Pain Tordu as made by the Great Lakes (BBB February 2020)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Pain Tordu, based on Mouette Barboff’s recipes for Pain Tordu as made in the Ger, and as made in the Lot-et-Garonne; almost, but not quite, lost in translation; twisting and turning on how to twist; BBBabes’ 12th anniversary; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Pain Tordu – 12th Anniversary!

Pain Tordu

We’ve been baking together for 12 years!!

We began when blogging was fashionable – before FB, instagram, and twitter took over the internet world. There is only one original BBBabe still actively baking and blogging, and our little group has been reduced from a baker’s dozen to just eight. Or is it nine?

But, once a BBBabe, always a BBBabe….

To celebrate our anniversary, Elle chose the recipe for Pain Tordu, which means literally: Twisted Bread.

To paraphrase Chubby Checker,

Come on, BBBabes | Let’s do the twist

The recipe Elle found wasn’t just any recipe either. It’s from a book written for professional bakers. A single recipe calls for 10kg flour!

Ha. I buy flour in 10kg bags. A bag usually lasts us close to 3 months. I use a large casserole dish to mix bread dough. I would need a giant trough to mix bread dough containing 10kg flour!

The tordu is 80 cm long.
Mouette Barboff, French Regional Breads

80 centimeters! That’s 31.5 inches!! I’m not sure any of us has an oven that is large enough to bake a loaf that is that long! (We just checked the outer width of our stove. It’s 30 inches.)

Happily, we BBBabes are armed with calculators and now, after 12 years of baking expertise {wheee} – we managed to scale the recipe down.

I do love the internet and the library… here is more information about Pain Tordu:

Pinning down the origins of pain tordu is no easy matter. Some people say it comes from Lot-et-Garonne and the Gers, or the old provinces of Gascony and Guyenne. Lionel Poilâne maintained that it came from south-western and central France, from the Limousin and Charent-Maritime, an opinion shared by Jacques Montandon. And as far as the boulanger Marcel Sanau is concerned, it comes from the Lozère.
    Pain tordu (twisted bread), or tourné as it [is] known in the Haute Garonne, owes its name to the fact that it is twisted into a corkscrew shape. A vintage postcard from Bordeaux shows two four-pound pains tordus, one with two twists and the other with three. To obtain this shape, the boulanger uses a wooden rolling pin to depress the shaped dough down the centre, so creating two parallel rolls of dough linked by a thin film that aids the twisting process.
Le Pain tordu as made in the Lot-et-Garonne […] is white, has a long fermentation and contains very little yeast.
– Mouette Barboff, French Regional Breads, p60,61
Tordu du Gers Ce pain est un délice. Il s’agit tout simplement d’un pain blanc formé en gros boudin et tordu (d’où son nom), ce procédé confère au pain une mie moelleuse et filante (de la même façon que pour les pains tressés). On peut réaliser ce pain à la levure ou au levain, avec de la farine blanche ou semi-complète. [Corkscrew from Gers This bread is a delight. It is quite simply a white bread formed into a large, twisted sausage (hence its name), this process gives the bread a soft and honeycombed crumb (in the same way as for braided breads). This bread can be made with yeast or sourdough, with white or partially whole-wheat flour.]
– La Bouche Pleine, Tordu du Gers
Le pain tordu est un pain fendu, originaire du Gers, très proche du pain Cordé, originaire lui, du Limousin; il possède une croûte épaisse et une mie très alvéolée. Une véritable bonne surprise! [Twisted bread is a bread split in two, originating in the Gers, very close to Rope Bread, originating in Limousin; it has a thick crust and a very honeycombed crumb. A really nice surprise!]
– du bruit dans la map, Pain Tordu
PAIN TORDU From the Limousin, a rural region in the center of France, le tordu, the “twist,” is a popular shape. It is favored by bread connoisseurs who prize crust as highly as crumb.
    • Shape the dough into a cylinder, 14 inches long. With the handle of a wooden spoon, make an indentation down the center.
    • Twist the dough as if wringing out a cloth. Place it on a floured baking sheet, dust with flour, and proof.
– Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno, Ultimate Bread, p13, 85

Here’s how things went with making Pain Tordu:

BBB Pain Tordu diary:

10 January 2020, 11:13 I LOVE the shape of this bread!

17 January 2020, 00:04 Whoa!!! I just looked at the amounts for the ingredients.
10kg strong white bread flour (Type 55)
6l (approximately) water
60g yeast (6g per kg of flour)
200g salt
2.5kg levain (sourdough starter); 25% of the amount of flour

:!: :!:

How many loaves does this make?!

