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Pain à l'Ancienne question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have learned a lot from this site and I hope someone answer a question I have. My bread turns out really great but sometimes I need to take an extra day to bake it - or like today, I made the dough early this morning and won't be baking it until tomorrow - 24 hrs. I'm making my Pain à l'Ancienne. How long can I leave the dough in the refrigerator? The recipe says 'overnight'. I've read similar methods that say it can stay up to 24-36 hrs. I'm using a recipe adapted from The Breadbaker's Apprentice. So, 'What would Peter do?'

I'm just wondering how flexable I can be. It would be perfect if I could even wait until Saturday to bake it. Dare I risk it!?!

Thanks, Franzia
post #2 of 6
I've made Peter's Pain a l'Ancienne a couple of times and I think it is one of the easiest and tastiest breads there is.

If you want to bake it off on Saturday stick it in the freezer till then. Assuming you won't bake it till later on Saturday, put it in the fridge in the morning and take it out an hour or so before you bake it. Otherwise 24 hours is OK in the fridge if you want to bake it tomorrow. Then you can make some more for Saturday 'cos you'll eat this one by then :D

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've loaned my 'Bread Baker's Apprentice' to my neighbor - I know where he lives! :) and I'm holding his 'Baking with Julia' as hostage, but I think that's one of the comments Peter makes regarding this bread that made me decide to give it a go...and, I agree, it is the easiest and the best tasting bread in it's catagory. As it's stated, Pain a l'Ancienne is a method rather than a bread. I use the 'method' for almost all my breads and regulate the liquid to get the dough I'll need for whatever I'm making - more water for ciabatta, etc. It was also a good reason to get a new larger food processor!

I just took the dough out of the fridge to come up to temperature and I'll be making it today - actually, I thought yesterday was today and so I'll start Saturdays tomorrow - if tomorrow actually is tomorrow!

I wondered about freezing the dough and I will try that soon. I was worried that the yeast would loose it's umpth but in another forum a member advised me that 'Cookwise' by Shelly O. Corriher says you can mix a little yeast with water and knead it in if it isn't raising. Almost everything I've learned in the past 2 years in my endeavor toward artisan bread has been by trial and error - also known as the hard way! Thanks for your reply and enjoy your bread, too!

post #4 of 6
So, how did your bread turn out?

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the delay replying - Tucson Gem and Mineral Show started!

The bread turned out great! We made muffalettas and I just don't think it could have been any better... so, we know a few extra hrs. ain't gonna hurt it, I guess.

Another recipe for a rustic bread from Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman said that if it you have to leave a poolish over 16 hrs. to refrigerate it so my thinking is that this would be fine, too, since it was cold during mixing and in the refrigerator the rest of the time. I also add just under a half teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder - l understand that it aids in the last rising...

We absolutely love the bread and it is so unbelievably easy to make and, for me, that slack dough is very easy to work with. I can just about work anything into it for variations. One suggestion was to substitute a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for part of the water and I'm anxious to try that. I'm happy!

Thanks for your encouragement, Jock!

post #6 of 6
No problem.

Interesting suggestion about the balsamic vinegar. Where did that idea come from?

Commercial yeast has a low tolerance for acid and the vinegar might kill it. Maybe such a small quantity won't do much damage but if your dough doesn't rise, I would look to the vinegar as the culprit.

I haven't made bread in ages it seems. Every time I plan to get started, something else comes up and the timing is off!!! All this talk though, makes me anxious to do something.

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