The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Orleans style french bread recipe?

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

New Orleans style french bread recipe?

I have looked at many recipes for french bread but am yet to see one that claims to be a true New Orleans style bread. 
If anyone has one I would really appreciate it. Among other things I would really like to make my own bread for these oyster poboys with remoulade sauce. Thanks for any help! 
Benny

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Not really knowing from experience exactly what it is that makes a po boy distinct I started searching and found the below link in case you haven't seen it already. Seems like a good post since I've conversed with a contributor to Saveur who does French pastries to my complete envy so gotta believe this po boy should hopefully hold up for you. I imagine there's very specific characteristics you are looking for - take a Philly cheese steak and their famous amaroso rolls - there's specific chewiness and just the right amount of residual corn meal that if missing you at as well feed the sandwich to the dogs - here's the link - a shot in the dark but maybe a hit - https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/New-Orleans-French-Bread

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

Thanks that seems doable in my feeble understanding of all this. 
And here's my dumb questions for toady, hopefully no more before sleep time. 

2 (1⁄4-oz.) packages active dry yeast

Does this equal 14 grams?


6 cups bread flour + 2 cups water = 768 g flour + 473 g water ?
or is a 3 to1 starting with water weight better? 3/1= 1,419 g flour + 473 g water?
Obviously there is a world of difference in those two, so what to do about this?
Thanks for any help!
Benny

kendalm's picture
kendalm

can't stand them ! Ok let's see

- yes 14g active dry yeast

- 6 cups flour I go with 125g (seriously its so variable depending on flours scooping etc) so to me that's 750g

- water, again simple 225g per cup = 450g

summary

60% hydrated dough

1.8% ADY

 

note that yeast quantity about 7-9 times what youd add to a classic basic French dough. Which is absolutely fine it just changes the character to quicker rise. This should proof up fast and id expect a more spongy and what like to call foamy interior. I'm not quite following your 1 - 3 line of though. I think maybe you meant 2/3s hydration ? Not sure but general rule of thumb is to start with the flour as 100% then consider the other ingredients as proprtional to the flour. So if the recipe called for 2% salt then presto 15g, the water weight is ignored. Actually now that I touted saveur I'm surprised they did an emperial recipe - guess well leave the judging to mister benny - hope it works out - maybe you can shed some light on thr po boy - ie, what you are looking for - what's the thing about thr roll that makes it stand out ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

I found these two pages here about Leidenheimer's Poboy bread, included is a link to a pod cast where the owner is talking about how important it is to age the dough for the poboy bread. 
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22856/help-needed-increase-height-poboy-loaf-recipe
That has to mean cool fermenting but the question is in what style, poolish, biga? Something in between?
Their poboy bread is not big an airy, it's big and soft but has some muscle and the crumb is pretty uniform with smaller holes. (pic is Leidenheimer's poboy bread) It's really kind of similar to the baguettes Ive made of late but the holes are smaller and the diameter of the bread is about twice that of a baguette. The crust is thin and crispy and flakes off when you eat it. I am still looking at it but have become convinced that
1. Some type of oil must be added to it
2. AP is the right flour for it
3. It has a refrigerated aging period involved
Image result for leidenheimer po boy bread

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

Welp I have two started, one with a poolish and the other in the fridge overnight. 
Have no idea we shall see. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

you got me looking up amaroso recipes now - hopefully your po boy will be a step in the right direction and looking forward to the results ...

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny
  • 800g bread or AP flour 
  • 576g water 
  • 14.4g - 16g salt 
  • Instant Yeast 8g 

Combine all let rise punch down refrigerate over night, shape proof in baguette rack bake.
Not terrible but undercooked, crust is thin like it should be crumb is heavy and dense like it shouldn't be. 

  • 800g bread or AP flour 
  • 576g water 
  • 14.4g - 16g salt
  • Instant Yeast 

 

Poolish with 30% prefermented flour

  • 240g bread or AP flour 
  • 240g water 
  • 0.8g Instant yeast

Prepare the night before and use in the morning when nice and spongy. Leave in cool spot but not in the fridge. 

Final Dough:

  • All of the poolish
  • 560g bread or AP flour
  • 336g water 
  • 14.4g - 16g salt
  • 1 tsp  yeast

Mix in machine for 4 minutes turn out knead another 4 let rest 30 minutes shape and into couche to rise 30 minutes bake with steam. 

I like this bread much better even though it is practically the same bread. I think next batch I'm going up to 40% poolish but drop hydration to 70% and try this again. 
Undercooked and too firm but decent holes starting to appear. I can make a decent sandwich with this once the moisture and finished issues are resolved. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

looks like you're treating the dough nicely and not overworking it.  The second batch is starting bloom - looks like maybe you need a bit more oomph at bake time - maybe some additional proofing too ... Maybe, its hard to really tell, but if you do go in small increments you definitely don't want to overproof since no amount of oven kick will re-rise a deflated loaf. Best guess with the finished product photos is theyre cooking up a bit too slowly - what temps you using, for how long and how many at a time ?

