The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pain de campagne

rossnroller's picture

Hi folks. Long time between blog posts for me. Been baking as much as ever but got lazy with taking pics and doing write-ups. I've fallen into a comfortable 3-bake-per-week rhythm cycling through our favourites, which these days are mostly variations on my pain de campagne. I like this rhythm after 3 years of working through scores of different breads. I've found it's a different type of learning, focusing on just a few breads - an incremental progression towards quality and consistency. Nice after all the experimenting, but perhaps not so conducive to regular posting, for me at least.

It's not really bread that has prompted this post. It's jam! Our backyard mulberry tree has delivered us a bumper crop this year, which my partner has turned into the most glorious jams (and cobblers!). Sensational on fresh-baked SD pain de campagne, and what a colour! Thought this was worth sharing:





Season's greetings to all.


nadira2100's picture

After my sorry attempt at shaping my Pain de Campagne loaves I was itching to try again. After a suggestion from a fellow bread baker, I watched Jeffrey Hamelman and Ciril Hitz in video tutorials on how to make basic shapes. This helped more than looking at a series of pictures in a book! So this time, instead of tackling 3 different shapes, I just stuck to 1....the Batard. 

I also stuck with the same recipe for Pain de Campagne but I made my own version by adding some roasted garlic and cheddar to the dough....for something a bit different (and because I had these items in the house and wanted to use them up!). 

The day before baking, I made a preferment as follows: 



  • 5 oz AP flour
  • 5 oz unbleached bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c water


I mixed and kneaded for about 4 minutes and then let it rest on the counter for 1 hr. Before...


I then punched it down, gave it a quick knead and put it in the fridge overnight. 

The next day I took out the preferment 1 hr before mixing the final dough. 

During this time I roasted 2 small heads of garlic at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. 

I must say the aroma in my kitchen was phenomenal! Until recently I had never roasted garlic before, just sauteed it and I have to tell gives garlic a whole other dimension that is best described through the smell of it than words alone! So seriously...try it sometime...or maybe you have and I've just fallen way behind. 

Anyway....back to my lovely bread. I let the garlic cool on the counter, then mashed it up and set it aside.

I then put together the final dough as follows:

Final Dough


  • all of the preferment (about 16oz)
  • 8 oz unbleached bread flour
  • 1.5 oz rye flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 c water
  • all of the mashed garlic
  • about 1/3 to 1/2 c shredded cheddar (about a handful)
  1. Cut the preferment into 12 pieces.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flours, preferment, water, yeast, garlic and salt until a rough dough ball forms. Let rest for 15min.
  3. Knead or stretch and fold for about 10 minutes. Towards the end of kneading, add in the cheddar until it's all uniformly incorporated.Let rest in an oiled bowl for 30 minutes.
  4. Perform 2 stretch and folds and return it to the bowl and let it rise for about 30min to 1 hr or until it's doubled in size.
  5. Preshape the loaves by cutting in half and then forming these halves into 2 boules. Let rest for 20 minutes before the final shaping.
  6. Shape into batards and let proof seam side up for 1 hr.
  7. Flip onto a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal, score, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake at 500 degrees for 2 min with a steam pan at the bottom of the oven.
  8. Reduce the temperature to 450 and continute baking for 10 minutes. Rotate the loaves and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool completely before devouring!


Truely, this is garlic bread at it's best without all the butter. The flavor also matures over time so it was heavenly the next day! I was pleased with both my shaping and flavor profile of the bread....the garlic was there but not overpowering and the cheddar paired beautifully with it....although it may have used a bit more for color throughout the loaves, but you could at least still taste it. And the crumb.....well, light and creamy and OH! so delicious! 

nadira2100's picture

In an effort to practice my shaping techniques I decided to make Pain de Campagne from Peter Reinharts The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I think I've got shaping loaves down (as in shape and stick in a pan where the pan does most of the work), and I'm on my way to perfecting boules but I haven't really tried any other shapes. This recipe seemed pretty straight forward since it's basically just salt, flour yeast and water. I made a preferment 3 days before mixing the final dough, and used 1.5oz Rye instead of whole wheat. The book says the recipe makes 3 loaves or multiple rolls. I didn't realize this meant 3 little loaves.....