(Oh wait. I see that Google Books says ‘French Regional Bread’ is “a book for the serious cook or professionals”. …it must be for people who are running a bakery!)

Even taking off a zero from the recipe will make 3 or 4 large twisted loaves. But it seems a little more reasonable. (I usually use 500 grams of flour and about 100 grams of leavener to make one relatively large boule.)

1 kg strong white bread flour
600 ml (approximately) water
6 grams yeast
20 grams salt
250 grams levain (sourdough starter) – 25% of the amount of flour

I wonder why the yeast is there, if levain is called for….

Unfortunately, the book isn’t available at our library and I will be in big trouble if I buy it and try to smuggle another bread cookbook into the kitchen. :lalala:

18:20 Ha!! Tanna has a copy of Barboff’s French Regional Breads and says that the recipe for Pain Tordu in her copy is quite different (still calls for a honking large amount of flour, etc. though!)

From: Tanna
Subject: Tordu
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 13:45:20 -0500
To: Elizabeth
I got back on amazon and read the first review for the French Regional Breads: Mouette Barboff. The comment is very helpful: need to scale the recipes down for a home kitchen.
I am really excited to try this bread. Now after understanding that we’re dealing with a book for professional bakeries, I’m even excited to see how well we can scale this recipe for the home bakers that we Babes are.
I wonder if there is more than one edition of this book in English. It is a translation from the French.
My book’s list of ingredients:
Le Pain Tordu
4 kg strong white bread flour (Type 55)
400 g medium rye flour (Type 130)
80 g table salt (2% per kg)
60 g yeast (1.5% per kg)
2.5 l water at 12°C
20 g malt (0.5% per kg)
30% fermented dough
I’m thinking this scaling process is our first challenge with this bread.

Here’s how I would scale down this second version of Pain Tordu:

Le Pain Tordu
400 grams strong white bread flour (Type 55)
40 grams medium rye flour (Type 130)
8 g table salt (2% per kg)
6 g yeast (1.5% per kg)
250 ml water at 12°C
2 g malt (0.5% per kg)
30% fermented dough (200 grams??)

Hmmm. If “fermented dough” means “sourdough starter”, I would still be inclined to omit the yeast and just let the sourdough starter do the work.

But. What exactly does “fermented dough” mean? Is it 100% hydration leavener? Or is it “old dough” that contains salt? If it is that, then I can maybe see why the commercial yeast is being called for. Maybe….

This bread is proving (no pun intended) to be Tordu indeed!!!

18 January 2020, 15:10 Aha!! It turns out that Barboff’s book includes two recipes for Pain Tordu – one with just white wheat flour and the other with wheat and rye flours as well as malt.

I’ve been looking at various recipes for Pain Tordu on the internet – many are just white flour, water, leavener (yeast or sourdough), and salt. Others include rye flour and/or whole wheat flour.

Whatever flour(s) we use, it’s the shape of Pain Tordu is slaying me! I particularly like that one translation of “Pain Tordu” is “Corkscrew Bread”. How fitting for our household!! (Even though so many wine bottles are screwtop now.)

15:26 I am SO excited about the shaping for this bread! (But I still have visions of me trying to explain to T why I’m carrying a 10kg bag of flour upstairs to the bathtub. :lalala: :-) )

For the second Barboff recipe that calls for malt, judging from the measurement, I’m guessing this would be powdered diastatic malt. But I’ve never seen diastatic malt for sale… I use crushed malted grains that I got from a beer-making supply store. The proprietor told me that because it was the whole grain that had been malted, there are probably some diastatic qualities still there.

I wonder if Barboff’s book has a recipe for the levain and whether it is 100% hydration. I’m going to take a stabbing guess that it is.

Because I’m not running a bakery and will be using only a relatively small amount of the 10kg bag of flour in our kitchen for this bread, I will likely hold back all of the yeast. Unless something dire happens to our Jane Mason whole wheat starter, which seems unlikely. It’s very active right now. But I can certainly see why a bakery would add it. They don’t want to have to throw away 10kg of flour if their leavener isn’t quite up to snuff.

As for the salt: A while back, a colleague gave us quite a large jar of sel gris de Guerande. I’ve used it to make preserved lemons but now I think it HAS to go into this Pain Tordu!

