The Fresh Loaf

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Bernard Clayton's Breads of France --Poilaine loaf

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trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Bernard Clayton's Breads of France --Poilaine loaf

I have been using this recipe for my Poilaine miche. I have looked at the BA recipe and wonder at the huge difference in the two. I am not "wasteful" and hate the idea of throwing away so much flour. I have read a lot of the posts here and several others have said the same. I can't find any mention of the Clayton recipe. Any insight and/or personal experience with the Breads of France would be greatly appreciated.


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, trailrunner.

I don't have Clayton's book, but I've made the Reinhart and the Leader versions of pain Poilane many times. Can you post Clayton's recipe or describe the "huge difference in the two?"

How are you wasting flour?

David

plevee's picture
plevee

This was one of my favorite books before I started baking mainly sourdough. I liked the Poilane loaf, but always used half the yeast. The Honfleur bread was even better: it was my daily bread for several years, but again I didn't use the full amout of yeast


Most of the recipes I tried from this book were very good - the currant rolls are also excellent.


Patsy

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

 I think the recipe in the BA could be perceived to be  wasteful since you have days of feeding and throwing away of the flour/water mixture. In the Clayton book he makes a starter and lets it set for 24 hrs then feeds it and lets it set for 24 hrs and then places all of the starter in the dough and kneads/rises and shapes/rises and bakes. I feel like there is somewhat of an after taste this time due perhaps to the higher alcohol content from the growth of the starter. The bread has a beautiful crust and crumb.


 


starter : 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast, 1c warm water, 1T nonfat instant dry milk powder, 1c whole wheat flour


mix and let set covered for 24 hrs. room temp 75 degrees


 sponge:  Take all of starter and add 2 c warm water and 3 c bread flour


let set covered 24 hrs. room temp 75 degrees


 


Dough: all of sponge add 1 T salt and 3 or more cups bread flour til soft and pliant when kneaded. rise  2 hrs and de gas and shape in cloth lined basket and rise 2 hrs and bake 425 for 40 min or til 205 degrees.


 


I can't get a picture to show up from my photobucket. Any suggestions ?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, trailrunner.


What you describe from Clayton is not really a sourdough starter (with its added yeast). I don't really know what to call it. The alcohol smell you describe is from fermentation by the yeast of the sugars released by soaking the flour. A real sourdough starter has a "sour" smell that should be pretty complex. The alcohol smell is one you get early on in growing your starter, but it lessens after the first few days. (It may take a week or more to get a new starter fully mature and ready to make bread.)


The "waste" you seem to be referring to in Reinhart's method is not truly part of the pain Poilane recipe; it is how to grow your own (true) sourdough starter (levain). Please realize that you only need to do this once. After that, you can use the starter (with regular feedings) for the next few hundred years.


At this point, I suggest you do some reading on sourdough starters and sourdough breads. There is quite a bit of information on TFL. You could look at Mike Avery's sourdoughhome.com web site for more good background information.


There are so many different ways of developing a starter! Not to mention simply purchasing one, which may be the least "wasteful."


David

plevee's picture
plevee

Your post temped me to look at Breads of France again. It's a really good book & for SteveB & the other folks who made this bread there's a recipe for & picture of Pain de Beaucaire. It look just like SteveB's actually!


Patsy

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Patsy, thanks for the heads-up.  I'll have to see if I can find a copy at the local library.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

David is right.  What you are describing is more like a biga or some other form of preferment.  A sourdough starter does not have any added yeast.  It contains wild yeast that it picks up from the air.  The Reinhart starter may seem wasteful, but once you have a starter going, you can keep a very small amount (Mini Oven keeps about one tablespoon) and bulk it up when you need it for a recipe. 


There are a lot of posts around here about what people do with their discard starter when they refresh their sourdough.  For those of us who are frugal, there are always ways to use it instead of wasting it.  I recently began keeping a jar of discard starter in my fridge that I plan to use for some of the sourdough sweet bread recipes posted on TFL, or just to toss into other recipes for a bit of flavor.


A warning about sourdough:  once you get bit by the wild yeast bug, you may find the instant yeast in your refrigerator going to waste!

plevee's picture
plevee

Breads of France has no sourdough recipes. Many of the breads  have a "starter" which is actually a sort of yeasted pre-ferment. He admits his version of the Poilane miche uses a starter he, Clayton, developed, but says Poilane approved the recipe!


Patsy

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

You are all great to take the time to answer. I know that it isn't a sourdough recipe / wild yeast. I have used lots of preferment recipes. I use poolish and biga recipes quite often  .


 


That said , I mainly use regular yeasted/kneaded recipes. I have been bakiing bread for 35 years and started with traditional recipes that required 2 pgks yeast and 7 c bread flour. It is easy to get in a rut !! I did do another search and found that I can let the starter go way down and then build it back when ready. Thank you gaaarp and david I really do appreciate the response. And yes Patsy , Clayton spent a lot of time with Poilaine in the 70's and then developed this starter/sponge recipe to try and capture the essence of the bread recipe with out the making of wild yeast as they were doing in France.


 


I will be looking at the other uses of the "discard" for flavor in other breads etc. Great suggestion. Thanks again. I do need to do lots more research. Caroline