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Pain a la Ancienne & Temps - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Pain a la Ancienne & Temps

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  • Pain a la Ancienne & Temps


    Further to our exchange about hearth brick temps and baguette, I baked a dozen yesterday. I'll try to post pics later. The brick temp on the hearth was 695 F, dome 600, cladding 400. The breads baked to an internal temperature of 208 F in eight minutes. The top crust was dark caramel, the bottoms of the loaves were I can only call it whitened, and both the oven spring and crumb where phenomenal. The gluten cell walls were very clearly defined and caramel coloured as well. This works, but you have to pay very close attention and make sure you've reached the proper internal temp of 205-210. At ten minutes, they would have been cinders.

    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

  • #2
    8 minute bread. I can't wait to get back. And the crumb (inside) is reaching 205F, and has a nice hole structure? We need photos.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces


    • #3


      Have the pics, but I've been moving my girlfriend's house for the last century or so (still not finished), so I've been a tad busy. Photo editing is not my strong suit. I do have pics of the 8 min baguette, also of the Olive and Thyme Boule at 18-20 mins. Promise, I'll send them when I have time.

      I've been asked by someone on another forum to post a pic of my masonry tools (especially pointers). Haven't done that yet, either, but I will. Anybody interested here? If so, where should I post it?

      "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


      • #4

        Jim you can send your pics to me ldiver @ yahoo . com (I put in spacers to help reduce the chance of spam bots getting my email address - take out the spaces and you have my email address..)
        I will get them posted to this forum



        • #5


          Will do, today. Thanks for the help. Mortar I can do, photo edit I can't.

          "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


          • #6
            Brain Fart

            my addy is ldiver61 @ yahoo . com

            I can only do simple photo edits - crop/ lighten/darken, reduce the number of pixels, & I figured out the code to post pics on this forum


            • #7
              Double retarded

              This is my first attempt at making Ancienne. What an ancient pane it is. (Actually it was pretty easy) After the first night in the fridge, my Mum mistakenly punched it down, so we left it in the ridge for an extra eight hours. (Mum's in town visiting from Tasmania for a week) Then we took it out of the oven and left the house for six hours. It more than doubled when we got back, but we had to go to dinner, so we put it back in the fridge, thinking we were going to bake it when we got home. When we returned, it was 1am, so we decided to bake in the morning. By morning, it had risen to three times it's original size, so we heated the opven and pizza stone at five hundred degrees for an hour, whacked it in, sprayed three times and had pretty bloody good bread in about twenty minutes. I'd like a better crumb, but I'm glad it turned out good, cos now I'm excited to make more. Who has a good sourdough recipe? My starter is ready (200 year old Corsican) though I am unsure on amounts, times etc. I have about four cups of very sour runny, bubbly starter.


              • #8
                Picky, picky


                I'd say, with all the punching and retarding, you pain a l'ancienne turned out very well indeed. Okay, the crumb could have been a bit more open, but, hey, you're supposed to follow the timing procedures.

                I've used lots of different sourdough formulas, but the one I've settled on for now comes from Nancy Silverton's The Breads of La Brea Bakery. It's the one for her Olive/Thyme Boule; I just omit the olives & thyme. If you can't get hold of the book, I'll write out a short form recipe for you. Also, for me at least, I find her shaping technique the best. Good book. Hamelman's Bread is more thorough on techniques and tech, however.

                Trick with starters is to feed them the day before making your bread. If you have four cups, build it to eight with two cups flour (9 ozs) and two cups water. I measure everything by weight, though, and suggest you do too. Make sure the flour is all hydrated, cover, leave out at room temp for about four hours (bubbly and aggressive), then into the fridge overnight. Measure out your starter about an hour before making the dough to take off the chill, then proceed.

                The Silverton formula will give you an SD with an irregular crumb structure and superior flavour. She uses wheat germ in many of her breads, and it does add a nutty sidelight to the bread. I buy it in bulk; supermarkets charge the earth.

                "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


                • #9
                  One More Thing


                  You'll find a really fine explanation and pics of the SD process at http://forums.egullet.org/index.

                  "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


                  • #10
                    Dough Temperature

                    Rbrick, et al,

                    This might constitute a separate thread, and I'll take James' advice on that.

                    I've been doing a lot of research on dough temperatures recently, at first to control the consistency of my bread doughs and lately to determine the differences between mixing bread and pizza doughs.

                    As seasons change, as prep area temps change, adjustments must be made: simple ones like reducting the amount of water when it's very humid, bumping it when dry. More importantly, though, the trick seems to be to factor in the temps of the ingredients to arrive at a consistent finished dough interior temp. I'm assuming in what follows that measurements are done by weight and an instant read therm is handy.

                    Most of my bread formulas specify that the interior temp of finished dough should be between 75 and 81F, before bulk fermentation. This range allows both maximum flavour and maximum fermentation; things we all want. I have yet to find the same figures for pizza dough, but I can't imagine they'll be much different, though the range might be wider.

                    What follows now has been mined from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread. Except for the formula, it has been reworded. I don't want any copyright problems. When you start a batch, it's difficult to control air temp, the flour temp, the amount of friction generated by the mixer's action, and, somewhat, the temp of any preferment used. If the desired dough temp is 76, then multiply 76 by 3 for an ordinary dough, or by 4 with a dough using a preferment. The one thing we really can control is water temp.

                    These examples here are taken directly from Hamelmann:

                    Desired dough temp: 76F 76F

                    Multiplication factor: x3 (straight dough) x4 (w preferment)

                    Total temp factor: 228F 304F

                    Minus flour temp: 72F 72F

                    Minus room temp: 68F 68F

                    Minus friction factor: 26F 26F

                    Water temp: 62F 68F

                    The friction factor has to do with the fact that in North America we use dough hook machines, and they do generate a fair bit of friction. In practice, my SP5 factor is low, about 24 depending on how much dough is in the bowl, as opposed to the KA I had, where the factor was about 250. The actual factor for an actual mixer can be determined by making test dough and measuring the temp, then adjusting in future. In France, most large bread mixers use a fork, not a hook, and they run more slowly, so the friction factor is reduced very significantly. In Italy, too, fork mixers have been designed for pizza dough that run even more slowly, so mix times can be increased and gluten development strengthened. Problem is, these are not made in sizes other than commercial, far as I can tell right now.

                    Now, all this is a bit on the pro side, but, after all, we all get very techy when building our ovens, so a bit of tech when baking can't hurt.

                    Don't forget, we want to create the best possible home for all those yeast cells and micro-organisms so they live long and prosper.

                    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827