MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

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Pain Bouillie or Porridge Bread

The Village Baker introduces this bread in the following way:

“Whenever you see a French recipe that begins with the instructions “Faire une boiullie…” you know you have come across a very old recipe because it starts off with a mush made by pouring boiling water over flour.  The mush, which will ferment slightly overnight, is used the next day mixed into a bread.  The most fascinating recipe I have heard of for pain bouillie is one from the Alpine region of France around the town of Villar-d’Aréne.  The bouillie is made with dark rye flour and set aside to rest for seven hours.  The porridge is then mixed into a dough, without any yeast, and allowed to rest for another seven hours.  When the dough is finally made into loaves, they are placed in an oven that has already been used for bread and so the temperature is only about 200ºF.  The loaves bake for seven hours and the process produces a moist, dense, completely sourdough bread that last well over six months – or so the story goes.  The bread is traditionally made in November and it keeps best when stored in wine cellars and hay lofts.”

Now that is the kind of bread I really do love to wrap my brain around and then even my schedule … BUT (ah yes there is that proverbial but) I am just way beyond incredibly grateful to Kelly (A Messy Kitchen) for searching out such a wonderfully accessible alternative.  And I’m incredibly grateful to Joe Ortiz in The Villiage Baker for putting this one together. I do enjoy that book.  Perhaps one day I can bake the above Faire one boiullie but right now my life is too far out of control to do that.

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This bread got me back to baking with my Babes and put butter back on good bread!

I can’t remember when I ever weighted a loaf of bread I bake but I think I need to start.  When I looked at this recipe yield of 2 loaves 14 oz each, it gave me considerable pause. 

The contrast between weight and volume can be dramatic.  Think about those plastic wrapped White Wonder loaves, maybe 90% air and the rest library paste.  This does not bake a brick but it does not have that Wonder loaf volume either.

I loved the caraway!  And the raisin paste while unique, does add just the right subtle sweetness to this.  The original recipe called for measuring the raisins in a tablespoon … that just seems wrong to me.  How do you put raisins in a tablespoon to measure them?  So I didn’t.  But, I did weigh the small handful I put in so that I would know what I used the next time.  Starting this in a cold oven requires less anticipatory planning and so worked really well for my totally scatter brain of the moment.

Pain Bouillie or Porridge Bread

Recipe By: Kelly (Hobby Baker) A Messy Kitchen via The Village Baker

Yield: 2  14 oz loaves

Ingredients:

The Bouillie (Porridge)

10 grams (10 ml) honey

1¾ cups (414 ml) boiling water

140 grams organic rye flour , I used dark stone ground

1 cup rye chops from KAF, barley flakes or rye chops

The dough:

1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

45 grams warm water

All of the bouillie from the previous step

2 teaspoons fine sea salt 

2 teaspoons caraway seeds, heaping

30 grams raisins – yellow

140 grams organic white whole wheat, original total (250 g) unbleached white or all purpose

140  grams organic AP flour

Directions:

1. To make the porridge starter (bouillie):  Mix the honey into the boiling water until dissolved.  Pour it over the rye flour and grain in a bowl.  Let it soak for a few minutes, then give it a stir to make sure all the flour is moistened.  Cover the bowl and set aside overnight in a warm area.

2. For the dough:  You’ll note that the original recipe calls to desolve yeast in a little water … I poured the water over the bouillie and whisk the yeast into the flour.  Put all of the porridge (bouillie) into a madium bowl or stand mixer and mix in the salt.  Crush the caraway seeds with a mortan and pestle until fragrant and broken.  Add the raisins and grind into a paste.  Stir the last 1 tbsp water into the caraway/raisin paste.  Add 2 tsp of the resulting caraway flavoring into the porridge.  Slowly add 1½ cups flour, mixing in on low speed or with a plastic dough scraper.  Mix in the yeast.  Continue adding the remaining flour slowly until the dough is a medium firm consistency.  Knead for 5-8 minutes, adding a little more white flour if necessary.  The dough will be sticky but should be firm.  I used all the flour and then probably used another half cup in kneading.

3. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a moist towel, and let rise in an unlit oven (or warm place) for 1½ – 2 hours.

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4. When the dough has doubled, cut into two pieces.  Shape into flat loaves that are 5″ square and 2″ high by flattening and then folding the edges toward the middle and sealing the edges with the heel of the hand.  Grease a 9×5½” bread pan and oil one side of each loaf.  Place them together in the pan with the oiled sides touching.

5. Cover again with a moist towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes in a cold oven until the dough has crested the edge of the pan by ½-inch.

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Funny as it may look, this is a great way to use this pan when a recipe doesn’t fill the pan.

6. Slash the top of each loaf with a little 2″ cut, and brush tops with oil.

7. Set the oven to 450ºF and immediately place the loaves in to bake.  Bake in the heating oven for 25 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400ºF and bake for 45 minutes longer.  They will be quite dark.  (My oven runs hot and I pulled mine at 40 minutes.)

8. Cool on a wire rack and slice thinly when bread is completely cooled.

Notes:

There are two things wrong with this bread:

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The little chips are the a thin layer of the top crust sliced off. Makes it much easier to slice thin slices of the bread.

1. The crust is really thick, so as I worked my way through the loaf I would cut off just about an inch of the top crust.  That allowed me to slice beautifully thin slices.

2. It’s gone in a flash.  So fast in fact, I found my self baking it again two days later … there was only two of us eating it.

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As dark as this looks, there was no burnt flavor or order found here but the crust is thick.

Half my loaf weighted 428 grams

Don’t miss this bread.  It is a delightful rye and really very simple to put together.  We enjoyed it with poached eggs, smoked salmon and I’m trying to get the ingredients for a Rubin before this last loaf is gone.

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We would love you to bake this great loaf with us and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Here’s how: (I copied this from Lien who copied it from Kelly)  Just bake your version of this bread by November 30th and send her a note with your results and a picture or link to your post at eleyana(AT)aol(DOT)com with Buddy Bread in the subject line and she will include you in our buddy round up at the beginning of next month and send you a badge to keep and/or add to your post.  You don’t have to have a blog to participate, a picture is fine!

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See you next month!  Baking my heart out.