“Pain” in French has nothing to do with “pain” in English, but this bread gave me plenty of pain. Let’s start with the good news: the crumb.

I’d be embarrassed to meet Peter Reinhart after BBA#22. I managed to mangle the “epis” shape. In my defense, I couldn’t resist the challenge of shaping it, as one of our favorite boulangeries in Paris is called “Pain d’Epis“. I’ve now developed an increased sense of respect for their wonderfully shaped breads, baked to perfection, day in and day out.

Back to the recipe. It calls for pate fermentee, made the day before and refrigerated overnight. In the morning add all the other ingredients (I used rye flour as the whole wheat component), and complete the recipe. I folded the dough (3 times) instead of kneading.

To make the “epis” shape, first form a baguette-type loaf …
then make scissor-cuts in opposite directions.

After one more hour of rising, into the oven it goes….

Well, well, well … hmmmm, something went wrong. I guess the cuts should be more parallel to the surface, and deeper. When properly cut, the lobes of dough can be moved further apart, because if not the dough will rise and join the “epis” together again.

I lost the battle, but not the war, because the bread was very tasty, with a good crumb, nice crust,  not as as hard as a sourdough’s crust, just right… I want to perfect this shaping of the epis, though, and if anyone has advice, ideas or suggestions, I’m all ears!

Twenty-two breads down, twenty-one to go!

Check some of the “pain de campagne” made by my fellow bakers (maybe they can give me some lessons!):

Carolyn, from Two Skinny Jenkins

Joelen, from “What’s Cookin’ Chicago?”

Oggi, from “I Can Do That” (and evidently she can do a fantastic job!)

Mags, from “The Other Side of Fifty

Paul, from “Yumarama Artisan Bread

Txfarmer from (very nice step by step photos)