The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

American Boulangerie

  • Pin It
JIP's picture
JIP

American Boulangerie

So I wonder if anyone has any experience with this book....

 http://www.amazon.com/American-Boulangerie-Authentic-Pastries-Kitchen/dp/1579595278/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214100223&sr=8-1

 

I got it from the library recently and I took to it right away.  I have not had the chance to use it yet but their starter recipe intrigues me.  I liked it so much I ordered it from Amazon today.  The starter recipe is more I guess for a levain I guess that is what you call it to make a French style miche.  It starts with just crushing 8oz. of grapes and letting them ferment for 3 or so days with nothing else then flour and such is added after the juice is strained off of the grapes.  I have failed twice with a starter so I am reluctant to try again but his one seems suspiciously simple so anyone...

suave's picture
suave

I'm always on lookout for bread books.  I'll have to order a copy from the town library before it closes for good. 

Mike

holds99's picture
holds99

JIP,

Let me begin by saying that there seem to be as many sourdough starter recipes as there are boulangeries in Paris.  I am not familiar with the book you mentioned, American Bourlangerie, but have made Nancy Silverton's grape starter (years ago) and am still using it.  I dried some of the original Silverton starter, broke it into small fragments and froze it, and as of a few months ago the frozen dried starter still comes back after a couple of refeshings.  Silverton's process is quite an extensive one (14 days), much more extensive than the one you mentioned from American Boulangerie (4 days). 

Having said that, there are much easier ways than Ms. Silvertons method that produce quite good starters or you can purchase a good starter from numerous sources including King Arthur.  I made a stater recently from Maggie Gleser's book Artisan Breads, which works well.  I maintain both Ms. Glezers and Ms. Silverton's starter in firm form and have been doing some test baking using both.  They both work very well. 

I'm no sourdough or sourdough starter expert but I did switch from a liquid starter  to a firm starter (there's no shortage of opinions on that issue either) and find the firm starter to be more economical to maintain and when refreshed weekly to be more to my liking.  After all, you only need a small amount of an active firm starter  to make the levain method (French) which is what I mostly use with very good results.  I think Sourdough Lady and Mike Avery both have posted sourdough starter recipes on this site.  Mike Avery offers a sourdough primer and other links on his site.  Here's a link to his site, which you may find interesting and useful.

 http://www.sourdoughhome.com/breadshoppe.html#introsd

I would be interested in hearing about the results you get from American Boulangerie.  Please keep us posted as to your experiences with the new book and what you think of it, after you have done some baking from it.  Good luck with your baking.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

JIP's picture
JIP

Well I did try Silverton's starter and went down in flames very publicly http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2305/my-first-starter-dialup-warning-many-photos not sure if you remember that but I went through alot with no luck so I want to try something that seems very simple, that is what drew me to this book it seemed like a cheaper simpler way to get somewhat of a starter going without daily feedings of pounds and pounds of flour.  So I bought the book and if it is a sucess I of course will post some photos but not the step-by-step that I went through before.

holds99's picture
holds99

What happened?  The photos of your try at Silverton's starter look like you had an active working starter there.  The grapes I used were organic and I did not scrub them because my understanding is that the yeast spores are on the skins.  I'm still using my Silverton starter that I made about 10 years ago.  I dried some out and froze it for backup, which I have had to use once in 10 years to restart without going through the 14 day, volumes of flour routine.  You don't have to feed your starter daily, only once a week or two.  I have switched to a firm starter which I think is more forgiving and works well for me.

Anyway, you're right, there are easier ways that the Silverton method.  Don't know if you have seen any of Mike Avery's posts but I think I gave you his link.  Mike and Sourdough lady both have starters that aren't as complex and extravagant with flour as Ms. Silverton's and really work well.  You might even consider purchasing a starter from one of the on-line sites that offer them.  Let us know how your experience with American Boulangerie goes. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I just mixed flour and water, covered it loosely with plastic wrap, and left it on top of the fridge in the kitchen.  It's pretty warm up there.  After a few days, I fed it a little more flour and water, let it sit another couple of days, then it went into the fridge.  Eventually, I took it out, divided it in two and added white flour to one half and ww to the other, let them sit out for a bit, then put them both back into the fridge.  I decided after awhile that they were taking up too much room, so I ditched the ww starter, and kept the white one which, I must admit, goes back and forth between being a ww starter and a white starter.  It's been going stron for four months now, I've just mixed it up with some flour and water and it will be made into ww bread tomorrow, after putting a cup of it back into the container in the fridge.