Anyway, it was late at night and I flaked a bit when it came to taking pictures during my shaping process but here are the final results. I tried the epi, the couronne, and the fendu. I was most pleased with the "wheat stalk"....even though I made the cuts before proofing rather than after (whoops). The crown and the split loaf definitely need a ton more work. Especially since my split loaf wasn't really split...

But...practice makes perfect right? Guess I'll just have to make more dough to practice with (darn!). 

And since this is my first time making this type of bread, I wasn't hopeful that my crumb would turn out like it should....but I was pleasantly surprised that the crust was REALLY crusty and the crumb was soft, moist and creamy. So what do you think? Did I get the crumb right at least?


Juergen's picture

Pain de Campagne

April 15, 2012 - 5:29am -- Juergen

I baked this loaf this morning. It's in the style of a Pain de Campagne though with a bit wetter dough (70%), it has 80% white wheat flour and 20% whole wheat flour. I'm pleased with the relatively open crumb and most important, it tastes great with Coburger ham!

Have a great sunday all!

sweetbird's picture

I can’t seem to resist any opportunity to watch a sourdough culture get its start. I’ve made many starters over the years but it never loses its fascination for me. I love watching the miracle of wild yeast emerge. That’s what drew me to this formula in Joe Ortiz’s book The Village Baker. It had the added charm of being an authentic formula that has been passed down through the ages. According to the author, it has been in use for hundreds of years by home bakers who gathered once a week in the French countryside to bake in communal ovens. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

It takes about 6 days to complete this, but that’s because you’re building a sourdough culture from scratch. You could substitute an already thriving sourdough culture of your own, but you’d miss out on all the fun (and probably end up with a good but different-tasting loaf). This deeply wheaty and tangy levain lets you know, without any doubt, that it is there in the final loaf.

As I did with my previous Joe Ortiz formula, I’ve done metric conversions while still providing his original measurements for anyone who prefers those. I didn’t convert the tiny amounts to metrics. Also, as in my previous Joe Ortiz loaf (the Pumpkin Seed sourdough), I’ve increased the quantity of salt from 2½ tsp. to a rounded Tbs. and have used Celtic salt.

He isn’t very specific about temperatures, instead using terms like “warm” or “very warm.” I used my judgment and generally took “warm” to be in the mid- to upper-80sF and “very warm” to be anywhere from the 90sF up to 100F. Of course, it also depends on the weather, etc., so it’s best left up to the baker.

This makes one large 2-lb. or approximately 1034 gm loaf.

Chef (2-3 days):

78 gms organic whole wheat flour (½ C.)

46 gms warm water (scant ¼ C.)

1/8 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. whole organic milk


First refreshment (18-24 hrs.):

117 gms organic whole wheat flour (3/4 C.)

72 gms warm water (1/3 C.)

44 gms chef (2 Tbs.)


Second refreshment (10-12 hrs.):

115 gms levain from the first refreshment (½ C.)

117 gms organic whole wheat flour (3/4 C.)

70 gms organic unbleached AP flour (½ C.)

115 gms warm water (½ C.)



420 gms organic unbleached AP flour (3 C.)

342 gms levain from the previous step (1½ C.)

285 gms very warm water (1¼ C.)

15 - 16 gms finely ground Celtic salt (approx. 1 slightly rounded Tbs.)


For this loaf I used organic Central Milling whole wheat flour and King Arthur unbleached AP four. And spring water, which I always use rather than tap because it gives me better and more consistent results.


To make the chef:

His method (presumably the method used for hundreds of years) is to make a mound of flour on your work table and make a well in the center. Into the well pour about two-thirds of the water, and then add the cumin and the milk. With one finger, start mixing and pulling the flour in from the outer ring. Adjust as necessary until you have a firm but somewhat sticky dough. Knead 5 - 8 minutes.

I did it a little differently: I mixed the flour and cumin in a large, wide bowl, made a well, added the liquids and incorporated the flour from the outer ring slowly with a small spatula. I kneaded it right in the bowl; more of a stretch-and-fold technique than a traditional knead.

Transfer to a ceramic or glass container. (Don’t coat with oil.) Cover and let sit in a warm place free from drafts for 2 to 3 days.

