Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chris Hennes

Modernist Bread: French Lean Bread (MB Contest Topic #1)

Recommended Posts

Next week marks the official release of the highly-anticipated Modernist Bread by Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya. The eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is excited to provide you with the opportunity to win a copy of the book. The Cooking Lab has provided us with a couple of other prizes that will go to a second and third winner: second place will win an autographed poster and calendar, and third place will receive an autographed poster. They are also providing an autographed bookplate for the first place winner's copy of Modernist Bread. The rules are simple: we are going to post recipes from the book that the team at The Cooking Lab has graciously provided for this purpose. To enter into the contest, you need to bake one or more of these recipes and post about them in the official contest topics by the end of November 2017. Winners will be drawn at random from those posting pictures and descriptions of their completed loaves. Complete rules and other details can be found here.

 

For our first recipe, we're starting with a cornerstone recipe from the book: French Lean Bread. I've personally made this one and it's both delicious and completely approachable by anyone with an interest in this book. Courtesy of The Cooking Lab, here's that recipe (extracted from the book and reformatted for purposes of this contest):

 

MB_FLB_1.jpg

MB_FLB_2.jpg

MB_FLB_3.jpg

MB_FLB_4.jpg

MB_FLB_5.jpg

 

The recipes in this book tend to rely on information presented more extensively earlier in the books, so if anything isn't clear enough here please ask and Dave and I will do our best to answer your questions (we've had early digital access to the books for the last month or so).

 

ETA: Here's what my first go at the recipe sounded like coming out of the oven...

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This recipe / technique isn't too different from my go-to from Ken Forkish' "Flour Water Salt Yeast". I think I can do this one! :)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I notice that Instant Yeast is specified in this recipe.  Is any reason given for preferring Instant Yeast over regular active dry yeast?

I see that temps are indicated for the final proof. Is any temperature guidance given for the 12 hr preferment or the bulk ferment?

 

I find the mixing instructions to be awkward.  According to the table, #1 is 15g water, #2 is 265g water and #3 is 485g flour. 

Neither the hand nor machine mixing instructions mention adding the salt.  I'm guessing it's added with the 15g of water but maybe not.  Is the 485g of flour and the polish supposed to be mixed together before adding, added in a specific order or just all dumped in together?  The machine mixing instructions don't mention adding either flour or poolish. 

Perhaps the #s in the ingredients list are to include items in rows below the printed #?  Or not?

 

I have made enough bread that I can take a stab at it but I wouldn't feel like I was making the recipe presented.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I notice that Instant Yeast is specified in this recipe.  Is any reason given for preferring Instant Yeast over regular active dry yeast?

There is (of course) an entire discussion of this in the book in the chapter on yeast, but while they prefer the instant, active dry will work.

 

17 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I see that temps are indicated for the final proof. Is any temperature guidance given for the 12 hr preferment or the bulk ferment?

Room temperature, it's not particularly sensitive.

 

17 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I find the mixing instructions to be awkward.  According to the table, #1 is 15g water, #2 is 265g water and #3 is 485g flour. 

It's a little confusing pulled out of the book, but that's not how it works. It's like this:

  1. Water and salt
  2. Water and yeast
  3. Flour and poolish

It's much easier to see that in the actual books, thankfully, this is just an artifact of the reformatted version they've given us to post here. Basically:

  1. Mix the salt with a little water.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the rest of the water.
  3. Mix the flour, poolish, and yeasted water together.
  4. Autolyse 30 minutes.
  5. Smear the salt mixture over the dough.
  6. Mix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!  

12 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Room temperature, it's not particularly sensitive

My room temp tends to vary between 60°F in the winter and 85°F in the summer and I've found it to have a pretty big impact on rise times. I've been trying to impose some control to improve my results but it's good to know I shouldn't worry about it for this one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Thanks!  

My room temp tends to vary between 60°F in the winter and 85°F in the summer and I've found it to have a pretty big impact on rise times. I've been trying to impose some control to improve my results but it's good to know I shouldn't worry about it for this one!

For the record, when I made it my overnight temp for the poolish was 70°F, which is the temperature they used when constructing their tables (page 3•17 has a big table of yeast percentage to fermentation time for various preferments). They suggest 68°-70°F as the storage temperature in the chapter on preferments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same bake time and temperature I've arrived at over the years:  470 deg F. for 35 minutes (though having calibrated my new oven I set it to 475 to get closer to 470) -- and almost exactly the same formula as mine.

