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Friday, May 14, 2010

BBA Challenge #22 – Pain de Campagne

This bread is what I would call rustically refined.  As it’s name describes (“campagne” meaning rustic/country/countryside in French), it has a country feel with some additional grain added through the use of some wheat and/or rye flour.  And yet, it can be shaped in many artistic ways giving it a certain level of sophistication.

I made the pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough) with a mixture of 5 ounces of each my wheat and white sour dough starters.  So not only did I use a pre-ferment, but I used a pre-ferment to make my pre-ferment. 

I’m even confusing myself at this point… so don’t feel bad if that last sentence lost you. 


I love having my trusty Kitchen Aid to do the bulk of the kneading for me.  It allows me to multi-task.  As she worked away kneading my dough, I busily washed dishes and cleaned things up in the kitchen a bit. 

But I still just cannot resist getting my hands on a nice soft ball of dough and hand kneading if just for a couple of minutes.  There’s something almost mystical or magical about how flour and water can come together to make a dough. 


But I digress.


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I showed my kids the different shapes that I could make and we were split on what to do.  Nathan liked the “spikey balls” as he called them and Sarah and I liked the épi  (sheaf of wheat).  You can imagine my squeal of delight when I realized I would have enough dough to do both shapes. 

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Baking was a bit of a frenzied time.  My husband had left town the night before which is part of what made me feel like I had the time to bake.  But then, everything was ready to bake just as I was sitting down to dinner with the kids.  And then it was time to help them get ready for bed. 

So, I put a loaf of bread in and do the whole misting water every 30 seconds thing then set the timer for 10 minutes.  Run back to their room and help my son with his shower. 

Timer beeps. 

Run back to the kitchen and turn the loaves 180 degrees.  Run back to check up and make sure Nathan is getting dressed. 

Timer beeps. 

Run back to the kitchen and take one loaf out and start the process again for the next loaf with the misting every 30 seconds thing.  Run back to Nathan’s room and begin reading a story. 

Timer beeps. 

Run back to the kitchen and turn loaf 180 degrees…. okay you get the idea. 

I was exhausted by the time everything was baked.







Taste:  very nice.  I think using sourdough starter really added an extra dimension of taste.  Nice crunchy crust.  I love the épi (sheaf of wheat).  LOTS of crunchy crust.  And easy to pull apart into little individual rolls.  Nathan was very excited that I made a “spikey ball” and he was thrilled to give one to his teacher at school the next day.    Totally would made this again.  Especially an épi.

Note:  I did, in fact, make it again.  I was much more pleased with how my épi looked.  My cuts were not on enough of an angle the first time.  The second time turned out much better.



Kelly said...

Your loaves look beautiful! I love the shape of the epi, too. Seeing yours makes me want to make it again right now!

Kay said...

Impressive! *envy* I am always so jealous of your baking skills!!!

My idea of baking always involves the bread machine or peeling the paper off a tube and smacking it on the counter so it will pop open! LOL

Erika said...

Your frenzied baking sounds just like baking in my house! I'm always jumping from one thing to the next, trying to keep to the bread schedule. But, I figure it won't be the end of the world if the bread ferments an extra few minutes here and there, right?

misterrios said...

Impressive multitasking! Glad to see you pulled it off. And the loaves look beautiful. The first epi is awesome, but the second one looks amazingly perfect.