And in the 2nd Barboff recipe, I wonder what the “fermented dough” is made from. I also wonder what “30% fermented dough” indicates. Perhaps it’s baker’s percentage, which would mean that for 4400 grams of flour (bread and rye) that would be 1320 grams of fermented dough.

Here’s what Mouette Barboff has to say about the second Tordu recipe:
I make a pain de campagne dough because it has a better consistency. The sourdough starter is from the previous days batch. The malt helps the dough to rise and give the crust color; since sourdough contains little sugar, the malt enriches the dough a little.
– Mouette Barboff, French Regional Breads

23 January 2020, 11:20 I can’t stop thinking about all the added yeast in the Barboff recipe. It just doesn’t seem necessary! Considering that, with only our Jane Mason starter for leavening, we have created loaf after loaf of really decent bread for more than 2 years (as well as the zillions of loaves of bread baked by French people in the decades before commercial yeast was even available), there’s no good reason to add that yeast. I refuse. :stomp: :stomp:

I also think that a book (for professional bakers
or not) that does not have an index, and does not talk about hydration levels of the leavener — considering that some leaveners are “stiff” and some are “liquid” — is just sloppily edited.

But having said that, I don’t mind trying to read between the lines. It reminds me of Mum’s instructions to me when I was helping her in the kitchen: “Now put in the salt” How much salt?? “Some” How much is some? “Oh I don’t know: enough. Just put it into the palm of your hand” This much?? “A little more” This much??? “No that’s too much. Just put in some of that.” How much of it? “Oh I don’t know: enough.” etc. etc. etc. :-)

26 January 2020, 15:37 I just showed T the picture of that Tanna showed us of her bread, and he sounded a bit panic-stricken when he asked if the BBB recipe has a lot of whole grain in it. I guess I know which of the Pain Tordu recipes I’ll be making! :lalala:

6 February 2020, 16:45 Having said that I won’t be adding too much whole grain, I do know that I’d rather use the recipe that calls for rye flour and malt. But I’m stymied about exactly what “30% fermented dough” means. I think I will use recipe no.1 but substitute some of the bread flour with rye flour and a little malted barley.

11 February 2020, 11:43 I’m going to get the starter going tonight and have decided to simply add some rye flour to the first Pain Tordu recipe (I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around “30% fermented dough” in the second recipe!)

12 February 2020, 09:52 So much for using the full amount of rye flour that Barboff suggests in her Pain Tordu 2 recipe. We didn’t have 50 grams in the freezer; we only had 35. Sigh.

I know that I willfully disregarded the instruction to add commercial yeast, but I really did plan to use all the rye flour. Still, it seems not unlikely that in France, in the past, people would often use whatever flours they had on hand. Yes, that’s it. I will console myself; I am in good company.

11:45 Wow. This dough is significantly stiffer than our usual Tartine loaf! I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

15:17 I KNEW this bread doesn’t need any commercial yeast! I just folded the dough again. It had doubled since the last folding. :-)

15:47 Rats! I just remembered that I was going to use our sel gris. But I forgot. Of course I did.

16:33 I waffled about whether I would shape the bread like wringing socks — I do like the look of the finished bread that way — or whether to make two ropes and twist them together. Then, there I was in the kitchen, having NO idea how to do the wringing socks version. I used the two ropes method. I also twisted the bread way more times than 2 or 3.

Shaping Pain Tordu
shaped pain tordu

I have to say that it looks quite beautiful. Long though. I wonder if I’m going to have difficulty getting it to fit on our bread stone.

Just now, I watched the YouTube video of shaping Le Tordu. Remind me to try that method next time!

18:58 About 5 minutes ago, we decided it was time to turn the oven on.

And. Oh oh (scariest words in the English language…). I clearly didn’t plan ahead very well. The twist was just on the board. T looked at it in amazement and asked how I thought I was going to transfer it to the hot bread stone.

me: With the super peel
he: Will it fit?
me: Hmm… Oh yeah. Maybe not.
he: You’re going to have to use the other pizza peel. And maybe you should try putting some parchment paper under it now.
me: [blanching] good idea…

With only a bit of a struggle and zero cursing, I got two pieces of parchment paper under the twist. When the oven is hot enough, I’ll think more about how I’m going to transfer everything without anything bad happening. Wish me luck.

Pain Tordu

19:18 Made it!! With only a little bit of trouble. I’m afraid the loaf is not going to be a nice long twist. It was too long for our stone. Because I wasn’t paying attention when I shaped it. The bread is now a U-shaped twist. Here’s hoping that there will be no more disappointments.

pain tordu

19:53It really does take just 30 minutes to bake! It looks good, if one doesn’t dwell on the fact that it’s supposed to be straight rather than U-shaped.