A crust will form on the top, but when you peel that back you’ll find a spongy, inflated chef. He describes the aroma as “slightly sour but fragrant and appealing,” which is exactly what I found.

I did my first refreshment after 2½ days, and that happened to be at 8 o’clock in the morning, which turned out to be perfect timing for the rest of the steps, leaving me with a baking schedule that would suit most of us I suppose, which is to bake during daylight hours. I can’t say I planned it that way but once in a while we non-planners get lucky.

First refreshment:

Remove the crust and take 2 Tbs. (about 44 gms) of the sponge. Make a well of the flour, put the chef into the well and add the warm water. After the chef dissolves, begin to draw in the flour from the sides of the well. You should end up with a very firm but still slightly moist ball of dough. You may not even be able to incorporate all the flour. Try to do so, but don’t worry if you can’t.

Transfer to a ceramic or glass container, cover, and let stand for between 18 and 24 hours. I left mine for the full 24 hours. When ready it will have risen noticeably and fallen a little. It will have a “pleasing, alcoholic aroma.” Mine did.

Second refreshment:

Discard any crust but use most of this levain (should be about 115 gms). Hold back some of the flour until you’re sure that you need it. It should be slightly moist to the touch but firm, as the first refreshment was. Let this rise, covered, for between 10 and 12 hours. Mine became active very quickly and rose like a champ throughout the day. It was raring to go by 10 hours, so I went on to the next step, mixing the final dough, which I did in the evening in preparation for a bake the following day.

Beginning of 2nd refreshment:

After 4 hours:

After 8 hours:


Make a well in the flour, add all the levain (broken up into pieces) and all the water and mix as before, stopping when you still have about a cup of flour left to incorporate. Add the salt and then incorporate the rest of the flour. Knead for 5 minutes until firm and elastic.

Let rise, covered, for 8 to 10 hours. It should double. I left mine overnight in a cool room (probably about 66°F, give or take a few degrees throughout the winter’s night) and it had doubled beautifully by morning. It was domed, so it hadn’t begun to fall, and it smelled nicely of fermentation.

Deflate gently on your work surface and save a walnut-sized piece of dough for your next bake. About 44 gms or 2 Tbs. is a good amount. You can refrigerate this for a day or two or begin another loaf right away if you like. To make another loaf you would let it sit at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours and treat it as the “chef,” using it in the first refreshment, then continuing on with this formula.

Pre-shape the dough and let rest for half an hour.

Cool trick: when you’re ready to shape, remove another small walnut-sized piece of dough and put it in a Mason jar (or any medium-sized glass jar) filled with room temperature water. Shape your dough and put the dough and the jar with water together in the same warm place. When the little ball of dough pops up and floats in the water, the bread is ready to bake.

Joe Ortiz calls for an 8 to 10 hour rise, but I found mine was ready to go at 3 hours, so you need to be checking your dough as you always do (even if you’re using the Mason jar trick). The important thing is to have your oven and baking stone ready when your dough is ready, so some educated anticipation is called for. The author makes the point that the final rise plus the previous step (the dough rise) should total 16 hours, but I found my levain to be too active to push it that far. That seems like it has to be left up to the baker.

By the way, for large loaves like this one, I’ve used an Easter basket lined with cloth for years and it works great. It cost about 99 cents. I searched around for one with the size and shape I wanted; this one is nicely rounded from rim to rim, and once the handle was removed it was perfect.

Preheat the oven and stone to 450°F about 45 minutes before you expect to bake, and prepare for steam. Score and load the loaf and adjust the temperature down to about 400°F or 425°F if your oven tends to bake hot. Mine does, so I went down to 425°F. Remove steam apparatus after 10 - 12 minutes and rotate halfway through for even browning. He recommends baking for a full hour, but mine was ready at about 40-45 minutes or so. I turned the oven off and left the door ajar for 10 minutes.

