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  1. The argument is simple and rational. Overheated dough and high proofing temperatures result in decreased fermentation times. This over oxidizes the dough, reduces the development of organic acid compounds, and reduces conservation. Bread with no flavor, no texture, that stales quickly is a poor product. Intensive mixing and short fermentation is the realm of industrial mass production, the results speak for themselves. What is the rational for making industrial bread at home? Professional bakers have a greater need to save time than the home hobbyist and yet none of the great bakeries
  2. No flavor, no crust, no mouthfeel, in what way is this good bread? Is there a single classic bread of any tradition, French, Italian, German, etc. that can be made competently using this technique? As a professional baker I've had to make breads as fast as possible on occasion, but I don't delude myself into thinking this makes a respectable product. So why promote it? It's one thing to say if your really screwed and need to make bread in 90 minutes here is what you can do, but after you do it you should hope it never happens again. (At times like this you're thankful that most people ar
  3. The pretzel at Almondine is more or less the same at the The French Laundry, except bigger and without the black pepper. Call Almondine and find out when they come out of the oven, they're really good when they are fresh. Roger
  4. Mitch: The price controls for baguettes were eliminated in 1987, I believe. Nevertheless as a result of the long standing controls people became accustomed to paying a low price for bread. This is why so many, of even the really good bakeries still offer an inferior baguette ordinaire for the sizable clientel who will never pay more than one euro for a baguette. As far as the "racing stripes" I think it's both that bakers are trying to squeeze out as much bread as possible and that most people want really light baguettes. Bear in mind also that in Paris space is at a premium and mos
  5. Boulak: It's a shame you weren't able to find meunier's bakery, it's worth a visit for his signature baguette, his rye bread and vienoisserie. I have two street maps for paris and neither one has his street on it. I stage'd there several years ago and the precision and skill with thich he works is mind blowing. It was also the best organized place I've ever worked in. A few thoughts on your trip: I think it's very difficult to evaluate baguettes without either direct comparisons or repeated visits over time. Lord knows in the last three months I've made baguettes that would rival the good
  6. Jackal, The reason purists object to the perforated pans is not the little bumps so much as they indicate that the baguettes weren't baked on a hearth. The rack oven will invariably result in a less open interior crumb as well as a less attractive baguette. Jeffrey Hamelman has a series of photographs that illustrate this perfectly in his fine new book, "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes". Roger
  7. Try this: 1400 gr water 2000 gr flour 18 gr yeast 40 gr salt combine flour and water and mix until the dough comes together. Let this rest for 20-40 minutes. Add the yeast and salt and mix another 3-4 minutes. Put the dough in the hotel pan and let ferment at 23-25 degrees C for 2.5-3 hours, give it a fold every 45-60 minutes (2 total). Divide and pre-shape. Rest 15-30 minutes. Shape and proof at 23-25C for 45-60 minutes. Good luck, Roger
  8. James: Unfortunately I see the sytematic misuse of ascorbic acid on a regular basis. Where I work it's done both after the baguettes are divided and the pieces are left to rest (actually proof) for up to 1.5 hours and again in the final proofing. The result it seems, and perhaps you can confirm this, is a tighter more regular interior, and a whiter crumb. But the loaves are huge. With regard to your response to the yeast question, if one were to make the basic french bread (ex 10-9 from the Taste of Bread) one batch with the ascorbic acid and one without, all other things being exactly the
  9. I got there at a little after twelve and bought cuepons at 23rd street when there was no line. I was with five other people and we split up, within ten minutes I had tried the snoot and blue smoke's ribs as they had no wait. Without being too aggressive about it by 2 oclock I had gotten a taste of everything except the sausage, which my bastard friends ate all of while I was waiting for pork shoulder. I even scored some bones for my dog from the pitmaster at Big Bob Gibsons. My advice would be the same as Fat Guys: arrive before 12 with friends, buy your cuepons at 23rd, buy some cust
  10. Mick, They were definitely using that oven, at least when I was there 4 years or so ago. Why do you say the bread you had hadn't been near it? It's not the greatest bread in the world but I found it to be better than the other bakeries in that area. This isn't necessarily saying much. If your familiar with Eric Kayser's bakeries in Paris, Le Fournil Borriglione uses similiar techniques and the breads I mentioned earlier are all very good. It's just a little bit further north than Ave Malaussena, which is a huge market street. Roger
  11. James: What if any are the negative aspects of using ascorbic acid in proper amounts either by the miller or by the baker? Kaplan mentions people denouncing it as a killer of flavor and Phillippe Viron mentions that it penalizes conservation, is there any evidence supporting either of these views? Thanks, Roger
  12. Hello James, First thank you for your work in bringing about an english translation of "Le gout du pain". This is a minor issue, but one I hope you could explain. The majority of baguettes pictured in the english version appear to have been baked with little or no steam, especially in comparison to the bread in the french version. Is this a reflection of how you prefer them to be baked or is there some other story? Thanks, Roger
  13. Mick: Near the cours saleya, there is: Le Four a Bois (Chez Espuno) 35 Rue Droite, as the name implies they have a wood burning oven, which is visible from the boutique (beware I think they're closed during the early afternoon). North of the train station, there is imo better bread, but with a gas deck oven: Le Fournil Borriglione (Boulangerie Jean-Marc Bardonnat) 20 Ave Borriglione (good baguette de tradition, miche and on fridays seigle). Have fun, Roger
  14. Solo: I imagine there are very few bakeries that proof dough on a table top. If they do, they're either not very busy, or have an enormous amount of table space. In the majority of french bakeries the baguette dough never touches a wooden table at all- it goes from the mixing bowl, into plastic buckets, divided by machine, into a balancelle, shaped by machine and then proofed on couche. The flour plays a role, and it is different in france, but bakers in america, japan, canada, etc. have shown that excellent french bread can be made in various climates and with different basic materials.
  15. FWIW the gosselin baguette method does not involve a cold "delayed fermentation". This is an invention of Reinhardt's and if it works so be it, but it shouldn't be attributed to gosselin, who following both steven kaplan and ed behr doesn't do anything like it. As far as the bread in Paris is concerned there is a lot of crap, but I would venture to guess that in almost every neighborhood you are in walking distance of extremely good bread, and in some places you may have the choice of two or three places that produce exceptional products. This is probably not true of any city in the US, cert
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