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

Yeah I actually knew that these were going to be undercooked internally, been here done that. I stopped them when the crust looked right and I knew it wasn't enough. Those were @ 400° but I was afraid to go any further up and finish the crust way before the bread. Used lots of steam. Proofing the first was a delima because I proofed them in one of those baguette trays and once they top the channel they stick to each other and sluff off the sides. I guess maybe less dough and more proofing time. The second bunch done in heavily floured cloth I cut short proofing as well for fear of them gluing themselves to the couche. Help me out here my man give me some advice. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

these things bake at insane temps for about 90 seconds - as in 700 degrees or some crazy level. For bread like this I think 400f is too low. You won't really get an 'oven kick' out of that even with one single loaf absorbing all the energy. I would bump to 450 at least and watch the loaves. If all goes right you should see them reach full potential in about 5 minutes it's t that point you start planning a temperature drop in another 4-5 minutes - let's say back down to about 400-420f and then let that lower heat finalize the bake (another 7-10 minutes). What happens is that all the structure is formed in the beginning and has to happen very quickly as things are going to start to caramelize. Your objective is to inject enough energy to overcome the elastic forces by expanding co2 before it's too late. Once that's done your next objective is to slow the process and more gently cure the loaf and to do so you need to know your equipment just as much as you know your dough so it may take some trial and error. The equipment part os like 50% of the process - something a lot of tutorials just glad over or completely ignore and it's especially important with home equipment that is not designed to handle the demands of really fantastic bread.  FWIW I will max my clunker oven to 550f and just monitor like a hawk - also something one of our real talented guys identified for me was gas or electric ? That makes a big difference in your steam strategy. If electric you are in good shape, if gas you will need to make some other mods. What's your oven sitch ?

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

I'm the proud owner of an electric P-O-S
At least it does work somewhat I shouldn't complain but I refuse to cook on top of it, that glass top is the worst stove design ever made. 
So come out roaring how for about 8 minutes and then turn it down about 30° or around 415°

I can see how this does make sense and will try this, perhaps I should buy a slab of stone. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

If you can produce a masterpiece in a junker then you'll be able to do anything. But yet crank the heat and remember that things like water converting to steam will suck some of that energy so even is the thermostat is set to 450 there's going to be a drop on the inside - that's where a nice thick large stone works in your favor. You can even put bricks in the oven and give a bit extra time to build a heat sink - in commercial situations 450 is often sited as the initial baking temp but these ovens are built to retain and provide consistent temps.  i think you should hopefully notice some pleasant results if you can find that sweet spot - don't be afraid to crank it up you cam always evacuate some hot air by opening the door much faster than you can raise the temp.  eventually you get to know if a loaf like this is popping right by about 2-3 minute mark - it's not going to burn at this stage you just want to inflate it and start the burst on the scores before it's too late. Also don't be frustrated if it takes many attempts - it took me about a year of baking twice every weekend to dial in all the steps just right and i still screw up. Every step is important but you are certainly on the right track ;)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread is really SFSD that the displaced,Canadian,French Cajuns brought to SF from NO right before the gold rush in 1849:-)

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

I just made the Pate Fermente for Reinhart's version of french bread and did a double batch to try the Pane Sicilian as well. I am really frustrated with my inability to cook the dough through before the crust get's too hard. Since I have two large aluminum trays, I was thinking about turning them both over and putting one in the oven to get hot and proof them on the other one upside down on parchment so I can quickly slide them from one to the other and have a bit more heat available immediately. 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and use heavy cardboard as your peel to slide the bread/parchment onto them. I have desert landscaping with 1" stones.  If you fill on pan with stones and put the other on top to sandwich them in, then flip and put it in the oven it will even work better..  Heat it to 500 F for preheat and when the oven says it is ready add 15 minutes to it because the stones will be 15 minutes behind temperature wise.

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

I have some small pea gravel if that might work, but I also have several boxes of these slate tile slabs that I could lay on the rack and make it as thick as I want and cover most of the rack with it. They look to be about 1/3" thick so maybe 3 high would make a pretty big chunk of rock. Maybe put a tray on top of it for preheat?

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and then put the 2 stacked pans on the tile right side up, rim up, and use cardboard as a peel with parchment.  That will get the steel right on the slate.  Should work great with that thermal mass below.

Mister Benny's picture
Mister Benny

For his French bread these are the baking instructions. 
Would you change anything about this with the slate set up as we discussed?

Preheat the oven to 500 ° F (260 ° C). Score the baguettes as shown on this page. 8 Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with flour, semolina, or cornmeal and very gently transfer the baguettes to the peel or pan. Transfer the baguettes to the baking stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan). Pour 1 cup hot water into the steam pan and close the oven door. After 30 seconds, spray the oven walls with water and close the door. Repeat twice more at 30-second intervals. After the final spray, lower the oven setting to 450 ° F (232 ° C) and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the loaves 180 degrees, if necessary, for even baking, and continue baking until the loaves are a rich golden brown and register at least 205 ° F (96 ° C) in the center. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 additional minutes, depending on your oven and how thin your baguettes are. If they seem to be getting too dark but are not hot enough internally, lower the oven setting to 350 ° F (177 ° C)— or turn it off— and continue baking for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

 

Reinhart, Peter. The Bread Baker's Apprentice, 15th Anniversary Edition: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread (p. 177). Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.