The Fresh Loaf

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Du pain et des idees

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

Du pain et des idees

Hello everybody! Been lurking here for a bit and looking forward to joining the discussion here!

In Paris there's a pretty famous bakery, Du pain et des idees. Their 'house' bread is called pain de amis.

I'd like to try to make something similar to it. Here's a video from the bakery: https://vimeo.com/60856705

You can see the bread just after the 01:55 mark.

 

I've had the bread before and what I like is the crumb structure and the crust to crumb ratio (being quite flat and all). And if I remember correctly, even though the crust is dark, it isn't too crunchy.

First thing is the shaping. How would you shape a bread like that?

Also any guess on hydration?

All contributions welcome!

(For plenty of photos just google Pain de amis)

 

nmygarden's picture
nmygarden

Great video, thank you for sharing it with us! Christophe clearly loves his work, and apparently, so do Parisians.

The loaves came out of the oven without a pan or sheet under them, but the shape is quite regular, enough so that it looks as though it was proofed in a tray. There seems to be greater definition between the sections where he slices, more so than scoring would produce  - perhaps they were shaped individually and placed side by side? Looks wonderful!

Cathy

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

Thanks for the reply Cathy! I agree that it may have been proofed in a tray. I tought maybe you

were on to something with induvidual pieces. After looking at a few photos however I dont think thats the case (take a look at the photo I added in my original post). 

I did read somewhere that the idea came when he was behind on work one morning and did'nt have time to shape baguettes and he baked it like that. 

Lets see if any other ideas come through..

 

 

 

 

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Thanks for posting this.  The vimeo is enchanting.  M. Vasseur's product resembles that made by Roland Feuillas in Cucugnan (FR) (described by Sam Fromartz in In Search of the Perfect Loaf).  It looks as though the dough is just laid out flat and gently stretched into "shape" before the final proof.  Then, if I'm not mixing up the processes shown in the video, he (or she, in the video) scores it lightly with a croissant cutter that leaves lines perpendicular to the long dimension of the loaves, where they get sliced after baking.  What's really striking is his use of 0.7% levain -- that's bold, a good 10x lower than customary.  So there may be a very long final proof.  The bread is somewhat dense compared to currently fashionable airy loaves.  I'd guess no more the 80% hydration.

What is most intriguing is the color of the baked loaves.  The crumb has a chestnut yellow-brown cast (varies from image to image online of course) that is hard to place.  Almost like there's some buckwheat or durum in it but I doubt it.   Probably just a high extraction, very fine wheat flour, amply fermented and minimally oxidized. 

These focaccia-like  shapes (Vasseur's and Feuillas's) must make great sandwiches, having the maximal crust:crumb ratio (surface:volume), even greater than that of a cylindrical baguette.  And the long proof and color suggest the flavor must be special.

Thanks again for the post.  Next time I'm in the 10˚ Arr near Republique :-)  David Lebowitz raves about the place, which is a good sign.

t

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

I'll have to take a look at that book. Is the feuillas process in the book or did you find it somewhere else? 

If you go,  stop by La verre vole for a glass of wine and something to eat while you're there! 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I keep losing the post when my phone automatically refreshes the page. :/

So here goes again. This bread is fermented for two days and uses only wheat from what I read on some sites. He also uses only 2 grams of yeast per kg.  More info on this site below. Hope you can read French. 

https://www.pluris.fr/com/?p=2&conid=69&slg=2

This has info in English

http://www.escargotdiary.com/2012/02/du-pain-et-des-idees-le-pain-des-amis.html?m=1

and this has a really nice close up of the crust and crumb. 

https://studiosaveur.com/2016/02/17/bread-passion-du-pain-et-des-idees/

He says that he uses T65 flour so here is a link that might help you come up with an equivalent. 

http://aulevain.canalblog.com/archives/2008/08/21/10304760.html

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

Nice!  Thanks for not giving up!  Lots of good info.  Very surprised about the yeast. I actually started baking after having that bread.  Didn't even occur to me that it could be yeast only. 

Or do you think it's both? 

Can't read french,  but gooogle translate kinda works. Will look into it a bit more when I get home.  Would love to find more about the bread.  I guess if I was a more experienced baker I could figure things out myself better. 

