The Fresh Loaf

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ADVANCED BREAD AND PASTRY

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saintdennis's picture
saintdennis

ADVANCED BREAD AND PASTRY

Hi everybody,

 I remember on March this year that everybody was very hot about new book"ADVANCED BREAD AND PASTRY" by Michael Suas,but I did not heard that anyone bake from it .If yes,what recipe and picture.

                  Thanks

                                      Saintdennis

holds99's picture
holds99

St. Dennis,

As you may know, it's a major book to read.  Suas' history of baking, particularly the evolution of baking bread and pastry, as well as the key players i.e. French Monarchy, Della Pigna, Careme and Escoffier are very interesting. 

Anyway, I plan on baking from it within the next month.  I'll post something at that time.

 Howard - St. Augustine, FL

SteveB's picture
SteveB
Kuret's picture
Kuret

I have baked several times out of that book, pie crusts, Pain de Boucarie (?), Sourdough Rye, Sourdough Whole wheat, Francese etc. All the formulas provided are really great. But I think the book really i about learning how formulas work and make your own based on your goals in flavor, structure and looks. However some of the formulas seem quite dry, low in hydration that is. Maybe is is my flour or something.

 I dont take pictures of all my breads so therefore there are few pics of my baking.

holds99's picture
holds99

I'm getting ready to bake whole wheat sourdough bread from Suas' book.  I just built a simple Excel spreadsheet to convert some of his ingredient measurements (pounds/ounces) to decimal numbers from fractions.  I think it will be easier and make the recipe more accurate using a scale.   If this speadsheet works, as I hope it will, I'll just convert the recipes as I move along through the book.  I have made a second spreadsheet to double his test batch of whole wheat and get 4 pounds of dough instead of 2 lbs.  I have the Levain working now and should get the dough mixed this evening, retard tonight and bake tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for the tip on using the formulas as guides, more or less.  As far as you can tell, are his baker's percentages accurate for the sourdough whole wheat? 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Kuret's picture
Kuret

I am by no means an expert on dough feel but I am quite confident that the percentages are good. Especially as I have only baked based on the percentages.

 What I really meant about the formulas as guides is that this book teaches so much about correcting for differing flour quality etc that you will have to use the formulas and get a feel for them and with the help of methods described in the earlier chapters you can gain coinsictency in your breadmaking.

The sourdough WW is great, my favorite is to fridge retard the bulk ferment to achive a great sour flavor. Sadly, the last time I made this <i managed to underproof the loaves resulting in tasy but far too dense bread.

This is a 1/4 of a boule I made using that formula but with less WW and some oat flour.

holds99's picture
holds99

Kuret,

Thanks for the explanation.  I just mixed the flours with the water for the autolyse and after autolyse I'll finish mixing and retard it overnight, per your suggestion. 

Thanks again,

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

mariana's picture
mariana

 

Hi,

so far, I baked four items from that book: hamburger buns, blueberry muffins, bran muffins and crumb coffee-cake. The muffins and coffee cake were excellent as is; however, for hamburguer buns I had to increase water substantially, to achieve the right dough hydration and feel. All four recipes were excellent, even extraordinary. I will eventually bake everything from that book, including Michel's pastry recipes for cakes and cookies. I feel they are very reliable.

 Hamburger buns (M.Suas)

Dough consitency and degree of gluten development (intensive mix) for hamburguer buns

Blueberry muffins (M.Suas)

 

Bran muffins (M. Suas)

Raspberry coffee-cake with crumb topping (M. Suas)

 

mariana

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Your pbotos look terrific and your baked goods look delicous.  So glad to hear that the book is really good. I fully understand that the book was written for professional bakers but I wish he had given his measurements for the test batches in decimal percentages instead of fractions so I wouldn't have to convert them to get accurate scaling of the ingredients.  

I decided to read a good portion of it before baking from it.  It really is on the scale of gastronomique, for bakers.  I am baking my first recipe from it, sourdough whole wheat bread, later this morning.  The dough felt perfect when I was doing the stretch and folds last night.  I'll see how it turns out later when I pull the dough out of the fridge (after a 12 hour retardation) and divide, shape and bake. 

 Your hamburger buns look great.  I will definitely make the hamburger buns now that I have seen your photos.  I'm so tired of the poor quality supermarket variety. They keep making them smaller and raising the price,  Thanks again for posting those excellent photos. 

