Hello, I'm Julia Child.
Welcome to my house.
What fun we're going to have
baking all kinds of incredible cakes, pies and breads
right here in my own kitchen.
Baking with me today is master bread maker Steve Sullivan
of Berkeley, California.
Steve will share the techniques that help make his Acme bread
the toast of the San Francisco Bay area.
Join us, on...
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These breads are made by one of the most famous bakeries
in the San Francisco area, the Acme Bakery.
And they supply the breads for Chez Panisse
Alice Waters' famous restaurant.
And what's so special about them, Steve?
It's sort of unique in that it's built, unlike most yeast breads
over a period of stages in three different starters
starting from a little piece of old dough.
And you start out with about this much.
Julia: Good, well let's start in on it.
Steve: Okay, so we've got a little piece of dough
which has fermented for quite a while.
We chop it up into little bits...
This piece will go about the size of a small walnut.
Yeah, or a large cherry.
And then we're going to use just under
a quarter-cup of fairly warm water.
Sort of blood temperature.
So we've added just under a quarter cup of water
and then we're going to add a little flour.
It's a good idea, I think, for anyone
if they're going to go into pastry and bread making
to have some scales, don't you think?
Yeah, well, it's essential to us.
It's certainly helpful to the home baker.
Well, this was about...
it's a little less than a cup, wasn't it?
Uh, yeah, I think it was
a little bit less than a cup, all told.
This is actually an all-purpose flour.
It's not a bread flour.
It's not as high in gluten or as strong
as a lot of people think that you have to use for breads.
And this happens to be an organically grown flour.
Well, it would be
sort of an unbleached all-purpose flour.
Unbleached all-purpose flour
would work just fine for this.
This makes a rather stiff ball of dough.
you might take this onto the table
and work it smooth.
Although how much you develop this
at this stage is not real important.
It's just important
that everything be incorporated.
And no lumps.
Yeah, no lumps, no unassimilated flour.
Okay, that's probably about the condition
it needs to be in at this stage.
That's starter number one.
This is... we call it starter number one
and it'll ferment, develop, rise--
however you refer to it-- for about eight hours
and you'd be ready for the next stage.
This is at room temperature does it rise or...?
A little bit warmer than room temperature
is ideal for this timing.
I find that my oven at home with just the light on--
I'm talking about the electric light bulb--
seems to keep the oven
about the right temperature.
Well, that's a good idea, yeah.
After this rises for about eight hours...
Yes, I can see that's soft and sticky.
They've got this wonderful sort of network of lacy...
Yes, I can see.
So that's what we're looking for?
And then what happens?
Uh, we can use our original bowl...
and we use a full quarter cup of water.
Full quarter cup of water at this stage.
So then you...
we're going to scrape this onto the table
and chop it up in bits as well.
We're going to add a little flour, again.
Use... a little over three ounces.
So again, you get...
trying to just get everything incorporated.
We're not really trying to develop this dough.
This isn't our final dough.
You find in a lot of... starter bread baking
whether it's with natural leavenings
or even with this, that often you double the starter
and you let it go another development
and it helps the flavor develop with...
Then the texture sort of...
it has a shelf life.
the longer the flour and the water develop together
I think the longer the water stays in the bread
once it's made.
That's how the starter looks
when it's ready for its second major fermentation.
This goes for about four hours.
We have another one over here.
We've got some starters number two, here.
Now, when I normally make this bread
this is the stage I normally see.
I come in in the morning
and they've prepared the starter.
And again, you've got that... that laciness of these.
It's elastic enough that it will stretch.
It's got that... what I associate
with that old homemade bread smell.
Yes, it does, lovely.
It's yeasty and sweet without being sour and...
The next stage is to actually mix the dough.
We've got about 12 ounces of water here--
about a cup and a half, just a tiny bit over.
We're going to add all but a little bit of that.
Maybe a quarter cup we leave.
I'll cut up our...
That's a good idea.
Otherwise you'd never get it mixed up, would you?
Well, particularly in a machine like this
it flies around in one mass
and it'll knock your flour...
Flour all over the place.
We use just under a half teaspoon of yeast for this.
So we've got the starter and the water and the yeast
and then we are going to weigh out the flour
which, conveniently for this recipe
works out to be one pound.
And we'll add the flour in here.
Now we're going to start this out...
in sort of an on-and-off motion
just so we don't splatter too much with this machine.
( pulsing mixer )
That was a good trick-- so it didn't splatter.
If you started right up...
it'd all go all over the room.
