10 June 2020

Farine T65 et levure instantanée

After all the noise I made about not being able to find yeast here, I should write about the over-abundance of it I have now. Abondance de biens ne nuit pas, they say — you can't have too much of a good thing. It's all instant yeast, which is also called "bread yeast" in English, it seems. You can mix it directly into flour without "proofing" it in warm liquid first.

The home-made bread is the sandwich loaf on the left in this photo. The round loaf is a boule that I bought at our village bakery.

An American friend down the road found some yeast in a supermarket in Romorantin and bought me a package. Then Super U came through with some in one of our on-line orders. A friend in England sent me a 1 lb. bag. And then a couple of days ago some yeast (10 envelopes) that I ordered on Amazon.fr arrived nearly two months before the predicted delivery date.

Yeast from England, China, and France

My next trial was trying to find bread flour. That's called farine type 65 in French — it's also called "strong flour" in some countries. I wanted to make bread with that rather than with farine type 55, which is the equivalent of all-purpose flour. The other type I've made bread with is type 45, which is called "cake flour" in the U.S. and is good for making Southern "buttermilk" biscuits.



So I finally made bread yesterday — see the short slideshow above. While waiting for bread yeast and then for bread flour, I had bought bread in a couple of different local bakeries and put it in the freezer. We were fixed for bread for a while, in other words. Now's the time to start making more.









Why make bread at home when you can buy bread like this for just one euro per loaf in France? Well, I drove down to the village bakery at 10 a.m. a few days ago to get another boule blanche like this one, and they had already sold out for the day. I had wasted my time and was disappointed.

Here's a comparison shot showing both the village baker's bread and my home-made loaf. I basically followed a French recipe for pain de mie but with some modifications.

Yesterday I placed another grocery order for drive-through pickup this morning. I ordered some tuna for tuna salad and some cheese for pimento cheese. I see sandwiches in our near future.

18 comments:

  1. Bee yuu tee full looking bread! If necessary, I think I could live on bread and water, ah no, make that bread and wine.

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    1. LOL. Sometimes I think I do live mostly on bread and wine. Also vegetables, fruit, and meat. We toasted a couple of slices of the home-made bread and ate it with some duck rillettes and some cornichons last night. Not half bad.

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    2. Don't forget the cheese!

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    3. There's so much good cheese here that it's easy to take it for granted.

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  2. Your pain de mie looks great. Bet it is very good too!

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    1. Have you ever used bread flour rather than all-purpose flour to make your bread? The bread you make is always really good.

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    2. I have used bread floiur, all-purpose flour and half a cup semolina with two and a half cups all-purpose flour. Didn't see much difference with the last combination.

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  3. I read somewhere that you can freeze dried yeast, if it's in danger of going out of date before you use it all!
    Out of date yeast doesn't work, as we have found out in the past.

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    1. Yes you can - I have done it for years taking a cup or two out to have ready in the fridge. I have never had it go inactive.

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    2. It was Jean who sent me a pound of instant yeast, and I thank her for that. I'm going to divide it up into, say, 1 oz. portions and freeze them separately, so that I can take out a small quantity for immediate use. Should work...

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  4. You can never have too much yeast, or maybe you can! Funny how the yeast has come to you from so many places. I freeze my yeast in the jar that I buy it in and have never had a problem using it that way. Sorry the bakery was out of your loaf today.

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    1. I don't really understand the French bakery business. How do bakers judge how much bread they will sell in a day? Sometimes they are bound to run out before the day is over. And then what do they do with unsold bread? I wonder if there are companies that buy it from bakeries and turn it into breadcrumbs or animal food or whatever.

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  5. Wow, you certainly seem to have worked out all of the kinks to come up with the perfect pain de mie -- it looks great!

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    1. I think the bread flour, or farine type 65, makes a big difference. I'm planning to use it for bread-making from now on... if I can find it. And the farine type 45 or "cake flour" is really good for Southern-style biscuits, making them tender and soft.

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  6. The pain de mie looks great. France is food heaven isn't it, with that beautiful boule and the wine and cheese. And all reasonable in price.

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    1. It really is. Prices of course are higher in Paris than out here in the countryside, and wine prices are higher in regions that don't have their own local wines.

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  7. The texture of your loaf looks really good. We too, now have an abundance of yeast, but spelt & rye flours are unavailable! And they do make a delicious bread with strong white and added seeds. C'est la vie!

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