolate babka again.  Way richer (read as more dangerous) and tastier.  And just about guaranteed to be a star on any groaning board.

thanks, alan

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Yeah, has more charisma than their traditional look. Hard to diagnose why oven spring was less than optimal but they sure look and taste delicious especially with those fillings.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

by the "Abel bug" too!  A lofty goal for the "wee folk", like us.  Abel's write-ups can be like outlines for term papers.  They give the overview, while sometimes lacking a few of the 2nd layer details.  Not a gripe, as this is also part and parcel of the fun of it all.  Plus, if nothing else, it provides for a lively conversation and set of "test bakes" to try and nail down the minutia.  As with this one, right here!

As far as the Super Levain bake - my batard shaping can easily handle the hydration with this sticky dough, but for me to form the baguettes well, my next run will be to drop the hydration down a few percentage points, from 75 to maybe 72.

thanks, alan

kendalm's picture
kendalm

These look awesome for #1 and 2. I think a bunch of TFLers immediately put these on the wish list when Abel posted those pic so it's great to have some info here on first few shots. Since I have been working with enriched doughs recently and also trying to emulate another tflers result (txfarmers sourdough croissants) it seems you'll undoubtedly make some adjustments that work for you. As an example txfarmer insists on 'jiggley' croissants just prior to baking and if I proof that long I get sunken croissants. I also found that I need to push hydration 5% higher and oven temps about 10% higher and then suddenly I start to see similar results. As for enriched doughs - they really suck the energy out of the yeast and it takes a while to start understanding timing as well as the little hints in the way the dough looks and feels at certain points. At first its like taking a stab at this and that then after enough tries it's starts to make sense and you know what you are aiming for and of course that's what makes it fun. What should be interesting is watching the progress. Btw your point about the dough not adhering - this is a sort of semi laminate so if you are injecting a filling you may want to consider folding once so that your filling is embedded then roll it up. Just a thought (I made the mistake last week of putting cocoa between layers and it acted as a repelling agent)

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I went back and looked at Abels post and recipe. The dough is nearly identical to a croissant dough which is no surprise being viennoise style. The thing I have come to gauge with a bit more precision with his dough is the final proof. At around 70-72 f (using a hybrid yeasted / leaving formula such as abel's) i would just instinctively push it to more like 2 hours and minimum of 1.5 hours). Looks like you went to 1 hour and of course 'watch' the dough is the general rule-of-thumb but anytime I have baked at 1 hour I just don't get enough spring. You can actually see this progression if you follow my croissant blogs. Another thing is oven temp. I started around 400f and now always go to 450 with a bit of steam - not as much as a baguette say half the water as you don't want to kill the heat. Of course I bake baguettes at 525f+ so I am pretty sure interally my oven is lower than what the thermostat shows but just a few thoughts. Also, this kind of enriched dough can handle really deep scores and is kinda fun to slash - looking at his it appears he has gone much deeper than yours - can't really speak to subject too much until I've tried it (which is in the works) bit just a few thoughts and observations (pretty sure your next few are going to be massively improved anyway)

alfanso's picture
alfanso

That's exactly what I am looking for, most of all if Abel is willing to join the fray and put his two cents in also since this is his baby.  Or maybe in my case, Rosemary's Baby!  I appealed to him in his original post to help de-mystify this bread and its nuances.  As of this hour, no show.

Each environment is distinct as we can all agree on, and my home temperature environment is very very stable, it always runs at 78-80, which is a fair amount warmer than most other folks, save for those that report into TFL from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer zone.

I usually let my dough rise in a standard bowl and I have a pretty clear feeling of when it is "done" with bulk rise before being tossed into he cooler.  With this dough I placed it into a rectangular straight sided container to ensure that I'd identify a doubling of volume.  Which I did abide by.

The dough at that point is really viable and extensible, and I was easily able to roll it out to somewhere in the neighborhood of ~7 1/2" wide by as much as ~20" long with my rolling pin.  A lot of area to get a good coating of cinnamon swirl (or chocolate goop) across the surface.  Rolling it up was a snap, and then it underwent the proofing.  Although Abel didn't specify when to ID the completion of proofing, I've taken these pullman type breads to generally be done when the dough starts to peek out of the top of the tin.  For this bread, is that correct?  Dunno.

Abel says his oven is set for 410(dF) and that's what I did.  And yes, the steam was missing when I baked these, so that may have contributed to a lack up oven spring too.  Whenever I open the oven door to remove steam or rotate, etc. I will always reset the oven temp to force Ol' Betsy to re-fire.

I will certainly agree with you that he does score the dough way deeper than I did, and this may be the clue that unlocks the secret.  Thanks for that one!  To be applied the next time.

