02 August 2007

Pan de Luis Redux

After exchanging email with my online buddy, Chef Bob del Grosso, I modified the first attempt at Pan de Luis to incorporate some of his advice. I got some vital wheat gluten from Hodgson Mill to make up for the fact that I can't get bread flour here. Bread flour contains more gluten than AP flour, so adding gluten helps. Since I bought the gluten online, I wanted to get enough to justify the shipping cost. My wife thinks I went a little overboard, as I now have enough for about 170 loaves of bread. I also bought some instant yeast from Hodgson, since I can't get that here either.

I'm sure Bob's recipe is better than this one, but I decided to keep it simple. I'll get to his at some point.

Since my last attempt, I bought a scale; I now measure dry ingredients by weight. Since I bake more often these days, I've switched from kneeding the dough by hand to doing it in my KitchenAid stand mixer using the dough hook.

Click on the image to see it full size.

Here is the modified recipe. It makes two 2 pound (900 gram) loaves.
  • 1 kilogram AP flour
  • 30 grams vital wheat gluten
  • 9 grams salt
  • 26 ounces room-temperature water
  • 8.75 grams instant yeast
First make a poolish:
  • 340 grams AP flour
  • 3 grams gluten
  • 13 ounces room-temperature water
  • 1.5 grams instant yeast
  1. Combine the gluten, yeast, and flour in the KitchenAid work bowl and mix.
  2. Add the water, mix well.
  3. Cover with a towel, and let sit at room temperature for 5 hours
  4. Stir well and refrigerate overnight
The next day, I make the dough:
  • 660 grams AP flour
  • 33 grams gluten
  • 9 grams salt
  • 13 ounces room-temperature water
  • the remaining yeast
  1. Bring the poolish back to room temperature.
  2. Mix the yeast, gluten, salt, and flour.
  3. Add 26 ounces room-temperature water and the flour mixture to the work bowl with the biga.
  4. Kneed on medium speed for 10 minutes.
  5. Let rise in a slightly oiled bowl for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in volume.
  6. Punch down, and fold on itself several times to redistribute the yeast.
  7. Let rise another hour, or until doubled in volume.
  8. Divide into 2 equal parts, and shape into loaves, and transfer to a lightly-oiled sheet pan that's dusted with corn meal.
  9. Let rise another hour covered with a towel.
  10. Preheat the oven to 500°F with an empty oven-proof pan in the oven.
  11. When the oven reaches 500°F, pour a cup of hot water in the pan, and close the oven door.
  12. Slash the top of each loaf several times and put the baking sheet in the oven
  13. After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 475°F.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes more, or to an internal temperature of 200°F.
  15. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.

Click on the image to see it full size.

This bread freezes very well.

Lest you worry, I vacuum-bagged the rest of the gluten, so it should keep for a long time.


Bob del Grosso said...

Hey those look great! The sponge looks terrific and the recipe reads like it should give the a good tasting bread. You know you can push the fermentation of the poolish another 8 hours if you want to. That would give it even more flavor. Also once you mix it with the rest of the flour etc, you can ferment it in the refrigerator overnight or longer and get even better flavor and texture.

Nicely done Don Luis!

Don Luis said...

Thanks Bob,

I think it needed a little more salt, but the texture and chew were fabulous.

Your advice was right on.

I will certainly try the longer ferment. At this point, I only want to change one or two variables at a time so I understand what's going on. My plan is to make bread at least twice a week until I get a consistent bread that I like, then get more adventurous.

I will also buy more and different flours from Hodgson Mill; they were quick, and didn't charge a fortune to ship to Puerto Rico.