The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain de Campagne

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Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Pain de Campagne

I recently baked the Pain de Campagne from Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast and was very pleased with the result.  This is a "hybrid" bread formula, meaning it is made with both a levain starter and a small amount of commercial yeast.  After a long room-temperature bulk fermentation, the loaves are shaped, placed in bannetons, and then put in the refrigerator to retard overnight befoe baking.  Forkish directs you to bake the loaves right out of the fridge.  I've often wondered about this method as I have come across conflicting advice from various experts and accomplished bakers. Some say to allow refrigerated loaves to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours prior to baking, while others, like Forkish, say to bake straight out of the fridge.

Well, I had very good results following Forkish's instructions to bake straight out of the fridge.  An added benefit to this approach is that scoring this 78% hydration dough is much easier when it is still cold as opposed to returning to room temperature.  I know Forkish doesn't instruct you to score the breads in FWSY, preferring the unpredictable fissures created without scoring, but I much prefer scoring my loaves.

The bread tastes very good.  No perceptible sourness, yet more flavor and complexity than a bread made with 100% commercial yeast.  It also has a very good shelf-life.  I baked the loaves on a Saturday morning and cut into one the following Wednesday.  The crumb was still very moist and creamy.  I suspect it would have been good for another couple of days had I waited that long.

 

Pain de Campagne Pain de Campagne Pain de Campagne Pain de Campagne

Comments

redif2003's picture
redif2003

Your loaf looks fabulous! What steaming method did you use?  

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Thank you!  I baked the loaves in a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven, covered for about 30 minutes and uncovered for another 18 or so. Once the crust has the color I want, I check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.  I look for 205 F to be sure the crumb is fully baked. 

redif2003's picture
redif2003

I am saving up for a 7 quart combo cooker! I have tried other steaming methods, like covering the dough with aluminium bowl, and I have never gotten the ears and the open crumb at the same time.  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

With results like that no need to change a thing.

Happy baking

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Many thanks dabrownman. I'm working my way through the book. I, like you, prefer "fully baked" breads.