Stephen Caudill shared this video over at the Bread Baker’s Guild site today. It’s a French documentary on wheat and traditional baking techniques. Very interesting even if your french is poor (like mine!)
The neatest thing for me is watching the baker mix the dough in a wooden trough. That’s the traditional way to do it, although I’m very, very glad we have a mixer at Orange Boot. I’m tired enough at the end of the day with the other manual work we do.
Every other step is identical to what we do at the bakery; dividing and shaping by hand, loading and unloading the oven by hand, etc. When we were baking at home, even firing and cleaning the brick oven was the same. Although we never seemed to sit under a tree and listen to the birds while the loaves were baking. That would’ve been fun.
The baker is making traditional sourdough boules, or Pain au Levain. It’s very similar to the smaller Saskatchewan Sourdough boules we make at the bakery, but much larger. I really love how they look going into the oven and the way the crumb looks when they cut into a loaf. Lovely stuff.
Here’s some liner notes if you want to skip to the baking parts:
Divide: 17:00 and Shape
Load the Oven: 18:00
Unload, taste and assess: 28:00