His doughs are quite wet, flour/liquid about 70%.
White dough recipe:
8oz/10g yeast, fresh if possible
1lb 2oz/500g strong bread flour
Start with all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with hands or dough scraper until all flour is moistened. Turn out on to an unfloured worktop. Yes, that is bare kitchen counter!
Next is messy (no pics here...) where you gather the mixture with your hands, using just your fingers as a kind of forks, pull it up like this: this is a little further in the process where the dough is becoming more coherent and somewhat less messy to work with, hands are getting cleaner.
and then slap it, really slap it, on the surface again. It is sticky enough to stay there and you can pull it up again and
fold it over onto itself like so:
turn the dough a quarter (or grab it the other way round) and repeat the pull-slap-fold again.
pull it against the counter to get that surface tension and repeat steps, you can feel the dough coming together and really see it puffing up; all that air trapped inside makes it supple, light and almost growing as you work it. It'll take less time than the traditional method; 5-10 minutes tops.
Resulting dough ball, ready to rise. True, this looks kind of messy (and to be honest, it is) but it is less troublesome and takes less time than kneading the old way by pushing and pulling where you (I) get dough up to your armpits. It's a good work-out as well, and I secretly smile at the thought of my first -and only- dough workshop where the baker in charge tried to convince us to slap the dough on the counter.... Believe it or not, the man was called: Meelmuts! (Flour cap). Apparently the man knew what he was doing, too bad he missed the flair, the good looks and marketability of Mr. Bertinet!
Knowing me and my fear of getting my hands dirty, this isn't exactly something I looked forward to trying...I did and was sold. First time I used it was on a 70% whole wheat dough which wasn't coming together. I had it in my stand mixer, and it wasn't going to get better than a sloppy gooey mass. Turned it out and followed above steps... lo and behold... magic dough. So I repeated it using Bertinet's white dough recipe and, convinced, decided to show you.
I'm not sure about the book yet, at first glance I was mesmerized (pics! beauty breads!) but when I discovered that he derives his breads from maybe 3 recipes and varies with shapes and additions...Hmm. On the other hand, isn't that what we all do, more or less? I like the method, I like the shapes he is showing, and I love the step by step pics and handy dandy charts of how things are supposed to look. Golden brown? Dark brown? It's all there. Haven't baked much yet out of this book but that will follow soon I hope.
Oh and another thing; Mr Bertinet gets all floury while kneading! YEAH! Unlike some other man kneading....