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  #11  
Old 05-06-2008, 05:53 AM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

Jim, I agree. Last weekend I made a batch of a l'ancienne using the cheapest bread flour on the supermarket shelf -- General Mills Harvest King. The bread came out absolutely wonderful. My previous batch had been an over hydrated and over kneaded King Arthur Bread Flour. The K'Art batch was dense and without much oven spring. So, yes, it's not really about the flour, as long as you are using flour that is in the ballpark.

ps: I love making rolls (4" round) with the a l'ancienne. The crust to crumb is very high compared with loaves.
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2008, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

What are the tricks to a really good pain a l'ancienne? I can think of a few.

Overnight
Ice water
Hit the really high hydration mark
Gentle dough handling
Getting the extremely wet dough into a basic baguette shape without destroying it

Any other ideas?

On the flour, I really like the Unbleached Artisan Bread flour (I haven't ordered the organic, though I probably should) and the Whole Wheat Stone Ground (medium). The white flour makes a good baguette -- where you don't want a really heavy flour.

My two cents.
James
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

A good healthy helping of flour on your work surface...to go with gentle dough handling...when we made our best ancienne the water was about 34 degrees...so the ice water is paramount...and IMHO I don't think you can get it too cold...as for flour type...if you know how far you can hydrate your flour before ending up with batter I think you can make great bread, like our ovens heating characteristics, flours have different breaking points...most important thing to us about flour is that it is fresh...my $.02
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Dutch

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
What are the tricks to a really good pain a l'ancienne? I can think of a few.

Overnight
Ice water
Hit the really high hydration mark
Gentle dough handling
Getting the extremely wet dough into a basic baguette shape without destroying it

Any other ideas?

On the flour, I really like the Unbleached Artisan Bread flour (I haven't ordered the organic, though I probably should) and the Whole Wheat Stone Ground (medium). The white flour makes a good baguette -- where you don't want a really heavy flour.

My two cents.
James
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2008, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

I agree....made some rolls with left over scraps one time and they were fantastic....ciabatta is also great with this method
Dutch



I love making rolls (4" round) with the a l'ancienne. The crust to crumb is very high compared with loaves.[/QUOTE]
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2008, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

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A good healthy helping of flour on your work surface...to go with gentle dough handling...
I'll second that. I'm making a boule for dinner tonight and accidently added too much water (70%). My "dough" was more like batter, but I put a lot of flour on the counters and made the boule shape without destroying the dough.

We'll see how it comes out.
James
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2008, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

James, who makes the Unbleached Artisan Bread flour that you mentioned? Richard
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2008, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

Giusto's Home Page - Welcome to Giusto's Specialty Foods. Highly recommended for bread.
James
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2008, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

Last week I made a ciabatta (73% hydration, minimal handling) following the general methods in the Hamelman Bread Book. The flour was 40% Caputo and 60% Giusto's Baker's Choice. I baked it at ~475*F in my wood fired oven to an internal temperature of 203-05*F. I got good reviews from my wife and a few friends who were able to eat it a few hours after it was baked. The crumb was open and had a nice shine to it; the crust was a nice brown and was initially a bit crunchy but became hard by the next morning - it had been stored in a open plastic, food grade bag. The ciabatta was good, not great in the first few hours -but a bit tough after 12 hours. I am a bit disappointed in that it didn't have a really crispy-crunchy crust that lasted more than a short while. I've been to restaurants recently that serve a ciabatta like bread that is more light crust on the outside and open light crumb on the inside. (The flavor wasn't as good as the bread I'm making; it seems like the makers of the restaurant bread didn't use a biga that hydrolyzed the wheat starches for 12-16 hours.) Soooo- from previous postings, I know handling is critical. Any thoughts? Maybe more Caputo = 60+% to 40-% Giusto's? I'll try hardly folding or handling the dough at all, too. I'll try again Thursday, 7/3. Thanks, Richard
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  #19  
Old 07-01-2008, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

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Originally Posted by MoonshineBaker View Post
Last week I made a ciabatta (73% hydration, minimal handling) following the general methods in the Hamelman Bread Book. The flour was 40% Caputo and 60% Giusto's Baker's Choice. I baked it at ~475*F in my wood fired oven to an internal temperature of 203-05*F. I got good reviews from my wife and a few friends who were able to eat it a few hours after it was baked. The crumb was open and had a nice shine to it; the crust was a nice brown and was initially a bit crunchy but became hard by the next morning - it had been stored in a open plastic, food grade bag. The ciabatta was good, not great in the first few hours -but a bit tough after 12 hours. I am a bit disappointed in that it didn't have a really crispy-crunchy crust that lasted more than a short while. I've been to restaurants recently that serve a ciabatta like bread that is more light crust on the outside and open light crumb on the inside. (The flavor wasn't as good as the bread I'm making; it seems like the makers of the restaurant bread didn't use a biga that hydrolyzed the wheat starches for 12-16 hours.) Soooo- from previous postings, I know handling is critical. Any thoughts? Maybe more Caputo = 60+% to 40-% Giusto's? I'll try hardly folding or handling the dough at all, too. I'll try again Thursday, 7/3. Thanks, Richard
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  #20  
Old 07-01-2008, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: for pain a l'ancienne, is there anything better than kingArt's bread flour?

What do our pro bakers think?

I need a minute to put my thoughts together. I don't think the blend should make a huge difference -- though more of the Tipo 00 will make the Ciabatta lighter.

Autolyse? How long did your dough ferment?
Really light handling? A gentle tri-fold?
You could try a lot hotter oven -- 550F, where you shoot for the caramel brown color on the crust.

How long was the bake? I'm thinking the oven could be hotter.

Again, what do our pro's think?
James
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