Sometimes I wonder if I could live without certain foods.  Rice….potatoes…. pasta?  Possibly. Cheese?  The thought makes me  weak in the knees.    Bread?  That’s preposterous,   NO WAY!

I love baking bread almost as much as eating it, so I had to bake bread on World Bread Day. Bakers around the world bake or buy their favorite bread and talk about it.

Please read all about it here

To celebrate this event I chose a sourdough loaf I’ve been contemplating for the longest time…   “Pain de Campagne”  from a recipe adapted by David, a great baker who shares his knowledge  at the forum “The Fresh Loaf


(adapted from David’s post )

100 g  active sourdough starter
450 g bread flour
50 g rye flour
370 g water
10 g salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast 

In a large bowl, mix the sourdough starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the yeast over the dough and mix by folding a few times. Then sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix.

Stretch and fold the dough 20 times, rotating the bowl slightly between each fold. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 20 minutes later and, again, after another 20 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container and rest it in the fridge for 21 hours.

Take out the dough and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Pre-shape for  a loaf  by folding  the near edge up just past the center of the dough and sealing it pressing with the heel of your hand.   Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal it again the same way.

Cover the dough with  a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams up.  Finish shaping the bread by folding the near edge of the dough and sealing it again, then taking the far edge of the dough and bringing  it towards you all the way to the work surface, sealing the seam with the heel of your hand. Gently rotate the loaf toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, to finish sealing the seam.

Place a baking stone (or baking tiles)  on the middle rack of the oven and heat it to 470F.   Fill a large roasting pan with hot water. Once the shaped loaf is just 1.5 times bigger (not quite doubled in size), slash the top with a single cut all the way along the bread, and place it over the tiles.  Mine proofed for only 35 minutes.  Empty the roasting pan, leaving the residual hot water just clinging to it, and flip it over to cover the dough.  Bake covered for 30 minutes, remove the cover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the internal temperature reaches at least 205F.

Remove the bread to a rack and cool it for 2 hours before slicing.



This bread is simply perfect.  The crumb is, as my husband described it  ” hearty but at the same time  silky in your mouth “.  David, thank you so much for a great recipe!

Let’s hope that everyone can enjoy a nice piece of bread today, World Bread Day…

Here are some photos of this loaf in the making.

The dough, after 21 hours in the fridge is airy, all bubbly… (21 hours in the fridge make this a perfect bread to bake during the work week: prepare it the day before, put it in the fridge and finish when you arrive from work the next day).


The shaped loaf …




After removing the cover at 30 min ….


Cooling…. (the hardest part is the waiting…. 😉



“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 sina.blog (very nice step by step photos)