Posted by: Jonjon | May 3, 2009

French Bread 8/10 good French bread but did not taste as good as Italian bread, but did turn stale quite quickly and internal texture was very strong







French Bread 8/10 good French bread but did not taste as good as Italian bread, but did turn stale quite quickly and internal texture was very strong
http://www.applepiepatispate.com/bread/peter-reinharts-french-bread/

Biga 69% water ,0.4% yeast ,to bread flour,
200% biga to bread flour and salt and 0.4% yeast to bread flour ,

2 1/4 cups (283g) unbleached bread flour 142
3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 1/4 teaspoon
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (198g) water, at room temperature 99g
Notes:
* Reinhart suggests half all-purpose and half bread flour, but I like the extra chewiness from using 100% bread flour (King Arthur Bread Flour).
* The suggested amount of water is 6 to 7 ounces and I went with the higher amount initially. Since I used 100% bread flour, the dough will be able to take more water due to the higher protein content in the flour.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until the dough comes together and knead until it goes from a sticky mess to a smooth ball.
Don’t worry too much about developing the gluten at this point.
Let rise in a sealed container for about 1 hour at room temperature or until it expands to 1 1/2 times its size.
Knead lightly for about a minute and return to the sealed container. Keep in the refrigerator overnight. The pre-ferment will be usable for up to 3 days, although I tend to get nervous when it’s been sitting around for more than 24 hours. Sometimes it seems like it’s about to pop out of the container and spill all over the vegetables and eggs in my refrigerator. Not that it’s ever happened before. Be sure that your container can handle a volume at least 3 times as big as the dough.
For the final dough:

All of the pâte fermentée
2 1/4 cups (283g) unbleached bread flour 142g
3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 and 1/8 Tsp
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 1/4 teaspoon
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (198g) water, at room temperature 99g
Notes:

* The new dough is identical to the pâte fermentée formula. Pre-fermenting half of the final dough is one of many techniques used to achieve a fully developed flavor.
French Bread bubbly pre-ferment – pâte fermentée
Take your pre-fermented dough out of the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for about 1 hour to take off the chill. It will be bubbly and may continue to rise in your container.
French Bread pre-ferment pieces – pâte fermentée
Cut up the pre-ferment into small pieces and mix with the second half.
Knead for about 10 minutes. I favor the kneading technique demonstrated in this video. Richard Bertinet is shown working on a sweet dough recipe but the technique also works well for our baguette dough.
In a lightly oiled container, ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
It’s very important to put some oil in the container so the dough doesn’t stick when extracting from the bowl later. It should come out as one well-formed blob and feel very slightly sticky to the touch. From this point on, handle the dough as gently as possible to keep the bubbles within from deflating.
Use a weighing scale and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. It’s okay to cut off small bits of dough to evenly distribute.
The next step is arguably the most difficult.
Proof the shaped baguettes with the seam side up at room temperature for 45 to 75 minutes or until it expands to 1 1/2 times its size. The loaves in the picture are settled in a floured linen couche, but parchment paper can be used in the same manner. This will keep the loaves from flattening out and help maintain a tubular shape.
Preheat your oven to 500°F (260C) with a steam pan, preferably cast iron, in the bottom of the oven. I have a dedicated cast iron skillet used solely for creating steam in the oven. Don’t use your well
Transfer the proofed baguettes onto parchment paper on the back of a sheet pan. The seams previously on top should now be on the bottom.
Scored French baguettes ready to be baked
Score the baguettes. Imagine a line running down the top of the loaves. Using a very sharp knife or a bread slashing tool called a lamé, create incisions about half an inch deep that overlap and run almost parallel to the imaginary line running down the center of the loaves. Cuts that run from side to side will barely expand because long loaves tend to widen instead of lengthen as a result of oven spring.

Load the oven with the sheet pan or transfer the loaves onto a hot baking stone. Pour 2 cups of boiling water onto the steam pan and immediately close the oven door. Lower the oven to 450°F (232C) and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the loaves 180 degrees and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes until the crust turns golden brown.

Place the baguettes on a cooling rack for about 1 hour. Try to keep yourself from biting the crackly ends off straight from the oven. Each baguette will tip the scales at the traditional weight of approximately 250 grams.

Conclusion
This did not have much flavor, did not have the alcoholic smell from fermented yeast like the Italian bread. However, the texture was very strong like the typical French bread. Strong crusts, strong inside texture.

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