Old World Bread Baked for You in Old Towne Orange, CA Grampy Pat's Style

Slow and Clean Bread is Yours to be Enjoyed at OHG http://www.orangehomegrown.org/

Old World 100% Organic MICHE

Patrick Jeannette, aka Grampy Pat's (almost famous) Sourdoughs, waxes eloquently while describing his bread making process. Heís been around the world learning the trade and exchanges information frequently with his online baking guild. His most recent trip was to Cortona, Italy, a Tuscan town, where he baked bread in a wood fired village oven built in 700 AD that hadnít been baked in for over 200 years. This village oven is located between the church and the olive grove and vineyard where Patrickís friends live. Back in the day, women prepared the dough, and marked it with their family insignia. The baker would bake it, and those preservative-free 4.4 to 9 pound loaves would last 2 weeks.

Consider that this ancient oven hadnít been used in 12 generations. Undaunted and well read on the subject, Patrick built the olive wood fire at 6:30 am and waited until the temperature rose to 900 degrees fahrenheit. Then he scraped all the wood and ash off its brick floor, thoroughly cleaned it out and when the internal temp was 560 degrees fahrenheit loaded 16 loaves in and closed the oven door. He patiently waited and shuffled the loaves around. An hour and a half later 16 loaves of piping hot rustic miche, a French-named bread baked in many parts of Europe, were pulled from the oven.

Old world bread is whole grain and prepared over days. Itís not the same as present day bread thatís been stripped and chemically enriched. The simple ingredient list includes:

  • 100% organic whole grain King Arthur™ Type 65 Wheat Flour, 65% wheat berry, bran and wheat germ preserved, and 100% organic whole grain rye.
  • Alkaline water 9.7 pH (Patrick has his own alkaline system-he gets 20% more rise with alkaline water).
  • Sourdough starter* and Sicilian sea salt.

*Patrick uses a 140 year old gold rush (1878) starter from Ketchikan, Alaska. He had .20 kgms gifted to him in 1986. San Francisco sourdough only dates back to 1949. Patrick always keeps 6 lbs. on hand and has to keep feeding it.

The day before baking, all ingredients are mixed together for a short 5 minutes to make initial dough, which then goes through a process called autolyse. The autolyse sits for about 20 minutes while the flour and water interact, then starter and salt are added for the final mix. You can touch the dough, and see itís alive, even bubbling a bit from the CO2 being generated by the yeast. Itís cool to see boule in its fermentation stage.

Bread connoisseurs will note the distinction between a San Francisco bay and fog yeast, and New York City yeast, and his Alaskan yeast made in Old Towne Orange because different lactobacillus in microclimates and water create distinct flavors.

The dough is then divided and shaped into boule then placed in a banneton or proofing basket made in France. Historically, the basket was wrapped willow. The basket has separation and is dusted with flour so it doesnít stick, these create the lines on baked bread.

The dough is placed in a retarder, which is a refrigerator set at 39 degrees for another 14 hours. The dough will still rise and double in size and in the morning, Patrick will turn it over and bake it on hot stone in the oven at 440 degrees for 60 minutes. Patrickís bread involves three fermentations, which take 48 hours start to finish.

This natural bread doesnít require refrigeration because sourdough starter is a natural preservative, so this bread can last two weeks without mold, unless it is extremely hot!

Grampy Patís miche bread is a hot item at the market. Heís been selling out since he started offering it. He recommends slathering it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topping it with avocado and a little salt and pepper. Itís also good toasted with peanut butter.

These days, bread has been demonized, because itís made with a quick process, and the grains are stripped of everything thatís good, then chemically enriched. Grampy Patís bread is probiotic, and itís a complex carbohydrate, a stable carb, that doesnít turn to sugar right away, so no sugar spike.