Pain Tordu

On the first morning after baking the bread, we cut off a longish piece, then halved it length-wise and toasted it on the bagel setting on our new toaster – only the inside elements turn on so that the outer crust doesn’t get burned. (What a great idea! I wonder if all new toasters have bagel settings now.)

Pain Tordu
Bagel Setting on Toaster

We served the toast with butter, honey, and thin thin slices of aged goat gouda.

I really liked it. Initially, T was a tiny bit less enthusiastic. But I think it was because he thought it was going to be markedly different from our usual bread AND he realized after the fact that he had wanted regular toast slices.

No problem! In spite of its U-shape, this bread cuts into smallish round slices beautifully. T is back on-board, as long as I remember to make the twisted loaves shorter the next time I shape them.

Pain Tordu

The slices are so beautiful that we are going to toast some for French onion soup tomorrow. It will be the perfect way to comfort us that it’s still quite cold. (I know. I grew up in Canada. I have always lived in Canada. I have never known February to be anything but cold and snowy).

I can’t wait for soup tomorrow!!

Thank you, Elle! This has been really fun.

Here is the February 2020 12th Anniversary BBB recipe that we were given. And here is what I did to it:

Pain Tordu
based on 2 recipes of Pain Tordu in French Regional Bread
by Mouette Barboff

Jacques Tapiau, a journeyman boulanger originally from the Gers, [recalls], […] “We ate [pain tordu] with every meal, it was our daily bread. In the morning we dipped it in our soup, the we took it into the fields for our mid-morning snack with cold meat, sausage or ham. We cut big slices of bread and butter for the children at tea time. We ate it with poultry, with duck which is something of a local speciality, roast duck, duck confit and goose confit.”
– Mouette Barboff, Le Tordu du Gers et de Gascogne | French Regional Breads (French book title: Pains de Boulangers)

makes 1 large Corkscrew bread

[The BBB recipe says “levain (sourdough starter) – 25% of the amount of flour [called for in the dough]”]

  • dessert spoon Jane Mason starter from fridge
  • 63g 100% ‘no additives’ whole wheat flour
  • 63g water at body temperature


  • flour [The BBB recipe calls for “500 grams strong white bread flour (Type 55)”]
       » 440gm unbleached ‘no additives’ all-purpose flour
       » 35gm rye flour + 15gm 100% ‘no additives’ whole wheat flour I WAS going to add 50 grams rye flour and no whole wheat flour at all, but we had run out of rye flour!
       » 10gm wheat germ
       » 3gm malted barley chops [Barboff’s 2nd Pain Tordu recipe calls for an unspecified type of malt at “0.5% per kg [flour in the dough]”. We guessed that she means diastatic barley malt powder.]
  • 300gm water, divided (reserve 20gm for adding the salt)
  • Zero gm active dry yeast (it seems entirely unnecessary) [The BBB recipe calls for “3 grams yeast”. We guessed Barboff means dry instant yeast]
  • all of the leavener from above (125gm)
  • 10 grams salt
  1. leavener In the evening of the day before making the bread: Put the starter, whole wheat flour and water into a smallish bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is stirred in well. Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside overnight in the oven with only the light turned on.
  2. mix the dough In the morning of the day you will be making the bread: When a small forkful of the leavener floats in a small bowl of room temperature water, you can go ahead and mix the dough. If the leavener does not float, stir in a little more whole wheat flour and water – even amounts by weight – cover with a plate and leave for about 30 minutes more. Chances are that it will now float. Put flours, wheat germ, malted barley chops, all but 20 grams water, and all of the leavener into a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon or dough whisk to mix these ingredients to make a rough dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter (or, if your kitchen is a chilly as ours is in winter, in the oven with only the light on) for about 40 minutes.
  3. adding the salt: In a small bowl, whisk the salt into the final 20 grams water. Pour the salt mixture over the dough.
  4. kneading: Use one of your hands to squoosh the salt and water into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl – this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might be a bit messy and seem like it’s coming apart. Persevere. Suddenly, it will seem more like dough than a horrible separated glop. Keep folding it over onto itself until it is relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
  5. stretching and folding the dough: Turn the bowl as you fold and re-fold the dough into the center. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter (or if the kitchen is cool like ours in winter and early spring, into the oven with only the light turned on). Repeat the folding step about 3 times in all at 30 minute intervals. You’ll notice that after each time, the dough will feel significantly smoother. After the final time of folding, the dough is ready to shape.
  6. shaping: Scatter a dusting of all-purpose flour on the board and gently place the dough on the flour. Using the dough scraper, divide the dough into two even pieces. Gently press each piece out into a rectangle. Keep folding it in half length-wise to form a rope. Daniel Leader has a really good explanation of this technique in his book “Local Breads”:
    2. With the longer side facing you, fold the top of the dough down about one third of the way toward the center. With the heel of your hand, press along the seam, using firm but gentle pressure. Fold the bottom of the dough about one third of the way toward the center and seal the seam firmly.
    3. Fold this skinny rectangle in half by bringing the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Working from right to left, cup your hand over the log of dough and press the heel of your hand down firmly to seal the seam. Dust the counter with additional flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
    […] Avoid over-handling the loaves, which will burst their air cells.
    – Daniel Leader, Local Breads

