Author Topic: The Taste of Bread  (Read 11855 times)

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Offline Steve

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The Taste of Bread
« on: June 13, 2006, 01:32:01 PM »
Just picked up a copy of Raymond Calvel's book "The Taste of Bread."

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000PY3SY6/?tag=pizzamaking-20

My first impression is: Wow!  :)
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 01:47:06 PM »
Is that the translated version that goes for around $100?

Peter

Offline Steve

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 02:23:12 PM »
Is that the translated version that goes for around $100?

Peter

I used the Inter-Library Loan service here at the University to get a copy... reading it now. Found a copy on the Internet for $48 (new) so I ordered it. Waiting for it to arrive. Yes, it's the translated version.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 02:36:38 PM by Steve »
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Offline Frankie G

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2008, 11:46:43 PM »
Steve....  is it that good?

I have been wanting it... but cannot dishout the cash...  feel I should buy shoes for my kid  :-\

Offline trosenberg

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2008, 04:53:08 AM »
Frankie G, Are you telling me you would  for go the cookbook in exchange for your children's shoes?  You really should get your priorities right.
Trosenberg

Offline tdeane

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 01:30:14 PM »
Frankie G, Are you telling me you would  for go the cookbook in exchange for your children's shoes?  You really should get your priorities right.

He actually said the opposite.

Offline trosenberg

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 07:28:24 PM »
Nah, he said he was going to buy the kid shoes & not get the cookbook.  I was being facetious, but I was reading it correctly.
Trosenberg

Offline tdeane

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 07:56:01 PM »
Nah, he said he was going to buy the kid shoes & not get the cookbook.  I was being facetious, but I was reading it correctly.
Sorry, I didn't get your sarcasm.

Offline artigiano

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2009, 11:42:57 PM »
huh ;)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 11:44:55 AM »
I purchased the Calvel book, The Taste of Bread (Le Gout du Pain), as a Christmas gift to myself, so I thought it might be useful to post my reactions to the book now that I have read a good part of it.

First and foremost, the book is about bread making. There is a casual reference to pizza (and pissaladiere) in the Specialty Breads chapter of the book, but that is about it.

As I view the book, it is essentially broken down into two parts. The first part covers the physical and biochemical aspects of dough making, and related production aspects, and the second part covers actual dough formulations. The technical part is fairly detailed and would be of little interest to those who are not interested in the technical aspects of dough making or who cannot comprehend it. I personally would have preferred more technical detail because I like a lot of detail because I think it helps me understand things better. For example, a good idea as to the level of detail that I like, which is a few steps further than Prof. Calvel's, is given at this useful website on dough making: http://www.classofoods.com/ukindex.html. No doubt, Prof. Calvel has gone into greater detail about many aspects of dough preparation in the over 100 articles that he published, but they are, unfortunately, for the most part only in French.

All of the dough formulations in Prof. Calvel's book are given in baker's percents. Also, the quantities of many of the doughs produced using those formulations are commercial quantities, of up to 75 pounds, although there are a few formulations, for example, for pain brioche, and milk and sandwich rolls, that yield around eight pounds of dough. So, for those who do not want to use baker's percents or who do not know how to use baker's percents, for example, for scaling purposes, this would not be the right book to have. At $75, even with free shipping, the book would be a waste of money.

As our members know, Prof. Calvel is perhaps best known for his having come up with the concept of autolysis (autolyse). However, while many (but not all) of his dough formulations call for using autolysis, the actual description of the autolyse method appears only on a small part of one page of his book (page 31) and also in Footnote 2 on page 91. Those descriptions are essentially as I and other members have written in posts on this forum. However, the aspect that I was most interested in when I read about autolysis in the book was the duration of the autolyse rest period. As it turns out, the durations of the autolysis given in the dough formulations run from about 13-30 minutes, depending on the particular dough formulation. Remember, however, that this range is for dough batches of up to about 75 pounds, not for an amount of dough for say, a single loaf of bread, which would be similar to the weight of a single pizza dough ball. I could not find anything in the book about how to scale the autolyse rest period for a very small dough batch.

In the book, Prof. Calvel also describes the use of natural starters and preferments, including poolish/sponge and old dough (prefermented dough and chef). He also acknowledges the use of a hybrid preferment (levain de pate) that comprises a natural starter or preferment supplemented with a very small amount of commercial yeast. The "hybrid" method is used mostly in cool weather, from September 15 to May 15 in France, and the amount of commercial yeast is kept very small so as not to overtake the preferment and its flavor contributions.