EDIT: Thanks for the hydration tip on the hamburger buns.  Kuret mentioned the same issue, insufficient hydration, in some of the recipes.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

mariana's picture
mariana

 

Dear Howard,

I agree with you that the way the test batches are represented in the book makes them nearly useless for the home baker. On the other hand, I got so used to the fact that no book is perfect that I recaclulate amounts for my own needs without complaints now. The book itself is wonderful and the only other flaw that I have found are the instructions for braiding that I don't really understand. But that may be my own personal flaw, not of Michel's instructions.  The braiding instructions for complex shapes of challah and other braided loaves, along with regional shapes and weights of French breads and other things, are on the publisher's website as additional study material for the book.

Dough hydration issue, again, might be  related to my flour, not to the recipe itself. Our canadian bread flour is very strong, has rather low humidity and high capacity to absorb water due to the peculiarities of milling process and wheat protein. Oftentimes, I have to increase water up to 30% in order to obtain a workable dough when I work with given recipes. In winter, when the air is very dry, it gets worse. In winter I sometimes get the impression that my flour has negative humidity, for it sucks water like crazy. Michel bakes in San-Francisco, where humidity is much higher, the air there is cool and moist, so he needs less water to hydrate dough to the proper consistency.

I wish you the best of success with the sourdough whole wheat bread today, Howard. I might as well bake it today, to make you company : ) I will go and take a look at the recipe right now.

mariana

holds99's picture
holds99

Don't misunderstand, I love the book.  It is the most complete and thorough baking book that I have ever seen or used...and I have most of the recent books (BBA, Crust and Crumb, Bread, Bread Bible, Artisan Baking, etc.) and some of the older ones (Clayton's New Complete book, Julia, Beard, etc.). 

I agree with your analysis of the hydration problem.  It could and probably is, to a degree, geographical.  However, 30% is a major deviation.  Anyway, I think with some degree of experience you know the look and feel that is needed and can, therefore, compensate for variations in humidity or errors in the recipe.  I still keep finding errors in recipes from nearly every book from which I bake...and just keep marking and correcting them on the page.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

holds99's picture
holds99

 Today I made Michel Suas&#39; Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread from his book Advanced Bread and Pastry.  I was pleased with the results.  Although Mr. Suas book is written primarily for the professional baker his book is an amazing book, which covers both bread and pastry with an interesting history of bread making and many photos, illustrations and much detail re: techniques.Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Michel Suas Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread - Advanced Bread and Pastry:

Mariana,

As I mentioned previously, today I made Michel Suas' Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread from his book Advanced Bread and Pastry.  I was pleased with the results.  Although Mr. Suas book is written primarily for the professional baker his book is an amazing book, which covers both bread and pastry with an interesting history of bread making and many photos, illustrations and much detail re: techniques.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

Don't expect the water absorption rate of all bread flours to be the same.  Last year we were using bread flour produced by a local flour company, and there were several bags of organic all winter flour that absorbed a great deal of water.  That caught us off guard a bit, but we were abled to correct this.  On the next order of the same type of flour, we didn't see this problem again.  I suspect it could of been a batch of wheat that was not harvested at the right time or maybe it was from a different farmer.  Professional bakers tend to face this problem from time to time.  The main thing is that you want the final dough to have the right feel.  Usually, a bread recipe/formula should tell you how the final dough should feel.

dougal's picture
dougal

Has anyone noticed that SteveB's lovely buttercup Pain de Campagne has a couple of deviations from the AB&B formula?

SteveB doesn't add salt to his preferment, even though the formula does.

And SteveB leaves out the "malt" that the formula specifies. (!!!)

Both of these are perfectly reasonable improvements, IMHO.

And personally, I prefer Steve's 4 petals to the fussy 8 that AB&P illustrates.

Thanks too to Steve for supplying the important detail seemingly missing from the book, about proving upside down in a banneton.

 

 

You may also notice that the AB&P formula calls for "Bread Flour" and SteveB uses All Purpose. 

But that isn't an alteration !! !!!

Because when they say "Bread Flour" in ANY of the formulas in AP&B, that "refers to low protein bread flour, having approximately 11 to 12 percent protein".

French-style bread flour. Not US-style "Bread Flour"! 

Is that important enough to flag up prominently in a US book?

Personally, I would think so.

But they don't. "Bread Flour" doesn't seem to be in the index either, so that doesn't help you to find this definition.

 

Nevertheless, I expect everyone else must have managed to find this without any difficulty - and (like SteveB) used the proper stuff.

Its in the untitled second paragraph from the bottom of the page.

And you have all found that page, haven't you? 

 

Although it just possibly might explain the hydration differences and difficulties that people report above...