All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ortiz-Tartine Love Child Pain Complet

Bastard Love Child of Ortiz French Pain Complet and Tartine 100% WW Bread

Has anyone else noticed that the best bread bakers marry the best pastry bakers and they start bakeshops and write cook books together and become dominant forces in America's culinary tradition for a generation or more?  Chad Robertson's "Tartine Bread" is poised to be as significant to this generation of home bakers as Joe Ortiz's book "The Village Baker: Classic Regional Breads from Europe and America" was, several years ago.  Ortiz' wife Gayle wrote a similarly influential book on pastry.  Robertson's spouse wrote her book on pastry in 2006.  Just as Robertson & his spouse started Tartine in San Francisco, Ortiz and his wife started a bake shop over 30 years ago in Capitola, California, and it is still going strong.

Bear with me while I ask this rather strange question: what if Robertson and Ortiz had never met their wives, but met each other instead, and then had a bastard love child (because gay marriage is still not legal in California)?  What would their bread be like?

That is what I set out to discover in this blog.  I found an old used copy of Ortiz's bread book, and I've been keen on trying one or two of the whole grain recipes in it.

I made the Ortiz Pain Complet once before and it was a disaster.  That was when I was on vacation and didn't have a scale and didn't know the oven I was working with (a poor craftsman blames his tools).  Despite the charred remains of that bread, I felt the crumb showed great promise, and I wanted to try it again.

However, I have this sourdough that needs to be used.  I like the taste of bread made with it much better than bread made with commercial yeast.  The flavours are complex, and not at all sour, but interesting. 

So this time, I've made the Ortiz recipe using my sourdough (rather than the commercial yeast his recipe calls for).  I've scaled the recipe up to Tartine loaf size by first weighing the ingredients that Ortiz uses, and then taking the whole wheat flour to 1000g.  Your mileage may vary, if you weigh out the ingredients.  But this is what I got when I scaled the recipe:

    •    1000g wwflour 100%
    •    830g   scalded milk 83%
    •    140g   water 14%
    •    19g      salt 1.9%

I don't include Ortiz' yeast measurement scaled here, because I used Tartine's sourdough amounts: 200g of my 100% whole wheat sourdough at 100% hydration.  However, you can try 3.76% yeast if you don't have a sourdough starter at hand, (that is what his home-baker amount of yeast works out to, when you convert from ounces) and this recipe might work for you.  Or you can use Ortiz's baker's math.  Ortiz actually puts the percentage weights of all his recipes in the back of the book, for professional bakers (I didn't know that when I started this; the book, while old, is new to me).  So the pain complet whole wheat bread's weights are already given, and their percentages laid out for all to see without doing the calculations or weighing like I did above.  So how close are my percentages?  Ortiz's:

    •    100% ww flour
    •    70% water  (milk can replace the water and powdered milk)
    •    2.5% powdered milk
    •    2% salt
    •    2.25% yeast

Hmmm.  While searching online for others who have made Ortiz recipes, I found the testers at KitchenCookingRecipes left a warning about his weights and measures that ought to be wisely heeded.  His home kitchen recipes can occasionally result in a dough with too much hydration, they say -- and that was my experience here.  It would be better to work from the professional recipes in the back of the book (but recognize that they are different -- see here the difference between milk and milk powder in water).
mis en place: scalded milk, wwflour, salt, water, sourdough starter, book
add milk

For the Pain Complet,
The milk is scalded, and Ortiz wants us to wait 20 minutes before adding the water-yeast mixture to it.  I waited 30 minutes and I did not expect anywhere near the same rising times that he describes (about 2 1/2 hours).  I was prepared to wait much longer, in the Tartine range of bulk fermentation and proofing (about 8 hours, plus or minus a night in the fridge).  But the warmth of the milk still got that yeast more active.

add sourdough

mix to goo
salt and water get added after about 30 minutes of rest

When I added the salt and water, I was a bit disconcerted.  That was a lot of water for my already very wet dough to handle.  My dough sat in a puddle of water even after I scoogled it all in.  I was worried about how gooey the dough had become.

But at the very next turn, 30 minutes later, the dough seemed to like being that wet.  The gluten was still a bit gooey, but at least it was foldable now.  And the water seemed to be more absorbed.  Now I was hopeful.
uh-oh.  was that too much water?

Dough sits in puddle.
Suck it up!

gee, I guess this dough can take being that wet, after all

the last fold before dividing and forming
The 2 Ortiz-Tartine Bastard Love Child loaves (with one of the Advent cookies, made the same day)

Basically, how I have made it, this recipe is just a high-hydration Tartine-style loaf, using mostly milk instead of water.  Alternatively, one could think of it as an Ortiz pain complet that uses wild yeast instead of commercial yeast.  If you think of it as an Ortiz loaf, you have to realize that I'm adding the water when I add the salt, a'la Tartine-style.  I'm also not mixing it on the counter top like Ortiz would have us do.  I had a disaster using that method before, and since I'm sharing the kitchen with my wife while I make it (she is making Advent cookies), I can't make that kind of mess with her watching.