Muchos nachos for the fine eye and analysis.  I may not get around to baking this again for a few weeks, but it isn't time yet to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Unless it's Rosemary's Baby, and then the devil with it!

alan

kendalm's picture
kendalm

No worries of it's a while but I was immediately enamoured by his post and now you've done it I plan to do the same in fact every time I bake croissants I take the off cuts and bake a few mutant buns just for the eating. I do wish you had a photo of the dough right after shaping because it's hard to tell from the proofed loaves regarding final timing I just get the sense from the pic and info that it needs more than an hour also his formula uses less yeast than a croissant recipe so that only further strengthens the thought that more time is needed. Another thought I had was the oven timing you used. I'd be inclined to treat it more like a baguette and push 5 or so minutes of 'kick' worthy heat then lower down to say 395 for the remaining bake. I think that's why you ended up with a darker crust. Hopefully we can share some details over takes x,x and z especially if Abel hasn't yet or ever got the urge to share. I really just love the almost spiral slashes and itching to give it a (no pun intended) whirl :)

albacore's picture
albacore

I might be missing something, but I can't see any mention in Abel's original post or in alfanso's about how gluten was developed in the dough. Maybe Abel used a spiral mixer to get good dough strength?

Lance

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I've noted a few corrections for next time in the body of the blog entry.  As mentioned with butter as part of the mix, the gluten is likely to be harder to develop.  If a rich old uncle dies and leaves me a bundle, I'll get one of those 2 speed Haussler spiral mixers that Ciril Hitz hawks in his videos.

alan

albacore's picture
albacore

Very nice looking mixer, but with a price tag to make the eyes water!

Also, apparently it doesn't have a proper breaker bar so small dough quantities are prone to climbing up the spiral.

Lance

kendalm's picture
kendalm

For this type of dough i will mix all ingredients on low for 4 minutes then doanother 4 minutes on high. During the beginning of the fast cycle I will usually drizzle another 1-3% of water just coz I have come to like it a bit sickier but this isn't critical. From here evaluate the strength by forming a boule in your hands and if the surface tears then mix on high again for about 30 seconds and possibly repeat once or twice until the surface stretches smooth when forming a ball. Now however that translates to hand kneading I'm not sure being a lazy b but hopefully that can help demystify things (btw this is with KAAP and you can go with even weaker flour but probably won't need additional 30 second runs)

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

If you've ever worked with a Kitchen Aid mixer, then you know its limitations.  Ours is the 35 year old model which to my reckoning has the better gears and parts than the current offspring versions.  

The paddle with a dough this stiff (52% without the butter) works too hard and there are minor stalls at just getting the ingredients incorporated for the "autolyse".  My wife would paddle me if I broke the gears or motor in the dang machine.  So that is pretty much a limitation in step one.

Switching to the dough hook without sufficient amounts of ingredients in the bowl is like watching a merry-go-round.  The dough quickly gets pushed against the side of the bowl by the hook and the remainder of revolutions is watching the hook spin by itself.  I suppose that if I were to double the bake then the hook might work, but I really don't want to make a double amount.

But the dough is so stiff that at this amount of goods, with the dough hook playing hooky, that I don't have much choice but to hand knead, which I don't mind doing.  

Again, I think that the butter needs to be incorporated at this stage, else the mixing would be Herculean to accomplish with dry flour bits all over the place.  The downside is the butter inhibiting the gluten development.

My croissant formula, which my notes from long-ago say is a combination of steps from "Jeffrey Hamelman / Weekend Bakery / txfarmer" explicitly state "...very minor bench stretching.  Let lamination build gluten structure", as we don't want a too strong gluten network for croissants.

I'm game for giving another go or two, because this is one delightful looking work of art the way that Abel displays it.  I'll have a new set of corrections to do the next time.

thanks, alan

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

They all have to taste great.  Why they are not springing I would guess its sunder proofed but Lucy says.... What the heck do you know about this bread that you have never made?  She has a point but is only a 2nd class baking apprentice and pretty weak minded when she isn't sleeping. 1 hour sounds too short even for yeast.

Happy toast baking Don Baggs 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A few changes destined for the next bake with this bread.  Incorporated into the body of the blog entry.  Although bland compared to our typical levain doughs on TFL, it is nonetheless a good bread to have in rotation, and makes for a fine sandwich bread without my fancy additives.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

.

Abelbreadgallery's picture
Abelbreadgallery

Hi friend. Yes, that's the bakery, in Sunny Isles, yeah. I was there this summer. I was invited to come back next month, but I will travel to Barcelona to visit family. Maybe I come back in summer.

What I can suggest you for scoring this way is just avoid bulk-rise. Just mix your dough, let the dough relax 15 minutes, and then preshape, relax again and shape. Then, once shaped, score before putting the loaf inside the tin. If the dough has begun the fermentation process, it's more difficult scoring. As my teacher told, it's better if the dough has not started to walk, hehehehe.

What I learned in school is that these kind of enriched doughs do not benefit too much from a long bulk fermentation. At the end, you will use these enriched doughs for sandwiches, toasts, etc, so the bigger the better. You sacrifice the flavour for the volume.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Thank you.  Certainly a different method on the handling of the dough after mixing.  It's as if the bulk rise is after the divide and shape.  In this case, I will stay with the original 75% hydration on my next attempt.  I've already adjusted the notes for this formula.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Reminds me of Lite Beer but I bet it will work better:-)