Pehaps the most dominating theme in the book is the need to avoid over-oxidizing and bleaching the dough by overworking or overkneading the dough, because of their effects on the damage done to carotenoids, which contribute to the aroma and taste of the finished crust and crumb. In great measure, Prof. Calvel's concern with oxidation issues stemmed from the fact that many bakers had gone to the "intensive" method of dough production, which entailed aggressive mixing of the dough at often high mixer speeds in order to shorten the fermentation and, hence, total production time. Also, some bakers had taken to adding bean flours (e.g., fava bean flour) to dough formulations, which apparently also led to over-oxidation of the dough. As best I can tell, this is not a practice that was widely used in the U.S.

There are a few other interesting tidbits that I took away from the book. First, Prof. Calvel stresses the need to get the correct finished dough temperature, using water temperature to achieve this result. Second, Prof. Calvel recommends using a moderately strong flour with a protein content of 11-13%. In France, the ideal flour would be the Type 55 flour. Again, this is for making bread dough, not necessarily pizza dough. In the U.S., a good quality flour would be bread flour, even though it is not the same as the Type 55 flour. Third, I noticed that Prof. Calvel uses malt extract and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in many of the dough formulations. The malt extract appears to be diastatic malt. The use of diastatic malt seems to make sense since the French flours, like the Type 55, have less starch damage than the types of flours we use in the U.S. It may also be that our flours are more heavily malted at the millers' facilities. The ascorbic acid provides an acidic environment for the yeast and should result in a higher dough volume, which is a desired characteristic in a bread dough. In the U.S., it is also common to include a small amount of ascorbic acid in commercial yeasts, for the same purpose. Fourth, many of Prof. Calvel's dough formulations call for using lecithin. Lecithin is commonly used in bread doughs because of its anti-oxidant properties and, hence, protection of the flavor complex of the finished bread. It is not something usually seen in the context of pizza dough making, although there is nothing to suggest that it couldn't or shouldn't also be used in that environment.

I also found it interesting that Prof. Calvel does not favor prefermented doughs over the straight dough method. He seemed to be very fond of breads made from the straight dough method and, if I had to guess, if he had been forced to choose between the straight dough method and a prefermented method, he would have selected the straight dough method, albeit with a healthy dose of diplomacy. From his perspective, the straight dough method was simpler, took less time, required no pre-culturing and lent itself better to commercial production methods. Of course, the dough for the straight dough method had to be properly prepared, especially with respect to minimizing over-oxidation of the dough.

I'm sure that as I re-read portions of the book and read other sections that I have not yet gotten to, it is possible that I will have other thoughts and comments to pass on to the forum.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 01:02:41 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline Frankie G

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 06:42:23 PM »
Thank you Peter!

Where did you buy... and at what price??

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2009, 06:56:09 PM »
Where did you buy... and at what price??

Frankie,

From Amazon.com at $75, with free (Super Saver) shipping.

Peter

Offline WestCountry

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2009, 08:43:19 PM »
Peter,

Wonderful review. Very insightful. Thank you!

Chris

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009, 08:18:54 AM »
In my earlier Reply 9, I forgot to mention that I found Prof. Calvel's treatment of salt in bread doughs and preferments to be quite interesting and informative.

For example, throughout the book, Prof. Calvel repeatedly rails against the practice followed by bakers using the "intensive" dough mixing method of adding salt to the dough during the final five minutes of mixing rather than at the beginning of the mixing stage or shortly thereafter. Salt is an antioxidant but it also is a dough strengthener. Mixing the dough in the absence of salt facilitates the formation of the gluten bonds at the beginning of the dough formation, and yields a slightly stronger dough, but the anti-oxidant effects of the salt are lost, resulting in a bleached (washed out) and over-oxidized dough, with a consequential material decline in the quality of the crust flavor.  Prof. Calvel went so far as to refer to this practice as being a "disaster". Since most pizza doughs tend to be slightly undermixed and developed at relatively low mixer speeds, with minimal degradation of the dough because of the effects of oxidation, I believe that it is safe to add salt toward the end of the mixing process if that is so desired. However, the effects of over-oxidation is a factor to be kept in mind for those who, for whatever reason, choose to use high mixer speeds and long mixing times in the preparation of their pizza doughs.

I should add that the delayed use of salt as mentioned above does not apply to the delay in adding salt to a dough that undergoes the autolyse method. Salt should not be present in the dough during the autolyse period, only after, along with the rest of the dough ingredients, including the yeast.