    Cross the ropes over each other at the centers and, do as I say not as I did, remember to place the ropes on the parchment paper. Also remember to note that the final twisted loaf has to fit on the stone in the oven…. Starting at the center of the ropes, twist the two pieces gently together to one end. Go back to the center and twist to the other end. Seal both ends with your fingers. Cover with the tea towel again followed by a large plastic grocery bag (if you still have one — years ago, we cut one open and keep it in the drawer with the cookie sheets, cake and pie pans) Let the shaped bread sit in the oven with only the light on for a couple of hours to allow the dough to double.
  7. baking: To know when it’s time to bake, run your index finger under water and gently but firmly press it on the side of the bread. If the dough springs back immediately, recover the bread with the tea towel and leave it in the oven with only the light turned on. If the dough gradually returns back after being pressed, leave the tray on the counter. Put the bread stone on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 400F.
  8. About fifteen minutes later, when the oven is preheated, spray the loaf liberally with water and, using a pizza peel, slide it (parchment paper and all) onto the hot stone. Bake about 30 minutes until it is nicely dark golden brown and sounds hollow when knuckle-rapped on the bottom.
  9. cooling: When the bread has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a footed rack before slicing and eating; the bread is still cooking internally when first removed from the oven! If you wish to serve warm bread (of course you do), reheat it after it has cooled completely: To reheat any uncut bread, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread into the hot oven for about ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust and warm the crumb perfectly.


:: Leavener: Like so many recipes on the internet and in the books on our shelves, the BBB recipe calls for using active dry yeast in combination with a sourdough starter, or only active dry yeast. Once again, this seems counter-intuitive when baking a bread that has been made for centuries, long before commercial yeast was available.

:: Shaping: It’s important to try to disturb the bubbles in the dough as little as possible. Here are two really great YouTube videos of baguette shaping techniques from Artisanal Bread Baking, June 2008: Shaping Baguettes, part 1; Shaping Baguettes, part 2. And this article from “A Year in Bread” should help as well: Shaping Techniques

:: Bread Size: In retrospect, we think the two ropes should have been thicker and shorter and then twisted only 3 or 4 times. Alternatively, this amount of dough could be made into two pains tordus that would be much easier to fit on the stone.


Crunching the crust of good bread always excites your appetite, and even a good sauce is better if you eat it with a bit of bread.
– Pierre Koffman, Memories of Gascony, p128

Pain Tordu

Happy 12th Anniversary, BBBabes!

Bread Baking Babes 12th Anniversary BBB February 2020 - 12th Anniversary
Pain Tordu

Elle is the host of February 2020’s Bread Baking Babes’ 12th Anniversary project. She wrote:

The romantic in me likes the idea of a February bread that looks like two lovers twisted around each other. The bread baker loves the idea of a bread that has a lot of crust!
Le Tordu Du Gers et De Gascogne is a twisted bread, likely from the old provinces of Gascony and Guyenne, now in the Lot-et-Garonne. It owes its name to the fact that it is twisted into a corkscrew shape. To obtain this shape, the bread baker uses a wooden rolling pin (or their arm!) to depress the shaped dough down the center, creating two parallel long rolls of dough linked by a thin film of dough that aids the twisting process. You twist it by holding the dough at both ends, and twist, as though wringing out a wet towel. […] The crumb is a creamy color, very honeycombed and elastic. […] All of the information about this bread and the recipes come from the book French Regional Bread by Mouette Barboff. The book is published with support of four independent flour mills to champion the values of craftsmanship, of craft baking, of localism, and of the preservation and transmission of traditional skills and expertise, and is a salute to the rich and fascinating history of the crafts of bread baking and flour milling.
– Elle, in message to BBBabes

