The Fresh Loaf

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Pain a l'ancienne - First BBA bread!

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lolo's picture
lolo

Pain a l'ancienne - First BBA bread!

Pain a l'Ancienne

I've decided it's time to jump into breads, and what better way than BBA?  After reading most of the book I decided that this would be a great first bread to try.  I was SO happy with the flavor and the crumb; I've never ever made bread that tasted so good or had such a nice texture.  It really was "creamy and cool" just as it should be.  The crust even crackled as it was cooling!  How fun!!  Not bad for my first shot at "real" bread.

Pain a l'Ancienne - Crumb

 

I think I could stand to make a slightly less hydrated dough next time (I think I added too much water, then was adding flour like mad to compensate) and gain some height without giving up the overall quality of the bread.  The bread spread out while shaping, causing me to curl it under a little, which created veins of uncooked flour on the undersides of some of the loaves.  A stiff brush removed most of it, but still, who wants a mouthful of flour?  If I can figure out how to use less flour without the dough sticking like crazy, I'd be set.  The excess flour burned up in the oven and I nearly smoked myself out of my kitchen.  I also need a much larger baking stone, as I could only fit two loaves at a time, which really lengthened the whole process.

 

 

"Shaping" the "loaves" "Shaping" the "loaves"

I made the dough around 11 pm and took it out of the fridge at 9 am.  I put it in the oven a little after 12 (even though I wasn't sure it had actually doubled yet... I didn't want to overproof it and end up with even flatter dough...)  I tried to score the first two loaves with a lame, but that was hopeless.  I moved on to sharp scissors like the book suggests, and while that worked better, you could hardly see the cuts on the final loaves.  I skipped that step altogether on the last two loaves and it seemed to work out fine.  Maybe if I make the dough a little drier next time the slashing will work out as well.

Overall I'm really, really happy with these, especially since it was my first try.  It was absolutely the best tasting bread I've ever made.  I can't wait for my whole wheat starter to be ready so I can get going on some of the recipes in his Whole Grains book as well!

Pain a l'Ancienne

Comments

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Your pictures are very pretty! I'm sure it did taste very good. It is such a nice color and the crust looks crunchy.

I have the whole grains book as well but have only tried one recipe and failed. I have to try again very soon. 

Jane 

lolo's picture
lolo

Thanks Jane!  What recipe did you make from the whole grains book?  I'll be sure to avoid it until I have more practice.  :)

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Well, the problem I have is that I'm in France and our flours are very different. I did the whole grain hearth bread. I didn't start with the basic sandwich loaf because we don't eat that kind of bread and I wa scared it would just be left on the counter. But I should go back and master that like Reinhart says to do.

The dough was a big mass of sticky gunk. Having no experience with that type of dough I didn't know if I should add flour or not. And he says it has to pass the windowpane test!!! But with all the chunky stuff in it like wheat grains, etc, it was NOT going to stretch. I read later somewhere that whole grain bread dough doesn't ever pass the windowpain test. Anyway, the bread was heavy, barely risen but tasted good!

Jane 

lolo's picture
lolo

Aww, I'm sorry it didn't turn out!  I think I'm going to start with the sandwich loaf, or maybe a basic sourdough boule (if my starter ever wakes up!).  

I can see how all the wheat grains would cut right through any developing gluten, but I'm going to shoot for passing the windowpane test on the other, more basic doughs first, anyway.  He shows a picture of it in the book, so I know it's possible!

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I was also sceptical about kneading a 100% whole wheat dough to window paning, but I have done it, most recently with the "foundation" bread in Reinharts whole grain book. This did not have chunky stuff with sharp, gluten-cutting edges in it, however. So I don't know about that.

For inspiration, look at this thread:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5205/yes-you-can-get-windowpane-whole-wheat-dough
 

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Thanks! I'll go check that out.

Jane 

lolo's picture
lolo

Thanks David!  That's a bread I can definitely aspire to!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

SYLVIAH  Keep up the good work...and please send in more pictures and info on your bread baking.

lolo's picture
lolo

Thanks SylviaH!

rainbowbrown's picture
rainbowbrown

I love this bread and yours look really good.  Congratulations on your bread experience. Neat pictures too.

lolo's picture
lolo

Thanks!  I could use a lot more practice with shaping, but at least it was tasty!