 

But very different mixing.  I mix my yeast in with the flour.  However I note the instruction calls for mixing yeast with water.  I always thought adding yeast to water was the way to shock and kill the yeast.  Do they not store their yeast at freezer temperature?  I add my salt to the dry ingredients also.

 

Plus I note the poolish is to be kept in an airtight container.  What is the purpose of doing so?  In my case I use a bowl covered with stretch-tite.  What vessel do they use that is airtight?

 

Three days till all is revealed.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

But very different mixing.  I mix my yeast in with the flour.  However I note the instruction calls for mixing yeast with water.  I always thought adding yeast to water was the way to shock and kill the yeast.  Do they not store their yeast at freezer temperature?  I add my salt to the dry ingredients also.

They mix the yeast with water for optimal distribution. They don't store their yeast in the freezer, but I store mine there so can personally attest to this method of mixing working just fine. And they add the salt after the autolyze, which necessitates not adding it to the dry ingredients.

 

29 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Plus I note the poolish is to be kept in an airtight container.  What is the purpose of doing so?  In my case I use a bowl covered with stretch-tite.  What vessel do they use that is airtight?

I think they really just mean "covered" -- I'm pretty sure they are using Cambros, which is what I used. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

They mix the yeast with water for optimal distribution. They don't store their yeast in the freezer, but I store mine there so can personally attest to this method of mixing working just fine. And they add the salt after the autolyze, which necessitates not adding it to the dry ingredients.

 

Thanks, Chris.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does vent time not apply if not using a vessel?  Edit - ah this is to vent all the steam out from the oven?

 

I'm guessing with my steam oven it's 3 mins of convection and steam and then rest of time just convection (with a break to vent the oven).  Also my steam oven only goes to 450 so I might have to cook a little longer.

I have a program option that takes the weight of the loaf - starts with steam and produces amazing artisan style bread - but that takes longer then 25 mins - it's more like 38 mins for 1 lbs loaf.

 

Guessing there's more detail in the section on ovens?  


Edited by Raamo Found possible answer elsewhere (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Raamo said:

Does vent time not apply if not using a vessel?  Edit - ah this is to vent all the steam out from the oven?

Right, the vent time always applies, it's just a question of whether you need to remove a cover as well as vent the steam out of the oven.

 

14 minutes ago, Raamo said:

Guessing there's more detail in the section on ovens?  

Yes, as you suspect there are many, many pages on how and why to use the various types of ovens for different types of loaves. For lean breads in combi ovens they suggest using the lowest possible fan speed, steaming for the first five minutes, or potentially bypassing the thing altogether by baking in a cast iron cooker, clay pot, or Dutch oven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Chris Hennes said:

Yes, as you suspect there are many, many pages on how and why to use the various types of ovens for different types of loaves. For lean breads in combi ovens they suggest using the lowest possible fan speed, steaming for the first five minutes, or potentially bypassing the thing altogether by baking in a cast iron cooker, clay pot, or Dutch oven.

 

Sounds good - I have the big oven just below for when we don't need or want steam.  I don't believe I can control the fan speed.  That comes on more expensive models... and this was anything but cheap.  The bread we already get out of it is fantastic and that's using Artisan bread in 5 mins a day recipes and the pre-programmed modes on the oven... This should be an improvement and be more variety. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

For purposes of this recipe, what is "bread flour"?

 

 

Bread flour is high in gluten protein, with 12.5-14% protein compared to 10-12% protein in all-purpose flour. The increased protein binds to the flour to entrap carbon dioxide released by the yeast fermentation process, resulting in a stronger rise. Bread flour may be made with a hard spring wheat.  From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour#Bread_flour

 

I'm using bread flour we bought at the store - not sure which brand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

For purposes of this recipe, what is "bread flour"?

Page 2•241 list the protein content as 11-13% for "bread flour" and 13-14% and up as "high-gluten bread flour". It's made with either hard red spring or hard red winter wheat. They suggest Organic Artisan Bakers Craft Plus Flour (11.5%) by Central Milling in Utah, but indicate that you can substitute 1:1 with King Arthur Sir Galahad (11.7%), Gold Medal Bread Flour (12%) and Pillsbury Best Bread (12.9%).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Page 2•241 list the protein content as 11-13% for "bread flour" and 13-14% and up as "high-gluten bread flour". It's made with either hard red spring or hard red winter wheat. They suggest Organic Artisan Bakers Craft Plus Flour (11.5%) by Central Milling in Utah, but indicate that you can substitute 1:1 with King Arthur Sir Galahad (11.7%), Gold Medal Bread Flour (12%) and Pillsbury Best Bread (12.9%).