We know you’ll want to make Pain Tordu! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make the tordu in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 February 2020. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to contact the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ February 2020 Pains Tordus:


De nos jours, le pain artisanal n’est plus l’aliment de base d’autrefois, ni même un aliment d’accompagnement, c’est un aliment gastronomique qui doit être considéré comme tel. Ceci est indispensable, si nous voulons que les artisans boulangers et leur savoir-faire se maintiennent, et ne pas disparaître à jamais. [Nowadays, artisanal bread is no longer a staple from another time, nor a side dish. It is a gourmet food that should be considered as such. This is essential, if we want artisinal bakers and their skills to be retained, and not to disappear forever.]
-Mouette Barboff, Le Grand Pastis | Conférence avec Mouette Barboff, 9 March 2018 (en français)

February Snow


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6 responses to “Pain Tordu as made by the Great Lakes (BBB February 2020)

  1. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

    Yummy, beautiful! We are having some with soup today since my little is sick. Love the chewy texture. So funny, T’s fear of whole grains.

    edit 20 Febuary 2020, 09:15: It IS funny, Kelly, because T really prefers bread that has at least some whole grain in it. Sometimes I wonder if he had Heidi read to him when he was a child and he can’t stop thinking about how much Peter’s Grandmother would love the white bread from Frankfurt. – Elizabeth

    1. ejm (blog from OUR kitchen) Post author

      That’s too bad that your little one is not well, Kelly. (I do hope the illness is just a distant memory by now.) But. Isn’t this bread great with soup?

      We toasted slices and covered them with slices Swiss cheese (we would have gotten Gruyère if we hadn’t been too lazy to get to the cheese shop) to put on top of French Onion Soup. Wow! Fabulous. Rather than turning to mush, the pain tordu slices stayed beautifully chewy – but not too chewy. They were so good that we may have to have French Onion Soup again. Which means, we may have to make pain tordu again. O la la, the sacrifices we make…. :-)


  2. Tanna (MyKitchenInHalfCups)

    I just love it! You, all the Babes, this bread, all the breads we’ve baked: “We began when blogging was fashionable – before FB, instagram, and twitter took over the internet world.” The internet world was more like hot bread from the oven then. But, this bread seems to tell me, I’ll never tire of the next loaf.
    We did have a great time with kneading dough in the bath tub.

    edit 20 Febuary 2020, 09:23: :-) :-) I must admit that I still have a ridiculous urge to try using the full recipe that calls for 10kg of flour and mixing all that dough in the bathtub. Ha. It would probably have to be stomped rather than hand-mixed – sort of like crushing grapes but a lot easier on the feet because there would be no sharp twigs and stones. :stomp: :stomp: – Elizabeth

  3. Elle (Feeding My Enthusiasms)

    Love the way you start off, with a nod to our history as Babes. So glad that you did the math and scaled down the recipe. Thank you! Also glad you did the ‘plain’ version with some rye flour. Of course I would have loved it if you figured out the 30% fermented dough meant, but I suspect it is a piece of ‘mother dough’ from a previous day’s baking of pain levain. This was a fun bread for our anniversary and everyone seems to enjoy the results. Love your’s, even with the “C” shape. Looks crusty and golden and twisted!

    edit 20 Febuary 2020, 09:27: Thank YOU for choose this bread, Elle! I kind of wish I’d tried the 2nd recipe rather than adulterating the 1st one. And every so often I imagine that I have a handle on what 30% fermented dough means but then, just as fleetingly, my brief glimpse disappears. – Elizabeth

  4. Karen (Karen's Kitchen Stories)

    Your twist is perfect, and I have seen some on the interwebs that are curled around as well as twisted!

    edit 20 Febuary 2020, 09:29: Oh! I wish I’d noticed that, Karen. I could have claimed I did the curl on purpose. Or. I could have twisted it even more – made it look like a snake…. – Elizabeth

  5. Katie (Thyme for Cooking)

    There is not a home oven anywhere in in Europe that would bake that bread….. 24 cm is considered huge.
    Oh – and new toaster,,, exciting times ! One must compensate for the snow….
    Lovely bread.

    edit 20 Febuary 2020, 09:30: Not just a new toaster, Katie. More compensation had to be made for the snow. Yesterday, we took a plunge and got a new (to us) stove/oven! We made sure that it was wider than 24cm…. – Elizabeth


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