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Here is a translation of the French link:

"His "Pain des Amis" was created by chance 5 years ago. "It was a bread that I served at home to my buddies; one night, there was nothing left so I took a dough that was very roasted (note: torrified is the word he used which translates to roasted) and quite fermented. Since it wasn't a good looking bread, I gave it to them. The next day, they came back wanting to buy some.

Christopher's recipe is very simple: very little yeast, "2 grams, when a traditional French baguette contains 10, and in 1960, we used to put 70 of yeast for one kilo of white bread", a dough that ferments for 2 days and flour of type 65 from environmental friendly agriculture. "When I start using unbleached flours or whole grain flours (higher than 65 like rye, spelt, chestnut, country (note: mix of wheat with 10% rye), I systematically take organic or bio-dynamic flours, that are stone milled to keep the minerals and trace elements intact." "A good bread, is the result of first quality ingredients and of time" concludes Christophe. "

Please note that the comments in brackets with "Note" are from me.

A couple of questions arise from this. For example, what type of yeast is he using? Instant, active dry, fresh? I don't think he is using sourdough but who knows?

And what does he mean by a well roasted or torrified dough? Does it mean well baked?

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

Thank you for translating. Are you French with excellent English or are you English with excellent French? 

I'm gonna try to bake something like this when I get back to work. Unfortunatly more than a week from now. Will post here later. Really like like to try to make this bread. In the meantime I'm gonna do some more research!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

My parents are from France and I was raised in a little French Canadian town until the age of 11 when we moved to our present town which is English. So I did part of my schooling in French and the rest in English. I also have a university degree in French and Spanish although I have pretty well lost my Spanish due to lack of usage. 

My profession is in education where I spent 21 years teaching French Immersion before going into administration so I speak and write both languages fluently with no obvious accent. 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

I don't recall how much of Feuillas's process Fromartz covers.  The YouTubes show some key features (e.g., his ancient proofing cabinet and unusual shaping/cutting).  Fromartz mostly focuses on Feuillas's source of wheat from a remote patch of organic ground in the L-R outback.

If Vasseur really uses T-65, then Malliard may be coloring the crumb, which would be pretty heroic, not to mention fabulously tasty.  "Maple syrup and chestnut" as one site describes.  Indeed, that would fit with his crumb structure:  reduced alveoli diameters < weakened dough < ultra long fermentation (although "2 days" is imprecise and not uncommon with an overnight retard) > protease activity > free aminos > maximal Malliard.

tdb

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

Love that profing cabinet.

I bake alot but don't know a whole lot about it yet. Alveoli, protease activety etc is something I havn't the clue about. You wouldnt have a book recommendation for all that?

Then about the shaping. I wonder if he just turn out the dough from a proofing box the same size as the bread, tucks in the sides. I was wondering if there is a 'classic' shape to learn from or is his completley original?

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

I apologize for the terminology.  Alveoli are just the 'holes' in a bread's crumb.  The microbes in your levain release proteases (enzymes that degrade proteins) as fermentation proceeds.  This is good thing because it provides free amino acids (the product of degrading the proteins) that can participate, with sugars, in Malliard Reactions which are the key reactions for producing diverse and complex flavors (in any cooked food at low moisture and high enough temperature  -- mostly surfaces of bread [crust], and meats for that matter).  This is where management of fermentation becomes such a challenging, essential and ultimately rewarding skill for the baker.  Too much protease activity and the gluten needed to maintain the alveoli walls and thus an 'open' crumb becomes too degraded and your bread becomes dense, or at least denser.  The 'finger poke test' of proofing dough works for some people.  But mostly its attentiveness to the dough and intuition that comes from experience.

Bread books: Every TFL member is asked to list her or his in the profile.  You can find all of them there.  Emily Buehler's Bread Science covers a lot of the chemistry.  Peter Reinhart is in the end more of a baking teacher than a baker, so his books have more background than some.  But he's no chemist.  Ken Forkish is smart and his books are good for both background and formulae.  And Jeff Hammelman's Bread is just about everybody's go-to.  He rescued me when I thought I'd never 'get' it.

