The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Great Baguette quest N°3: Anis Bouabsa

Janedo's picture
Janedo

The Great Baguette quest N°3: Anis Bouabsa

Tuesday morning, we decided to go visit the Duc de la Chapelle, Anis Bouabsa's bakery in Paris. As you probably know, he won this year's Best Baguette. The bakery is situated in a modest neighborhood, far from the typical tourist traps and chic areas. We entered the bakery and asked he woman behind the counter several questions before buying a selection of breads. She was very nice and helpful. As we left the bakery, we took some pictures of the young baker/apprenti who was scoring baguettes and sliding them in to the oven. Disappointed by the quality of the photos through the window, Florence returned and asked if we could go inside and take just a few pictures. The woman showed her the way, no questions asked!

Once inside, who came through, but Anis himself! I felt like a teenager who was getting a real-live view of her movie star hero. He looked at me through the window and asked Flo who I was. I think he thought I was a bit idiotic because I had such a huge grin on my face! He opened the door and told me to come on in.

So, here you have two passionate home bakers in front of a master, and may I say the sweetest, nicest and most generous master. We started asking him questions and he told us EVERYTHING! He explained from A to Z how he makes his famous baguette. He adapted the recipe for home use for us and explained how we could do the steps at home. He showed us how to form the baguettes, slide them in the oven, what temperature.... EVERYTHING!

We even asked him if we could come and have a real lesson and he didn't say no, he said in September it could be possible.

Now, what he told us was actually quite surprising! The baguette dough has a 75% hydration, very little yeast, hardly kneaded, folded three times in one hour then placed in the fridge 21hrs. They are not fully risen when placed in the oven, it is the wet dough and the very very hot oven (250°C) that make give the volume. 

When I get some time, I will be trying his recipe. I feel success is near!!!!

Anis gave me permission to publish his pictures. They were all taken by Florence, "photographe extraordinaire".

Jane  

Anis Bouabsa

 ExplanationsExplanations

Baguettes à cuireBaguettes à cuire

OvenOven

BaguettesBaguettes

 

Comments

josordoni's picture
josordoni

I'm not sure really that I do necessarily want to lighten it - I just wondered what it might do to the rise, so I shall experiment for the sake of experimentation. :D

Lexicographical comment:  Bolting used to use coarse cloth , instead of the varying nylon screens I believe are used today.  I also found a reference to "dressing" the flour in a bolting cloth on one of the flour sites.

C B Findlay's picture
C B Findlay

Thank you so much for creating and continuing this thread! I have one question for Jane. I've been taking it for granted until a second ago that Mr. Buoabsa used steam in his baking. But did he?

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Yes, he used steam. His oven s a modern deck oven with steam perfectly controlled. 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Jane, 

You've been missed. Welcome back.

Hopefully we'll all have the pleasure of more of your baking adventures.

Bien Cordialment, Wild-Yeast

 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Thanks! Baking over here as been delicious but pretty simple. I have found a flour I really love and pretty much bake two types of bread very regularly, semi whole wheat baguettes for hubby and pain au levain because I love it. But this summer, as I am headed over to North America, I will definitely have to do some baking with the notorious american flour! I can't wait. 

I promise to show the pain au levain soon. 

Jane

cessnabmw's picture
cessnabmw

Please can you help me with this recipe? Can't seem to find it here. Am new on this forum. Thanks!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

See this: Anis Bouabsa ficelles

Happy baking!

David

Brokeback Cowboy's picture
Brokeback Cowboy

I like his technique for using steam as a rising agent. I've had consistent results baking my baguettes in this way. This recipe also lends well to flavorings ie: Pistachio/Cherry, Walnut/Roquefort, Spinach/Chevre, etc. I've used all of these additions in a similar recipe, identical procedure and had admirable results. You will sacrifice a touch of volume, scoring will not be as consistent, however the flavorings are irresistible. I suggest a 450g measure for each as well. Happy Baking xoxo

Pages