June 25, 2013 - 7:36am
Pain au Bacon
Here's my first attempt at Pain au Bacon from Ken Forkish's book "Flour, Water, Salt Yeast". I made a few differences to his process to suit my needs, the two biggest being use of a mechanical mixer (DLX) rather than the turns technique, and also a cooler overnight bulk fermentation. He espouses "room temperature" (but doesn't say what it is), and I have found that if I do that, the dough runs away overnight. I did the bulk fermentation overnight at 12C for 13 hours, then 4 hours at a room temperature of 21C once shaped. I think these were a bit under proofed, but I had time constraints so needed to bake them. Could probably have done with another hour proofing. For mixing, I used a "wet knead" approach (stolen from Jeff Varasano's pizza dough process) , doing first a 30 minutes autolyse with 75% of the flour and all the water, then adding the salt and levain and mixing for five minutes prior to adding the rest of the flour. I then let it mix for 10 minutes more, then let it stand for 10 minutes and incorporated the bacon fat and bacon itself. My bacon is ( I think) totally different to what Forkish uses. I was using 500g of English back bacon, so there's a lot of meat there - about half a pound per boule. Probably too much in honesty…..next time I will do this with streaky bacon which is closer to what I think of as American bacon. These boules didn't spring as much as I wanted, but the crumb is light and airy anyway. I managed to accidentally degas the dough way more than I wanted when I tipped it out from the bulk fermentation container, and I also found it quite hard to get the normal structural folds into the loaves and get the right tension due to all the big chunks of bacon. Fixing those, plus an hour or so longer proofing should improve results next time. Anyway, still warm out of the oven and spread with a bit of butter, this is absolutely sublime! I've had two slices already and am restraining myself from going to grab some more so there is some left for the rest of the family when they get home. Tomorrow's lunch will be a slice of this toasted with some softly scrambled egg on top….