Author Topic: French Boule advice?  (Read 3022 times)

Offline nateo

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French Boule advice?
« on: March 16, 2012, 03:11:54 PM »
Hey guys,
I tried my hand at that other use for yeast: bread. Here's the recipe I used:
http://www.randyclemens.com/2010/02/05/french-country-boule-recipe/

The flavor was pretty good, but the crust was lighter than I wanted. The bread was denser than I was hoping, but the crust texture was good.

Any advice? I was planning on baking it hotter next time, to help with the color, but I'm not sure what happened to make it not-so-fluffy on the inside.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline euge

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Re: French Boule advice?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 05:50:58 PM »
Most likely your dough wasn't wet enough and you didn't bake it long or hot enough.

The dough should be very difficult to handle without flour. A good 30-40 minutes at 450-500. Don't worry you won't burn it.

Good luck. Making decent bread is at least as hard as homebrewing.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline nateo

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Re: French Boule advice?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 07:55:49 PM »
The recipe told me to preheat the oven at 475* for an hour, then lower to 425* when I put the bread in. Next time I'll try leaving it at 475*.

I'm pretty encouraged. It turned out about as well as my first homebrew: not amazing, but better than most of what you can buy.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline nateo

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Re: French Boule advice?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 08:34:45 AM »
Round 2 of bread baking, I used Jim Lahey's "no knead bread" recipe:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html

I think it uses the same concept of a pate fermentee, but all of the bread ferments, instead of a portion. It turned out much better than the first one. I still need to work on getting the oven hot enough though. I built a brick oven in the backyard, but my fire wasn't big enough, and it cooled off too quickly.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline denny

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Re: French Boule advice?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2012, 08:59:45 AM »
The thing that has improved my bread more than anything (except repeated trials) is the book "The Bread Bakers Apprentice".  Highly recommended.
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Offline kmccaf

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Re: French Boule advice?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2012, 10:11:18 AM »
Round 2 of bread baking, I used Jim Lahey's "no knead bread" recipe:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html

I think it uses the same concept of a pate fermentee, but all of the bread ferments, instead of a portion. It turned out much better than the first one. I still need to work on getting the oven hot enough though. I built a brick oven in the backyard, but my fire wasn't big enough, and it cooled off too quickly.

Hey Nateo, did you use a dutch oven for baking the bread? I use the Jim Lahey "no knead" method all the time, and it makes a perfect crust with a very light fluffy interior. I've never used a brick oven in the back yard, so forgive me if that was a stupid question. It does seem to me that a brick oven would essentially be the same thing as using dutch oven in the house stove. Nonetheless, it makes a world of difference in my bread.

-Kyle
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Offline nateo

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Re: French Boule advice?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2012, 10:25:24 AM »
Hey Nateo, did you use a dutch oven for baking the bread? I use the Jim Lahey "no knead" method all the time, and it makes a perfect crust with a very light fluffy interior. I've never used a brick oven in the back yard, so forgive me if that was a stupid question. It does seem to me that a brick oven would essentially be the same thing as using dutch oven in the house stove. Nonetheless, it makes a world of difference in my bread.

I started the bread in the dutch oven, inside the brick oven, then took it out toward the end to try to get color on the crust. We have a small oven and it doesn't keep its heat very well. So our house gets really hot but our oven doesn't, which is why I built another oven outside.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline narvin

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Re: French Boule advice?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 02:28:31 PM »
I find that my flour, which I don't use as often as I should, dries out in the winter time.  A recipe that suggests 64% hydration needs more water than it normally would.  This could contribute to the denseness.

If you aren't getting a good crust on the outside, you might need more moisture in the oven.  A cast iron pan in the oven with water added right as you begin baking helps.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 02:36:20 PM by narvin »
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