I am trying to duplicate the wonderful french poorboy loaves found in New Orleans- the crust is thin, shatteringly crisp and the interior is very light. It’s not a complex, full flavored loaf, but it does a great job of holding a lot of fried shrimp!
The recipe I found is: 1 pkg dry yeast (I use 1 Tablespoon instant as I don’t buy the packages), 2 1/2 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 6 1/2 - 7 cups of flour (I used unbleached all purpose). Mix the water with yeast and sugar to dissolve, then add the salt and 6 cups of flour, mix well and knead for 8 minutes, adding the extra 1/2-1 cup if needed. Rise once, shape into 4 loaves and rise to double again, paint with beaten egg white, slash, then bake at 450 for 15 minutes then 350 for another 30 minutes.
I bake the loaves on parchment paper on a cookie sheet that I place on my stone, then I slide them off when I turn the temp down. I also put some hot water in my cast iron pan in the bottom of the oven when I add the loaves.
I get a very good loaf, but the crust is chewy, not crisp, and the interior is not as light as the rolls we get in New Orleans. Does anyone have any suggestions for me (besides moving to NOLA and buying at the local bakeries)?
TIA- Nancy G in Texas