Now, at this stage we're going to add the salt.
Everything's kind of incorporated.
And we're going to add just under three teaspoons...
Yes, that is a tablespoon.
Is a tablespoon.
We've reserved out a little bit
of our water, you remember.
That'll help the salt dissolve.
Particularly in a machine like this
if you add the salt at the very beginning of the mix...
the dough becomes tough sooner.
That's a good point to know.
it helps the dough remain supple
a little longer into the mix
if you don't add the salt right at the beginning.
So this is almost ready.
What do you do about the dough up on the hook there?
Well, that... that happens in these machines
and one thing you can do if you're kind of tricky
as it comes up you can... lower the bowl a little
and speed up the bowl
and it'll sort of throw it off.
And then you raise the bowl back up
and slow it back down.
I think this dough
is probably just about as mixed as it needs to be.
This is about probably as... at least as soft a dough
as people are used to feeling comfortable handling
maybe a little softer, but... but it works.
And I can't really mix dough in a machine like this
without putting it on a bench
and feeling it myself a little bit.
So this is... this is our dough.
It's ready to go.
That is lovely.
It's a very supple dough.
Okay, we'll just... plop that into a bowl.
If you want to oil the bowl a little bit, you can
with some very neutral oil--
light olive oil or cottonseed oil.
So then if we're going to put this
for its first rising, we'll want to cover it.
In this case we'll cover it with plastic.
Uh, people have...
How many rises does it have in the bowl now?
We'll cover that and let it rise
for about an hour and a half.
Again, in an 80- to 85-degree place.
And here's one that's done just that.
It's starting to... rise in the bowl.
It's got bubbles under the surface
and if you look through our little transparent bowl
you can see bubbles against the side of the glass and...
Yeah, and then again
there's that sort of... pulling out.
Yeah, sort of elasticity.
We don't think of this as a punching down.
We call it a folding
and we basically fold the dough over
about four times.
And this redistributes the yeast, I guess.
Redistributes the yeast
among the food that it needs.
Because the yeast can't move to the food
so you move the food to the yeast.
Yeast-- that's a good idea.
We'll re-cover that for its next rising.
Now, the dough about ready
to be turned into bread?
Should be, if 45 minutes have passed.
Okay, so we're going to put this out on the counter now.
We're going to make a couronne...
And it came so beautifully
out of the bowl, didn't it?
We're going to make this... this crown here.
Yeah, the French term for this is a couronne.
It has this string- of-pearls decoration on it that...
Fitting for a crown, with pearls, isn't it?
Yeah-- so we're going to weigh out
a little piece of about five ounces
to make the decoration out of.
Almost a cup.
You have to eyeball it, I think.
Yeah, a handful, yeah.
And then you want to pre-form this.
You stretch it out a little bit long
because we're going to make a long string out of this.
Put a little flour on the bench here
pat it out and then you...
just turn it, turn it
turn it, turn it, turn it, turn it.
Sort of pinch it on the back.
Just as though we were going to make a baguette.
A tiny little baguette, yeah.
And then the final one...
you've created your seam there.
And then we're going to roll this out
as far as we can at this stage.
We can't roll it all the way
at this stage, because, ah...
Because it draws back.
Yeah, see, it's beginning...
if I let go, it springs back.
So we put it aside at this stage.
Let it rest.
Let it rest.
And then we take the rest of this.
Our batch of bread made, uh, 2½½ pounds.
We took off five ounces there.
We want two pounds for the couronne
so we've got about three ounces
of extra, which...
we'll say that's three ounces.
Uh, so we form this into a loose round.
What we're doing is we're just going around
turning the outside into the center
until we get all the way around, then we...
So we're making a ball, a boule.
Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Then we bat it around on the table a little bit.
So then after... after you've made this round
you, uh, begin making the couronne.
The traditional way that I've seen
to make the hole in the center
is with your elbow.
Oh, that's wonderful!
Spin it and make a little doughnut.
Then you just... flour your fingers
and make it sort of... like that.
I think doing it with the elbow was very nice.
And force the opening.
And this needs to rest as well.
So we just wait.
Yeah, we just have to wait now
about ten or 15 minutes.
Julia: Well, that has rested enough.
It's rested enough to be stretched out.
So we'll stretch it out to what I think
should be the full length that we'd need.
Isn't that interesting
what that rest has been able to do.
You could make a bread stick out of it.
You could make bread sticks out of it.
You could make a little string of pearls
to decorate our couronne with.
