The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First attempt at the a l'ancienne

Bushturkey's picture

First attempt at the a l'ancienne

I had a go at the a l'ancienne method with 27% organic rye flour (I think it was wholemeal - there were gritty bits in it), 73% organic bread flour and a 75% hydration. I threw in half a handful of caraway seeds. I also used 4% organic raw sugar (in Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" there is a recommendation to use some sweetener when using rye flour).
I fermented the starter overnight (about 12 hours) but the finished dough fermented in the fridge for about 20 hours. When I took it out to shape it, the internal temperature registered 6.1 C (43 F).
The flavour of the baked loaves was amazing! A l'ancienne - The Money Shot!

 A l'ancienne - The Money Shot!

My wounded baguettes

My wounded baguettes


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Looking good there Bush turkey! 

Wounded?  Looks like each is individual, each with own slash.  Which one do you favor?  They all look good.   How did the first two taste?

Mini O

Bushturkey's picture

Hi Mini O.

I used a sourdough starter, without added yeast.

I only slashed two if them! I made my own lame, by putting a normal double-edged razor blade on the narrow end of a chop stick. I dropped some olive oil on the blade in preparation for slashing, immediately before transfering the loaves into the oven.

What I meant by wounded was that I used the stretch and fold method as the dough was proving, prior to retarding it in the fridge.

When I took the dough out of the fridge, 20 hours later, I divided it into 4 pieces and stretched and folded each piece before setting all of them aside to warm up a little. I then shaped them into baguettes and set them on a cloth to prove, covered (I use a big plastic tub), with a small bowl of just-boiled water to add some humidity and warmth.

The "wounds" are the folds in the dough from, both, stretch-and-fold and from the shaping. The seams came undone, so to speak.

The flavour is hard for me to describe. I've only recently started baking properly. I can taste the rye really well. Threre was a greater depth of flavour that lingered on the palate. There was just a hint of caraway.

The crust is not thick and there was a slight crackle initially, but this was lost after 2-3 hours (bread moments are so ephemeral aren't they?---sigh!).

The baguettes made the best sandwiches, though!! I kept 2 baguettes out and froze 2 and thawed them out again, but the flavour seems to have been preserved.