The New Bakers Dozen
Poilane Sourdough Bread

The The Bakers Dozen: Poilane Sourdough Bread
By Rubble (Rubble) on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 12:35 pm: Edit

Anyone out there acquainted with Poilane's sourdough bread??!!

I am doing a report on Poilane sourdough bread for my Ingredient Functions class at culinary school. After some research, I found that the bread's creator, Lionel Poilane, was very specific about the ingredients for the bread (i.e. flour made from epeautre wheat, sea salt from a specific mine, etc.) Although I have tasted the bread, I was curious to know if the particular ingredients in Poilane's bread interact any differently than in regular sourdough bread. I want to delinieate whether he chose these particular ingredients solely for taste and color or whether their combination created a significantly different bread. Actually, I would also welcome ANY information on Poilane's sourdough as I have had little luck in finding any detailed or thoughtful material on the subject. THANKS!

By byytor on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 07:27 pm: Edit

I have been to his shop and sampled his bread a few times.While I can't tell you exactly why he uses those specific type of ingredients,other than he finds these perfectly suited for what he wants.He has his own master baker Jean Diard who oversees the even the selection of the wheat from the Marne valley that is grown just for him.he has a "factory" in the suburb of Bievres.(he hates the word factory and calls it a "manufacture".The building is in the shape of a wheel consisting of 24 traditional bakers ovens all fed into the centered wood burning ovens.

By byytor on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 07:28 pm: Edit

He is a purist.the only machine is for mixing the dough, everything else is done by hand.there is no faucets. next to each kneading trough hangs buckets of water. Poilane says that pushing a button to deliver 60 liters of water at 40 degrees celsius stops the baker from thinking about what he is doing, besides in baking everthing is a question of variables,the temperature of the day, the humidity, the quality of the flour etc.He even delivers all his wood and flour for the dough to the basement ovens by gravity.After all he says hes never known gravity to break down.

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