Now it's rolled out all the way
and we need to let it rest three or four minutes
before we divide it into the pearls
to decorate our couronne loaf with.
So, now we'll make the string of pearls.
And we just begin working our way
from one end to the other.
With the side of our hand.
Not quite cutting through.
If we hadn't let this rest...
Can I make one?
Go for it.
You really have to press down on it.
Well, it's... it's tricky.
You have to press hard enough
to make a real division
but if you press too hard
all of a sudden, it's pinched off.
You've done it enough
so you know exactly how to do it.
I do it pretty frequently.
I don't know exactly how to do it, but...
So, we'll take our couronne basket
sprinkle a little bit of flour into it
off of this one, as you can see.
It's a beautiful basket, isn't it?
Yeah, it's nice in and of themselves.
I've seen people just sort of decorate with them.
And you arrange this, just outside the center.
Now, if you were to form this too quickly
without the resting
you'd think it was long enough
you'd get it in here, and it would spring back...
It would spring back, yeah...
So, you want to give it that time.
We'll take this piece...
There's our elbow hole.
It has a lovely quality, too, hasn't it?
It's very silky.
And again, if you didn't let that rest
you wouldn't be able to do this to it.
See how it's...
it would have never considered doing this for us
if we had tried to do it right off the bat
so we've got it out, and we just...
Pull like that.
So our couronne loaf will rise
about an hour and a half
and then we'll be ready to bake it.
And cover it lightly.
Yeah, we'll cover it.
You would have a proof box.
A warm, humid place...
I'll get out of your way.
which you may or may not have at home.
And we'll get another batch of dough that's ready to go.
This is a whole batch, just like the one we made?
This is just, yeah, another full batch.
It looks lovely.
Smell of fresh dough!
And then we're going to make these two shapes
that you see over here.
This is called a pain fendu-- f-e-n-d-u--
which refers to the fact of having been split
and this is a pied de blé-- wheat stalk shaped.
Wheat stalk, right.
We're going to pre-form these.
The wheat stalk loaves
we're just going to lightly roll
into a pre-baguette shape.
Wheat stalks are ten ounces.
Really a very soft dough, isn't it?
Yes, it is.
Now we're going to do a similar thing
with the pain fendu, but a little tighter.
Because we're not going to roll them out again.
We're just going to split them.
Pains fendus are six ounces
so we roll them a little bit more precisely
to get a little bit more regular shape.
Give them a little pinch at the ends.
Do this one slowly
so I can see what you're doing now.
Okay, just pat it out, along, away from you.
Don't really work all the gas out, but pat it out
and you just... you want to use your finger tips.
If you start to use the palm of your hand
or the heel of your hand
it's too warm and it will smear and stick.
And it'll also deflate it too much, wouldn't it?
You want to get your fingers
onto and off of the dough, quickly.
Lift them quickly like that.
Otherwise they'd stick.
Otherwise they stick
and that's what people are afraid of...
You don't want to put
too much flour on, do you?
And these both need to rest a little bit
before they get finished off
so we'll just...
Always cover them up.
Cover those up, and let them rest
between five and ten minutes
depending on how active they are, and how they relax.
Yeah, they've relaxed.
Now we're going to form
the wheat stalk or the pied loaves.
Oh, good, that's this one here?
That's that one there, right.
Actually, we're not going to form those delicate shapes.
We're just going to pre-form the dough
into basically a baguette shape.
Okay, now, we're ready
to put these on one of our trays.
Here's a tray... with cloth on it.
Now, we made a little seam as we were forming these.
As you can see, we've put that here, so with the seam up
and we're going to continue that protocol here, with the...
as they're rising
so that when we flip them out, the seam will be down.
That's a good idea.
And then this little pleat keeps them in form?
This has to rise again, does it?
Well, its final rising before it goes in the oven.
And we put a little something there
to simulate what would be next to it
if there were more of them.
Now, we're going to form the pain fendu.
So we've got a little container of rice flour.
This is brown rice flour.
You get that at a health food store.
I suppose so.
We use white rice flour or brown rice flour.
It's not really critical.
We take our piece
which we've put with the seam side down, here.
We roll it pretty thoroughly
in the rice flour
and we take it, now the seam side is up.
Then you set it
still with the seam side, what is now up here.
You take your dowel and we're pressing...
At the same time, we're splitting it.
We're pressing more rice flour.
But we're not splitting it in two.
Right, we're pressing more rice flour
into the sections of the bread
that will be against each other.
There you are.