All these books have a section on shaping.  Vasseur's is extremely atypical.  However, absolutely nothing in bread baking can be considered "completely original".  There's nothing new under the sun in bread baking.  People rediscover old ways and vary the components in as many ways as there are bakers baking.  But it's all been done before somewhere.  Vasseur's shaping is not only similar to Feuillas's but akin to middle eastern flat breads (although they're flatter), like traditional Persian loaves.

tdb

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

Not at all! Just getting in to baking. So this is very helpful indeed! 

So proteases breaks down protein and essentialy turns into/makes amino acids that, together with sugars, help with the browning. Go to far and the gluten will break down aswell?

What breaks down the gluten then when/if you take it too far? Is it the same proteases enzymes?

I will definitly check out peoples book recommendations. Bread science sounds interesting. I have the ken forkish one.

As for shaping. I'll just have to give it a think. Feuillas's was indeed similar...

 

 

 

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Forgive me if this is overly pedantic.  I teach biology.

Proteins are just long chains of different amino acids attached together end-to-end.  Gluten is a protein (actually two different proteins, but no matter).  Proteases are nature's way of recycling proteins' components to make new proteins as needed.  Yeast and bacteria (in sourdough starters, for example) make proteases, just like every other living cell.  But these bugs release them into the surrounding medium (here, the dough).  They tend to do this more and more as your dough's fermentation is approaching its limit.  Let it go too far and your dough loses its structure and ability to hold gas because gluten protein networks help contain the air bubbles that give dough its lightness.  No gluten, no air bubbles, dense bread.  But we want some protease activity to occur to release amino acids that are substrates for the Malliard Reactions.  These are very complex chemical reactions that give bread crust its color and wonderful flavor.  It's why we like to toast our bread:  toasting enables Malliard chemistry because of the high, dry heat.  There are 'browning' reactions that are not the same thing -- carmelization and searing of meat, etc.  They create special and desireable flavors too but different and far less varied and subtle than the near infinite complexity of Malliard reactions. 

My guess is that Vasseur has discovered a sweet spot where he gets Malliard products in the crumb of pain de amis without compromising the crumb's texture.  But that's a guess.  Maybe there's more than just wheat flour, water, salt and levain in his formula.  I read that his doughs are naturally levained (i.e., sourdoughs) but other posts suggest he uses commercial yeast.  Maybe he uses both -- not uncommon among French bourlangers.

Tom

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

I saw that you teach biology in your profile. Very intresting this. I work as a chef and have been for about 12 years. Did not know that carmelization and Maillard reaction was separate things. Will never look at a steak the same way again!

So I'm trying to understand this visually. Would it be correct to say that when you ferment the dough amino acids gradually gets separated from the gluten/protein chain, enhancing maillard, but later (if you ferment for to long) leaving too little "bonded" gluten to hold the air bubbles in their place?

Hope this doesn't feel too much like work for you. 

 

 

 

tilt's picture
tilt

It should be noted that the Maillard reaction slows down in an acidic environment, that is why it is difficult to toast a piece of "sour" sourdough, the lactic acid has shifted the PH too far.

 

the "caramelisation" of a piece of meat is the Maillard reaction too, 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

You've got it exactly right, about gluten, proteases, amino acids and Malliard.  A+ :-)

May I recommend:  On Food & Cooking by Harold McGee?  He is one of if not the most knowledgeable writers today on the science underlying food and cooking.  He has a couple other books and contributes regularly to magazines and newspapers.  He covers Malliard versus carmelization and many other topics that it wouldn't hurt a professional chef to understand, at the physical/chemical level.  And he's a very entertaining writer as well.  There are other similar books published since (see the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section there -- some do sound intriguing!) and I know nothing about these.  Full disclosure: I knew Hal McGee years ago when the first edition of OFAC was gestating and can attest to his competence and writing chops.

Tom

Tomasrei's picture
Tomasrei

Finally an A! Only 15 years too late.

I have On food and cooking actually. Herve this is another person of interest, maybe for you? He's professor of physical chemistry at Institut national de la recherche agronomique in paris. I often see McGee and This interlinked. On food & cooking is hard to beat though.

See you around. And thanks alot for explaining some of the science on proteins and amino acidsand proteases. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and Crarmelization.  The other thing they have in common is both only take place in the absence of water and work faster with heat.