They also handily provide a table to convert lower protein flours to bread flour using vital gluten. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Anna N 

 

do they mention any difference in the final bread  , rise , flavor etc

 

using VWG  vs finding  high gluten flour to start off ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, rotuts said:

@Anna N 

 

do they mention any difference in the final bread  , rise , flavor etc

 

using VWG  vs finding  high gluten flour to start off ?

 Not that I’ve seen so far but there’s an awful lot of reading matter here and I’ve only scratched the surface. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there more tables for times of proofing at other temps?  Proof time is show as 30 mins-2.5 hours - but the two examples are in the middle of that range.

 

I'm on the proof step right now - and the house is 65F so I'm proofing in the steam oven using proof setting, which doesn't go lower then 95F  I'll check it per the "how to know it's done" but in case others run into this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Proofing is the most nebulous of the steps, and the conclusion they come to is basically that there is no set time, you just have to check for proof using the technique that most of us have been using forever! So the times are just guidance, your exact room temperature, starting dough temperature, and yeast liveliness will all factor in.

 

ETA: I should mention, I think my loaf above was under-proofed based on the way it baked! I probably needed another half hour beyond what I gave it.


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First attempt is done, turns out my oven self vents so when it came time to vent there wasn't much steam left, I ended up baking until it was over 190 inside - hit about 200, all in less time then 30 mins total.

Likely because I can't control the speed of my fan - all in all it's dark but not burnt so I think it's OK.  I'll add a picture of the crumb when I cut into it in a few hours.  I took a series of pictures of many of the stages in case others are interested - I posted them in the cooking with MC:Bread thread.  I really am now looking forward to the modernist version of this bread.  I used a stand mixer rather then attempt this by hand, I actually ended up with 1080g of dough, used about 530g for this and the rest is in the fridge to bake tomorrow.

 

I baked at 450 (the highest my steam oven will go)  with steam to start - preheated the steam oven first, after about 15 mins I changed it to 100% convection because I saw the oven itself vent twice  but I figured there was enough steam still in the oven (which turns out was not true), I think I'll call Thermadore for some more explanation of how the steam with convection mode actually works.  i figure I'm going to learn a lot about my oven over the next few months.

 

I used to be big into bread baking - as a kid I loved baking bread - the past 15+ years I've been more of the savory cook and my wife has been the baker so it was fun to work on a loaf again.  

 

20171107_152654.thumb.jpg.4fe8d8a58c364bbe9372b1d93b2d0b92.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the crumb.  

 

20171107_165557.thumb.jpg.810c6a36c9a9cdedeaf05f02428c13f2.jpg

 

 

I'm eating some slices right now with butter on them - it's more tender then the 5 mins a day stuff I'm really used to, really quite outstanding bread.  I'm more into the sourdoughs myself - but this is excellent!

 

Oh and I called Thermadore - they were ZERO help - seems only rich people who don't really cook buy this model or something.  Least that's all I can find from google searches - these are really popular in NYC for some reason.


Edited by Raamo Noted I posted more pictures in other thread (log)
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice. I am quite concerned about the oven temperatures and the recommended baking time. Mine is proofing right now but life got in the way of following times exactly so it spent many hours in the fridge. 


Edited by Anna N (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By curls
      So, what is everyone doing for the pastry & baking side of Easter?
       
      I'm working on the following chocolates: fruit & nut eggs, hollow bunnies, Jelly Belly filled bunnies, coconut bunnies, dragons (filled with rice krispies & chocolate), peanut butter hedgehogs, and malted milk hens. Hoping to finish my dark chocolate production today and get started on all my milk chocolate items.
       
      My father-in-law will be baking the traditional family Easter bread a day or two before Easter. Its an enriched bread and he makes two versions -- one with raisins and one without (I prefer the one with raisins).
       

