A Stir The Pots Post

A worthy loaf

by | Dec 7, 2010 | Bread


"Me saco el sombrero a tu pan." That's Spanish for "I tip my hat to your bread," something told to me recently, a capitulation or just an honest assesment from my best critic, my wife.

It's not often I get compliments about my bread from my wife. More often I'll get a scolding for having too many different containers of flour, or crumbs messing up our kitchen. Or worse, my levain looks to her like an eye sore. Then last weekend I had made some bread. It was still just out from an overnight chill in the fridge retarding. So we resorted to buying some local bakery bread. Or rather, my brother-in-law went out searching for a loaf.

Let me tell you, it's not a common sight in my area to find a real bakery. Sadly neigborhood boulangeries just aren't a reality, even in a big city like New York, supposedly the heart of gastronomy. New Yorkers are regelated to either buying from a large wholesale bakery that might have a small retail shop annex, like Amy's bread, or they could buy direct in the Greenmarket. But for us in the boroughs (Queens!) it's often sponge from a supermarket or a mediocre bakery.

When my brother in-law came back, my wife screeched in horror at the supposed baguette specimen, a bleached white and wilted affair decorated with amateur slashes. I allowed myself a smug chuckle as I tucked my now ready loaf into the oven.



My loaf was an old favorite from FCI a Bordelaise loaf. It was our favorite to take home after class, often cooked a deep dark brown, croustillant in French.



Pain Bordelaise

Adapted from FCI

800g loaf



Wheat flour (AP)90g

water                90g

Starter              18g

Mix and let stand 8 hours


Bread Flour (or All Purpose) 354g

Whole wheat                       10g

Rye                                     40g

Water                                206g

Salt                                    10g

Levain                              198g


  • Mix flour,water, levain, and autolyse for 25 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Continue mixing at low speed for about 2 minutes.
  • Add salt and mix on second speed for another two minutes.
  • Bulk ferment for 11/2 hours, giving the dough two folds, or more if slack.
  • Pre-shape round, and rest 25 minutes.
  • Shape into a boule and place in floured banneton.
  • Final rise, about 2 hours, or may vary on conditions, temperatures…
  • Bake in a 485 F oven in a creuset pot, covered for 25 minutes, 15 minutes uncovered.





  1. Teresa

    Terrific loaf,Jeremy. There’s nothing like bringing home a store bought loaf, to have your family find out you are king!

  2. Oliverde

    This was my fave loaf recipe that I acquired from my FCI stint…I keep coming back to it. So satisfying!
    BTW: Your blog is always at the top of my reading list, so THANK YOU for all the things of interest. Just thought , since I am a crap noter, I’d take this opportunity to tell you that.

  3. Cris

    WOW, great loaf, thanks, thanks, to put the recipe.I’m gonna try to make it this week.


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