Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Everyday Whole Wheat Pain a l’Ancienne

One of my favorite recipes from Crust and Crumb was the sweet fougasse or sweet rustic bread (p54). I wanted to make that again, but using Peter Reinhart’s recipe for Pain a l’Ancienne in Artisan Breads Everyday. My husband insisted on whole wheat, so I went with the whole wheat version of that recipe. I made two ciabatta and four sweet fougasse.The sweet fougasse, inspired by bread at Ecce Panis, is a three day affair.

The Artisan Bread Everyday Pain a l’Ancienne is a two day affair. Much quicker and easier. (BTW, If you want to see a tutorial on the pain a l’ancienne (BBA version), go to Joe Pastry.)

The idea behind the sweet fougasse is a bread that evokes the richness of a croissant without all the fat and very little sugar. The exterior of the bread gets sprayed with oil and dusted with powdered sugar, and the interior is moist from a long fermentation for the dough. The effect is that of a much richer bread.

And it is delightful made with all whole wheat.

The formula for the whole wheat version of Pain a l’Ancienne is actually closer to that of the French Bread: same amount of flour and salt, but 19 ounces of water, 1 1/4 tsp. of yeast, 3 Tbl. of sugar or 2 Tbl. of agave syrup or honey, and 3 Tbl. og oil. The method, though, is the same as for the Pain a l’Ancienne.

The recipe states that you can get three smaller ciabatta from the recipe. So, I took the third loaf and cut it into four triangles and baked them with the other loafs. After taking them from the oven, I sprayed them with oil, and then dusted them with powdered sugar when they were cool.

I used regular whole wheat instead of the white whole wheat. I think it would be even better with white whole wheat.

I experimented with the ciabatta. One loaf I prepared as instructed in the book, and the other loaf I dimpled (instructions for Craig Ponsford’s ciabatta in Maggie Glezer’s book Artisan Baking Across America). To see what I mean, take a look at Lisa Michele’s post.

Actually, I think I got bigger holes with the loaf that was dimpled, but neither loaf looks like the Ponsford ciabatta. I’m not sure if I did something wrong, or if it was the recipe, or if it is a result of it being a whole wheat recipe.

I’m sending this over to YeastSpotting. Maybe some of the great bread minds over there can give me ciabatta advice . . .

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3 Responses to “Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Everyday Whole Wheat Pain a l’Ancienne”

  1. lisamichele Says:

    I think your loaves turned out awesome..and beautiful crumb! With Ponsford’s ciabatta, the true key to those holes is the hydration of the dough and very little handling (in other words, you should have to use a bench scraper to fold and degas the dough due to the stickiness). 🙂

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Thanks, Lisa! The dough wasn’t quite that sticky–maybe that is why I didn’t get the amazing crumb that you got with your bread.

  2. YeastSpotting 6.25.10 | Wild Yeast Says:

    […] Whole Wheat Sweet Fougasse […]

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