       
      And I was lucky enough to spot this couple in the sale moulds stock at last year's eGullet chocolate & confections workshop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. These love bunnies help so very much with Easter chocolate production!  ;-)

    • By lindaj1
      Is there any recipe from the modernist universe or any other galaxy to make ketogenic (low carb) puff pastry and strudel type doughs?  Unusual ingredients OK.  There must be a way...
    • By haresfur
      I got to thinking after the disgusting job of separating globs of fat from sous vide short ribs and debating never doing them that way again. If the fat renders out in a braise, but not in the sous vide, what temperature would you need to turn the fat liquid to get rid of it? Is it below well-done or do you really have to cook the shit out of it? Is it just temperature or a time&temperature thing?
       
      Along those lines, what happens with marbled, tender cuts? where is the sweet spot between solid fat and something more palatable?
    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      By John Sconzo

      The Daily Gullet is proud to present this, the first in a multi-part, front-row report on the recent "Spain and the World Table" conference. Watch for subsequent installments in this topic.

      In his introduction of Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller -- perhaps the most celebrated American chef ever -- described four elements that go into making a great chef. The chef must be aware. Once aware of one’s culinary and other surroundings that chef can then be inspired, which leads to the ability to interpret those surroundings. But a great chef does not stop there. Instead, the great chef continues to evolve. Ferran Adria, perhaps more than any other chef who has ever lived, is the embodiment of those four elements.

      The moment that Ferran Adria strode towards Thomas Keller on the stage at the CIA/Greystone’s World of Flavors’ “Spain and the World Table” Conference was electric -- as if a giant Van de Graf generator had been turned on. The feeling didn’t subside when Adria took the stage from Keller; it only became more pronounced as the packed crowd rose to its feet, raining applause, admiration and love on the Spanish master. Adria accepted the response with aplomb, and gave it right back to the audience -- and to his fellow Spanish cocineros, who were standing off to the side. He brought each one up to join him on the stage for a rousing thank-you to the conference organizers, sponsors and participants. Once this emotional release subsided, Adria got down to what everyone had been waiting for -- his discussion and demonstration.

      Ferran Adria, with eyes sparkling like the finest cava, began speaking Spanish in a voice as gravelly as the beaches of the Costa Brava, while Conference Chairman Jose Andres translated. The crowd, hushed and straining for every word, moved forward in their seats as Adria explained El Bulli and himself, with a lesson in recent culinary history thrown in. Ferran explained that El Bulli is not a business. While offshoots of El Bulli are operated on a for-profit basis, the restaurant runs without profit as a primary motivation. For example, he said, the greatest difficulty they have is distributing reservations. Given the extraordinary demand and the severely limited supply, he explained that they could simply raise the price of a meal to the point where the supply and demand met. Indeed, the price of a meal at El Bulli is in itself quite reasonable given the stature of the restaurant and well within means of most motivated diners should they be able to get there, and this is how Adria prefers it. He stated that he was not interested in cooking solely for those with the most money. He prefers to work for people with a true interest in exploring the limits of cooking with him. To this end he showed a short film depicting “A Day in the Life . . .” of El Bulli set to the Beatles’ song of the same name. The film showed a couple’s response to the experience.

      Ferran’s voyage into creativity began with a visit to Jacques Maxima at Le Chanticleer Restaurant in Nice, France. He learned from Maxima that to be creative is not to copy. This idea changed his entire approach to cooking -- from making classic cuisine to making his own. Aware of elaborate books of French cuisine, Adria resolved to catalogue his work, the results of which are the richly detailed El Bulli books, published by period. These books, as wonderful as they are, are huge and extremely expensive. During his presentation, Adria announced -- and demonstrated -- that the individual dishes photographed and described in a chronology within each book are all now available online at elbulli.com.

      He finished the philosophical discussion by talking about the general style of haute cuisine that he and others are engaged in. While others have coined the term “molecular gastronomy” to highlight the scientific component of the creativity involved, Adria rejected it, saying that all cooking is molecular: most of his techniques are in fact rather simple and don’t employ radical new technology. Most of the technology that they do use has been around for some time; they have simply adapted it to their own purposes. Nevertheless, he applauds contributions to gastronomy from Harold McGee and other food scientists, and welcomes their collaboration in the kitchen. He has yet to find a term that describes the movement: as of now, he feels that there really is no good name for this style of cooking.

