Friday, March 16, 2012

Pain Rustique

I have to be honest, after baking all of those Jeffrey Hamelman breads with Brett this past weekend, I was having withdrawal symptoms and I needed to make a Hamelman loaf for myself. I was thinking about what I wanted to make and then I remembered that Michael Jubinsky recently posted on Facebook about how wonderful Hamelman's formula for Pain Rustique was. So, Pain Rustique is what I made yesterday! 

I really do prefer working with a poolish rather than a biga. I prefer the nutty flavor. Its aroma is so wonderful, nutty, and earthy

Pouring the poolish into the mixing bowl
Hamelman notes that this bread is originally attributed to Professor Raymond Calvel, who is the author of Le Gout du pain and is considered to be one of the world's greatest experts on French Breads. Hamelman made a few bench adjustments, otherwise the formula is true to the original. Professor Raymond Calvel is the developer of the autolyse.  The autolyse is a technique which is used to help with gluten development and extensibility. In this technique, the baker combines the preferment, flour and water in the mixing bowl and mixes on first speed until a shaggy mass is formed. This mass is then covered with plastic wrap and is given 20-30 minutes to rest. After the rest period, the salt and yeast are sprinkled over the dough. The dough is then mixed on second speed for another 2-3 minutes. I was in a rush the night before and did not read the method of preparation carefully enough and totally forget about the autolyse step. I have since made a note at the top of the formula "Remember Autolyse".

Since I forgot the autolyse step, I mixed the dough on first speed for 3 minutes and then mixed again on second speed. The dough appeared to be too wet, so I added about a half cup of bread flour and a minute later I added another quarter of a cup. This extra flour really help the dough come together. Due to the high amount of preferment used in this formula (50% of the total flour) this bread does not require a very long bulk fermentation time; only 70 minutes. Although the fermentation is short, this dough requires two folds, one after 25 minutes and another after 50 minutes. 

One of the things I love about a dough that is folded several times, is that you can really see the dough develop. The following pictures clearly show the afteraffects of two very successful folds.

The first fold

The second fold
Dough after the second fold

After bulk fermentation, the dough is placed on a well floured bench and is lightly dusted with bread flour. It is then cut into rectangular shaped pieces. It is important to handle this dough as little as possible because this rectangular shape will be the shape of the final loaf. This dough remains unshaped because it is so wet in nature. This bread has a hydration of 69%, which is only 4% less than the ciabatta I baked with Brett last week. This high hydration is the reason for the multiple folds as well as for the autolyse. Hamelman notes that wooden frames can be used to rise this bread and to ensure the rectangular shape. He also mentions that if the folds and the gluten development are strong, then the frames are not necessary. I did not use frames and as you can see, the shape did hold and the finished loaf came out with a wonderful appearance. After the bulk fermentation this bread should be flipped so that it is baked flour side up. I did not feel comfortable doing this in my oven, so both sides are floured and I was okay with this. 

This bread achieved a wonderful crust in the oven, and experienced wonderful oven spring. I love its shape, with its slightly pointed corners and the single score really did open up nicely. Shortly, I am headed to Michigan to visit my best friend Isaac, who is working on his PhD in Aerospace.

The final baked loaf

A close up of the crust

Bake On

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