French country bread
Tour de France is something very popular and known by almost everyone. But Tour and Tourte de Meule? No worries, in order to bake this recipe, you don’t have to be a cycling superstar. Just the hand-kneading part could result a bit more exhausting than normally. But believe me: this will be rewarded with a super aromatic open crumb edition of this quite well known french country bread classic: Tourte de Meule
Paris – Verdelot – Moulins Bourgeois
The first time I got in touch with this beautiful bread tradition was last July, when I was invited by the godfather of flour , Manfred Schellin (bongu.de), to join him for a baker training in Paris, France. Even more precisely: in Verdelot (80 km away from the city) in the traditional and very well known french mill “Moulins Bourgeois“. Since 1895 the mill is in hands of the Bourgeois family and stands for high quality flour. Their main focus areas are: supplying classic french boulangers (within a quite huge radius of 200 kilometers) and the export of their magic flour power.
100 workers are doing their best to get roughly 500 tons of wheat milled – every single day! The major part of Bourgeois’ grains (conventional and organic), among the best wheat sorts all over France, are cultivitaed pretty close to the mill itself.
Stoneground T80 Label Rouge
So lets talk about the characteristics of a very special flour from David and Julien Bourgeois’ mill: the stoneground T80 Label Rouge wheat flour. Label Rouge is a seal of quality issued by the french Ministry of Agriculture. Only food with the highest quality level receive the label. There are very strict regulations and controls on that. As for wheat flour: it is forbidden to use insecticides after harvesting.
So what makes T80 so special? It is a stoneground flour with a very high water-absorbing ability and it features your bread with a unique taste character. Tour de Meule (that’s how the flour is called in France) means “round millstone”. So let’s clear up the recipe name: it means that the majority of used flour in the recipe is stoneground T80 . And as you traditionally bake a round loaf (like a cake) in France with this flour – the bread itself is called “Tourte de Meule” (Tourte = cake).
Tourte de Meule feat. Open Crumb
No #brotokoll recipe without a challenge: at first, I was chasing after the taste I was still remembering from my time in France. At second, I wanted my Tourte de Meule to become part of the #brotokoll Open Crumb Sourdough Series with an irregular and pretty wide opened crumb. I was having a tinker with that as this very special flour has sometimes a quite stubborn character while you are working with it (but hey…would you be happy if there was somebody mixing, stretching, folding or even salting you?).
For an open crumb, dough strength and extensibility is a must (to be able to hold the gases produced during the fermentation process). Besides the right amount of levain, an extended retardation of the final loaf was tipping the scales. Not less important: the leavening power of the sourdough. As I consider my starter a creature of habit, I (nearly) always use the same type of flour for building the levain (french: sourdough) as I normally use for doing my regular feedings. But for the main dough: this loaf received 100% french stoneground T80.
Et Voilà here it is: the #brotokoll Tourte de Meule Open Crumb Edition. Super airy crumb, great ovenspring, mild and great taste and a dark and crunchy crust. Commercial yeast? No need for that.
A huge Thank You to Manfred Schellin, Maxime Debat, Debora Kadne and Julien Bourgeois for these amazing days at Moulins Bourgeois!
Check out these great impressions from my journey to this amazing french mill in Verdelot.