Yeah, that's all split.
It's very thin in there.
It's very thin, and then we just
in a sort of quick motion
just kind of turn it like that.
Turn it that way, yes.
And set it there.
I see, oh.
That looks very neat and nice.
It's ready to go.
Now, that has to rise again.
Yeah, these get their final rising
for about an hour and a half.
Do they rise covered?
If you don't have a humid place to keep them
you want to cover them.
Steve: So, here's the risen dough
to make our wheat stalk loaf out of.
How do we tell?
Well, we can tell that this one's ready to go
by the way that the depressions stay--
stay when you press it.
We've got the oven at 450, we need to humidify the oven
and get the bread in right away
because it's really ready to go.
Then you can tell me why afterwards.
( sizzling )
And now I have to work kind of quickly
to get these into the oven.
You've got rice flour here.
A little rice flour on the bread.
And we're going to flip our risen bread
onto the paddle.
That's the seam side
that's down now, isn't it?
The seam side is down.
Make that shape, we snip it...
Oh, now, and you're turning it--
you're just turning it to the side.
You're not turning it over.
Just laying it off to the side a little bit.
It's much simpler than most people think.
I thought it was more difficult.
Want to make sure we're loose on the peel there
so we don't have a little disaster.
This bread takes about 20 minutes
to bake at this temperature.
And then your pan is red hot.
Yeah, the pan that we poured the water into is red hot.
The idea there
is that the water just bursts into steam
humidifying the atmosphere inside the oven
which allows the bread to expand more readily
than if it were dry.
If it were dry, the outside would set
and the bread would split.
And this is going to puff it up...
Yes, it will allow it to.
Now, we need to check those pains fendus.
Those are nicely risen, aren't they?
Yes, they are absolutely ready.
Let me poke one.
I think I'm going to put them
onto the wider peel.
Rub a little rice flour into it, first.
That just makes them slide off nicely.
Yeah, and that's important
with these decorative breads.
Now, we're going to...
Oh, how will you get them off
is something I'd like to see.
We'll just flip it like that.
And see how the loaves sort of separate like that?
We're going to flip this one into the middle.
And since our oven is full here
we're going to have to put these...
in your other oven.
Julia: That's looking good.
It's a little tricky to get out
because of the way that it was put in, but...
Well, it turned out very well, didn't it?
Oh, that's perfect.
Yeah, that's lovely.
And those pains fendus
cooked exactly the same way, same temperature...
Same temperature, same time
hot stove, steam, yeah.
Well, that's nice to know.
And our couronne is probably ready to go there.
You need the peel, I guess.
Yeah, we'll need a different peel.
It would never fit on that narrow...
A pizza peel.
Yeah, I think it will just about fit on here.
Oh, look it, now, again
we tell that's ready, because...
Yeah, you can just see
the large bubbles even, under the surface.
And it doesn't spring back.
It's holding in.
That's terribly necessary, because it's...
if you cook it before it's really risen
it's heavy, isn't it?
It will be gummier, yeah.
Now, we're going to have to flip it out
and then humidify the oven.
and there are those little diamonds.
Isn't that nice
the way they've just sat right in there.
Well, that's lovely.
That's very clever.
Humidify it again.
Is this again at 450?
It's at 450.
Now, with this one
I'm going to turn the oven down
after I put the bread in.
We're going to turn it down to 425 for the baking.
These are all the breads that we made today.
That's wonderful to think that we did it all.
And there's that couronne, and here's the wheat thing
and the bread fendu.
Well, let's see how it looks and tastes.
Are you going to cut one open?
Okay, which do you want to start with?
Well, let's start with this beauty here.
Okay, the couronne.
Okay, we'll just...
( crust crunching )
Sounds like... sounds like a good crust.
Sounds like a real crust.
Now, those are big holes, aren't they?
It's got those large, irregular holes that we strive for
and I'm glad that since we mentioned
that they were desirable
that we achieved them.
Yes, and it has a creamy color, doesn't it?
Yeah, it's not... it's not pure white.
So much of that bread that you get now is white.
Yeah, it's got this elasticity to it
which, I don't know if you can pick it up on the camera
but there's kind of a translucent gleam
to the final crumb.
This bread seems to possess
the elusive qualities
that we're after at the bakery here.
Steve, this was wonderful.
I've learned so much.
I'm sure we all have.
And luckily, your every word will reappear
in the book that comes along with this show.
It's just delicious
and thank you ever so much for coming.
Thanks for having me.
It's been a real pleasure.