With the Maillard reaction, proteins / amino acids (proteins are chains of amino acids) react with a reducing sugar to brown foods once the water is removed.  Meat is mainly protein so the Maillard reaction  is what produces mist of the browning once the water on the surface of the meat is removed and why chefs always say to pat the meat dry first before browning it in a hit pan.  The Maillard reaction can take place at low temperatures but the process is very slow but at temperatures above 284 F to 329 F the browning process is rapid.

Caramelization is the browning of sugars by pyrolysis at temperatures over 340 F once  water is removed.   While there is some Maillard browning taking place in bread baking on the crust of bread once water on the surface of the crust is evaporated, almost all of the browning in bread baking is due to caramelization and pyrolysis.  Since flour is about 12 % protein (amino acids) and dough is about 70% water, there is about 7% protein in dough that can react with reducing sugars to brown the proteins.  But, the vast majority of flour and dough is made up of starch and carbs that are broken down into sugars which brown at temperatures over 340 F.  Since bread crust is baked at high temperatures, 450 F and is made up of mostly residual sugar and not protein, it is carmelization that  browns the crust once the surface water is evaporated off.

You will notice that there is no browning of the crust at the beginning of baking when steam is applied to the surface of the bread.  There is plenty of sugar and very high temperatures to allow caramelization but the there is water being applied to surface of the crust with stream so no browning takes place at this time.  As soon as the steam is removed, the residual sugar in the crust quickly browns.

The crumb never browns with the Maillard reaction or caramelization because the water in the crumb is not removed to allow these processes to take place and why the crumb stays its normal color if you don't way over bake it, burning the bread enough to get rid of the water in the crumb - a very bad thing indeed and something no baker would ever do:-) .  

So when you think browning meat it is mainly the Maillard rection at work but when it comes to bread baking it is almost all caramelization and pyrolysis at work browning the crust but never the crumb.  That doesn't mean the amino acids and proteins in bread aren't browned by the Maillard reaction i the crust if bread once the steam and water is removed - they are and they contribute to the complex and robust flavors in the crust of bread and why the crust is way more flavorful than the crumb where no browning reactions of any kind take place due to water always being present.  Now you know why toasted b read always tastes better too - because it has been browned!

Scientists have also looked very closely at the enzymes in flour and those produced by both yeast and LAB in sourdough and their actual affects during the normal bread making process if regular yeast and SD breads.  What they have found is that adverse and detrimental protease activity that breaks down gluten in dough turning it into goo is almost never, ever an issue in white yeast breads and hardy ever is an issue in whole grain SD bread either.

In normal bread making process, bakers want some potease gluten degradation to take place to make the gluten structure less elastic and more extensible.  This is exactly what they get in the bread making process.  When bread is properly fermented and proofed it is ready for the oven long before any detrimental protease activity can take place that destroys the gluten structure.  White flour has much of the protease enzymes removed in the normal milling process. But the acid in SD breads also restricts protease activity as well.

The other thing that restricts protease and other enzymes in flour and produced by wee beasties is temperature.  High temperatures generally denature them say over 150 F and low temperatures in the fridge below 41 F also slow their activity dramatically.   This is why you can put white bread dough in the fridge for days and bake later with little ill effects taking place and why yo can retard whole grain breads, even rye ones, for 24 hours.

That doesn't mean that there are no circumstances where protease activity won;t degrade the gluten to the go stage but not normal baking process has this as a possible outcome.  If you don't leave a whole grain bread out on the counter to ferment or proof for a ridiculous amount of time that no baker would do - Protease problems just aren't an issue - no matter how much novice bakers fear it and bakers like to talk theoretically about it

Here are some links on the above and happy worry free baking to all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caramelization

http://www.classofoods.com/page1_7.HTML 

Grigio's picture
Grigio

It's been over a year since we were able to travel to Paris and eat Christophe Vasseur's pain des amis.  His book in French does not appear to be in stock anywhere and I'm wondering if the original poster was able to find a way to approximate this bread at home?  Perhaps someone reading this has.  

The baker makes clear in the excerpts from the book on his website that "even with a competition oven, you will not be able to reproduce in your home the bread that your bakers makes.  The best results...are obtained with the natural and well-insulated refractory mass of a professional baker's oven."

I'm not looking for a reproduction, just some degree of approximation.  His bread is divine and unlike any I've ever had.