If you want to see Ortiz' technique of mixing the dough on the counter with one hand in the fountain or well, take a look at the first of these two short YouTube videos (10 and 12min).  Here, Ortiz teaches Julia Child how to make whole wheat sourdough and bread sculpture.  Ortiz makes it look easy.

Sourdough Whole Wheat Sculpture Videos

while waiting to add the salt to this mixture, I decided to hedge my bets.  I had a bad experience the last time I made the Ortiz loaf.  What if it bombed again?  I'd still need bread.

So I decided to try making an ordinary Pain Complet using the 75% Tartine Recipe, but to change the method somewhat to reflect the Ortiz way.  In other words, I would add the salt to the Tartine-style 100% whole wheat dough that I put together, but then instead of the 4 hours of folding during the bulk fermentation, I would knead it for awhile and then let it rise, and then punch it down and let it rise again -- the "old fashioned" way.  This would be a congenital twin of the bastard love child of Ortiz and Tartine.  I was hoping that the resultant loaf would have fewer overly-large irregular holes.

I kneaded it for 8 minutes after a 30 minute rest following the addition of salt.  The dough felt overworked and flaccid when kneaded that long.  The kneading didn't bring me any closer to a tighter dough, in fact, quite the reverse.  It actually felt much sloppier than the first bread, the one that was hydrated with (more?) milk.

So on the day my wife decided to bake advent cookies, I had 2 doughs on the go, to make 4 loaves.  I did, however, only bake 2 loaves that day: I retarded the congenital twin, until the next morning (for that dough, I was only using 168g of sourdough starter anyway (I reserved some so I could refresh it), and it could stand a slightly longer rise).

The breads turned out well, like any other Tartine loaf I have baked this way.  A few of the loaves got slopped into the pan, so they aren't perfect boules.

The crumb of the milk-hydrated bread still has some irregular holes, but they are not nearly so wide and irregular, and they do hold the jam.  I find the crumb to be a bit more tender, a bit softer to the tooth, but that could be because I'm comparing it to the ends of a now-staling rye bread, the last bread I made.

milk-hydrated bread

unfocused crumb

I cut one of the boules in half horizontally, and then froze the loaf.
with jam
The crust of this milk-made bread is as crunchy as ever.  I think that the crust would have been a bit softer had I glazed it with egg the way Ortiz wanted me to.  I had some egg white to do it, too, but I got excited at the last moment when I turned it into the 500 degree F cast iron pan, and forgot.

To Follow:
I've given one of the twins away; the one I kept I cracked into, to see if the kneading I did was able to reduce the size and number of the irregular holes.


Back to the drawing board.  I think next I'll have to figure out how to manipulate the pH and temperature.

Notes to Myself
  • I've set aside one of these loaves so I can take it to a work party next week (in case I don't get a chance to bake another loaf before then).  I plan to bring along some camembert and try this great idea from Farine's blog with this bread.  We each have to bring hors d'oeurves.
  • The crumb of this bread looks much more Tartine-like, and less like the Ortiz loaf I made on vacation.  I should try that Ortiz method again, shaping it as he described, and baking it on a stone.
  • Notice one of the tips that Ortiz gives to Childs on the videos: if your bread is over-proofed, increase the temperature of the baking.
  • Found while browsing for Ortiz recipes:

    Ortiz Bread (from CIA) - a YouTube video

    Here is an interesting misshapen loaf, with onions, that looks easy to make.  Maybe I'll try it soon with 100% whole wheat.  I suspect it is Joe Ortiz' original recipe (hence the name of the bread), but here it is made by a CIA chef, Jonathan Highfield.   I was unable to find the written recipe that the video refers to on the web.  It should be here, at wtkr's website  but it is not, nor is on the CIA site here.  But by stopping and starting the video I gleaned the following info:

    • 2 1/2 c cold water
    • 1 tsp instant yeast or 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast sprinkled into a 1/4 cup warm water from the water above and allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes before adding with rest of cold water
    • 4 c unbleached bread flour
    • 3/4 tsp non-iodized salt
    • 1 large onion, diced and soak in olive oil - set aside for later use

    • semolina or cornmeal for bottom of the pan
    • olive oil
    • kosher salt

    • combine flour and yeast, make a well and add water.
    • add some olive oil to the top, cover with saran and leave at room temperature 2-3 hours.
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    • Prepare a tray with parchment and sprinkle on semolina or cornmeal.
    • Put about 3 blobs of dough on the tray, then top with olive-oil-soaked onions.
    • Add some kosher salt to taste
    • Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown and delicious

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