Another interesting use of salt by Prof. Calvel is its use during the preparation of a starter culture. Prof. Calvel uses salt in the culture because it slows down the action of the protease enzymes in the dough so that they do not materially degrade the gluten structure and soften it. In my observation, few people add salt to their starter cultures.

Peter

Offline charbo

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009, 07:06:18 PM »
I noticed that Monica Spiller at Whole Grain Connection http://sustainablegrains.org/index.html is also recommending salt, partly for gluten protection and partly to select the right microbes, in what she calls barm.

I recently read Calvel’s book.  He devotes significant space to explain his aesthetic, technical, and nutritional objections to whole wheat bread.  Nevertheless, there is a whole wheat recipe.   

In the last section of Chapter 10 and its Note 6, I noticed something of interest to home-millers.  It is stated that white flour needs aging.  I infer that whole wheat flour does not benefit from aging.

Some of the book’s info is available at The Artisan http://home.earthlink.net/~ggda/.

The book is a little pricey for its small size.  It’s mainly applicable to professional bakers, but it has a lot of historical interest.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2009, 01:56:46 PM »
Out of curiosity, I decided to look at the dough formulation section of Prof. Calvel's book The Taste of Bread to see how extensively he used autolysis in his many dough formulations. As previously mentioned, a good part of the book is devoted to dough formulations. I counted the basic dough formulations (they appear between pages 89 and 180 of the book) and there are 80 of them. With variations, there are considerably more than that. Not all of the dough formulations are for basic bread doughs. There are dough formulations for croissants, brioche, rolls and many other yeasted doughs. But, of the basic 80 dough formulations, there are a total of 10 that make use of autolyse. If we omit the dough formulations for croissants, brioche, and one for a dough using a special flour (farine de gruau), there are a total of six dough formulations that call for the use of autolyse. To preserve that list, I have listed the dough formulations below. I have also indicated the duration of the autolyse rest period and the amount of dough for each of the formulations. All of the times and weights are with respect to the commercial mixers that were in use as of the time the book was written.

1. Pain au Levain (made from a naturally fermented sponge); autolyse rest period = 30 minutes; dough batch size = about 74 pounds.

2. Levain de Pate (made with a culture, or chef, and commercial yeast); autolyse rest period = 30 minutes; dough batch size = about 75 pounds.

3. Basic French Bread (straight dough method with 1st speed for all mixings); autolyse rest period = 15 minutes; dough batch size = about 75 pounds.

4. Basic French Bread (straight dough method with improved mixing using 1st and 2d speeds); autolyse rest period = 15 minutes; dough batch size = about 75 pounds.

5. Basic French Bread with Addition of Fermented Dough; autolyse rest period = 13 minutes; dough batch size = about 76 pounds.

6. Rustic Bread from Pure Wheat Flour; autolyse rest period = 18 minutes; dough batch size = about 76 pounds.

I did not see anything in the book that talks about scaling the autolyse rest periods for smaller quantities of dough.

One of the things that all of the above formulations have in common is that they do not call for any sugar or oil. However, since the croissant dough formulations call for autolysing a mixture including flour, water, sugar, milk powder and fat (butter or margarine), maybe autolysis can be used with a standard dough formulation with sugar and oil to make a pizza dough. But, even with the croissant dough, the yeast and salt (and ascorbic acid) are added after the autolyse rest period.

I would be remiss in not stating that many of the dough formulations in the book call for rest periods other than autolyse rest periods. They are usually introduced at the time of dividing/rounding the bulk mass of dough into individual dough balls. The range of such rest periods is about 10-45 minutes, depending on the type of dough and dough formulation, with the bulk of the rest periods having durations in about the middle of the aforesaid range. I would characterize such rest periods as being like those used by the members just before placing their dough balls in the refrigerator to undergo cold fermentation.

I also confirmed that there is one dough recipe in the book for pizza. It is the Pizza/Pissaliadere dough formulation (pages 120-121). It uses a prefermented dough and calls for flour, salt, yeast, diastatic malt syrup (which Prof. Calvel uses in most of the dough formulations), olive oil, ascorbic acid (which Prof. Calvel also uses in many dough formulations), and water. No autolysis is used, and the total dough batch weight is 7.37 pounds. In due course, I hope to scale down the formulation to a single dough ball weight and give it a try.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 05:51:06 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Saturday Coffee

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Re: The Taste of Bread
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2011, 07:08:11 PM »

I have a first-edition copy of Calvel's 1964 book Le Pain et La Panification (Bread & Bakery).  It's a small paperback in French with about 130 pages, and looks like a textbook.





 

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