      More than any other single thing, Ferran Adria is known for the use of “foams” in cooking. While he is proud of his achievements with foams, he stressed that while appropriate in some circumstances, the real utility of foams is limited. He bemoans their ubiquity -- and wishes to not be blamed for others’ poor deployment of the concept. In the course of describing this and other techniques, Adria made a point of stating that using them should not be inferred as copying. Techniques and concepts are to be used and shared. He invited everyone to learn and harness whatever they found interesting, and to employ it in to their own pursuits.

      Another set of techniques discussed and demonstrated by the master and his assistant, Rafa Morales from Hacienda Benazuza, included three types of spherification. These included the use of calcium chloride (CaCl) and sodium alginate as well as the converse, and exploration of a new agent, gluconodeltalactone. The original combinations of alginate into CaCl for “caviar” production, and CaCl into alginate for larger “spheres” have chemistry-related limits as to what can be sphericized. In private correspondence, Harold McGee explained to me that Adria described encapsulating a mussel in its own juice. While this would make the dish technically an aspic, unlike conventional aspics it remains a liquid. Adria said that though gluconodeltalactone is very new, and they are just beginning to get a handle on it, he is very excited by it. He also demonstrated a machine for spherification on a larger scale than they had originally been able to do, as well as liquid nitrogen and freeze-drying (lyophilization) techniques. At the conclusion of his demonstration -- and thus the Conference -- the audience once again awarded him a standing ovation.

      While Adria’s appearance was the culmination of the conference, the energy it produced was not just because of his stature in the world of gastronomy -- it was also due to the excitement generated by the conference that preceded it. If there had previously been any doubt, Thomas Keller’s welcome of Adria was a clarion: Spanish cuisine has landed on North American shores and is finding a niche in the North American psyche. Spanish cuisine -- in its multifaceted, delicious entirety -- lives here, too.

      + + + + +

      John M. Sconzo, M.D., aka docsconz, is an anesthesiologist practicing in upstate New York. He grew up in Brooklyn in an Italian-American home, in which food was an important component of family life. It still is. His passions include good food, wine and travel. John's gastronomic interests in upstate northeastern New York involve finding top-notch local producers of ingredients and those who use them well. A dedicated amateur, John has no plans to ditch his current career for one in the food industry. Host, New York.
    • By docsconz
      About Jose Andres
       
      Throughout his career, Jose’s vision and imaginative creations have drawn the praise of the public, the press and his peers. José has received awards and recognition from Food Arts, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, the James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator, and Wine Advocate. In addition, José has been featured in leading food magazines such as Gourmet as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Fox Sunday Morning News with Chris Wallace, the Food Network, and USA Today.
       
      Widely acknowledged as the premiere Spanish chef cooking in America, José is a developer and Conference Chairman for the upcoming Worlds of Flavor Conference on Spain and the World Table at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, November 2 – 5, 2006.
       
      In 1993, Jose moved to Washington, DC, to head the kitchen at Jaleo. From there, Jose took on executive chef responsibilities at neighboring Café Atlantico and later Zaytinya. In July of 2003, Jose embarked on his most adventurous project to date with the opening of the minibar by jose andres at Cafe Atlantico. A six-seat restaurant within a restaurant, minibar by jose andres continues to attract international attention with its innovative tasting menu. In the fall of 2004, Jose opened a third Jaleo and Oyamel, an authentic Mexican small plates restaurant and launched the THINKfoodTANK, an institution devoted to the research and development of ideas about food, all with a view toward their practical applications in the kitchen.
       
      Every week, millions of Spaniards invite Jose into their home where he is the host and producer of “Vamos a cocinar”, a food program on Television Española (TVE), Spanish national television. The program airs in the United States and Latin America on TVE Internacional.
       
      Jose released his first cookbook this year, first published in English, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America (published in the United States by Clarkson Potter) and shortly after in Spanish, Los fogones de José Andrés (published by Planeta). The book is an homage to Spanish cooking and to tapas, one of Spain's gifts to the world of good cooking.
       
      Jose Andres is passionate, intelligent, dedicated, witty and a fan of FC Barcelona.
       
      Jose has been a member of the eGullet Society since 2004.
       
      More on Jose Andres in the eG Forums:
      Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres
      Vamos a Cocinar - cooking show with Jose Andres
      Jaleo
      José Andrés' Minibar
      Zaytinya
      Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Crystal City
      Cafe Atlantico
       
      Jose Andres recipes from Tapas in RecipeGullet:
      Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo (Patatas a la Riojana)
      Moorish-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew
      Squid with Caramelized Onions
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×