Pain à l’Ancíenne
This is the style of bread I think of most often when I think about a good artisan bread in America. Pain à l’Ancíenne is a simple rustic dough that in this case benefits from a long slow fermentation. The dough is a wet dough (more like ciabatta than a traditional french baguette). It ferments at refrigerator temperature for anywhere from 12 – 18 hours preferably. It is best as a 2 day project, though I ended up making mine in one day, mixing the dough before work (at 4:30am) and doing the typical second day tasks after work (at 5:00pm). This was also to be the first hearth style bread I’d make since installing the unglazed quarry tiles in my oven. My plan was to use 2/3rds of the dough to make baguettes and the other 1/3 to make pizza dough.
I was pretty please with how the baguettes came out. The one on the right in the picture below ended up a little darker, probably because it was baked by itself. These were small baguettes, ranging from 6 – 8ish inches. One became my lunch the next day…another breakfast the day after. This dough also made a nice pizza dough. I split the remaining dough into two portions and attempted to hand toss them into pizzas. I’ve still got some work to do on getting that technique down. I did manage to shape one into approximately a 12″ round, however it was a little thin in the middle (and probably a little over topped with ingredients). The second portion I just couldn’t get to work and reluctantly through it out. I was just getting too tired to try and save it (plus with a 550 degree oven going for the past few hours, it was pretty hot in the kitchen. The dough made a great pizza dough and the quarry tiles worked better than the pizza stone since I didn’t have to try and aim it correctly on the round pizza stone.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/pain-a-lancienne/