When I transferred this loaf to the peel, I had a bad feeling that I had over-proofed it. It seemed flabby. That may—or may not—account for my inelegant scoring:

I didn’t think I was going to get any oven spring, but I ended up getting a moderate amount. Not perfect by any stretch, and a bit of a clumsy shape, but not a disaster. The color was deep (somewhere between the film noir shot at the top and the sun-drenched shot just above) and the crust was nicely blistered with signs of fermentation. The real joy came when I tried my first slice. I LOVE this bread! It has a genuine, pronounced sourdough tang and the flavor of well-developed, long-fermented wheat, which is brought about by the leisurely development of the levain, but also by the generous proportion of levain in the final dough.

My husband Angelo especially loved it too. He has a wheat sensitivity (but not an allergy, thank goodness), so he’s not supposed to eat much wheat, but he can’t resist trying some when I bake. I am thrilled with it and will make it again and again. Someday I’ll try it with one of my standard starters and report back on the results. At the moment, I’m in the process of refreshing the “old dough” from this bake in preparation for another loaf in a few days.

This little sweetie seems to like the smell of freshly baked bread, because she has a habit of showing up when I do my "photo shoots." Now I have a good shot of her face so I'll know who the culprit is if some of my bread mysteriously goes missing!

Happy baking to all,


p.s., submitted to Susan for yeastspotting

sweetbird's picture

I’ve been raiding my freezer for slices of homemade bread lately and decided it was time to make some fresh loaves. There will never be a shortage of frozen homemade bread in this house but there are times when I just can’t stand it—I have to bake! I picked Glenn Snyder’s San Francisco Country Sourdough as my project and I’m so glad I did. It’s a lovely formula. Here is a link:

I had made this once before with excellent results, but ended up making some minor changes both times. Not from any desire or need to improve the formula, but just because of “conditions on the ground” as the generals say in wartime.  First time around I had to refrigerate the dough after 1½ hours of the bulk ferment. I took it out in the morning, did a rough shape, bench rest and final shape and it came out beautifully.


Flours used were King Arthur AP, Central Milling organic whole wheat, Bob’s Red Mill dark rye. Also spring water and Celtic salt. My sourdough culture was at 100%, so I made a minor adjustment to the water to compensate (Glenn calls for 75% culture).

This time I decided to follow a kind of Tartine-style handling of the dough. After the autolyse I added the salt (in my case I used fine Celtic salt) along with a tiny bit of water (I had held a little back in the earlier stage) and did a rough mix by hand in the bowl, finishing up with quite a few stretch-and-folds. Since I hadn’t mixed it quite as thoroughly as the formula calls for, I changed the S & F schedule and did one every half hour for the first two hours of the bulk ferment, then I left it alone for the final hour. At the end of that time, it was lively and pillowy and it smelled of gentle wheaty fermentation.

I divided into two halves and pre-shaped, then left it to rest for about 45 minutes. Then shaped into two boules and placed into 8″ brotforms. I put one in the refrigerator and kept one out to rise and bake.

Since I was already in a Tartine frame of mind, I decided to bake the first loaf in my Dutch oven. Preheated the oven to 500°F with the Dutch oven on the lowest rack. Turned the boule out onto a rectangle of parchment paper lightly dusted with a 50/50 blend of AP flour and white rice flour, took hold of the corners and lowered it—carefully!—into the Dutch oven. Then I closed the lid and returned it to the oven, reducing the temperature to 450°F. Glenn calls for a reduction to 460°F but I though it best to go a little lower since I was using a blazing hot Dutch oven. As it turned out, I could have reduced it even a bit more; the lower crust was somewhat overdone.

That loaf was a wild thing, with explosive oven spring. It felt almost weightless when I removed it to the cooling rack. As with my Tartine loaves, this had gorgeous, deep caramelization. The flavor once it cooled was a real delight—a crust that crackled when I cut through it and released deep caramel-wheat flavor when I bit into it. The interior was sweet and somewhat moist. Not much sourdough tang. I assumed I would get more of that in the loaf that was resting in the refrigerator overnight, but that turned out to not really be the case.

I baked the second loaf the next morning in the more traditional way on a heated baking stone on the middle shelf, with steam for the first 12 minutes. It also had exuberant oven spring, but was a little more controlled. I had taken it out of the refrigerator for about a half hour before baking, as it seemed to need it. This was my favorite of the two loaves. An incredibly deep, blistery, crackly mahogany crust, loaded with flavor and texture, with a soft but substantial interior. I really loved this crust, as you can probably tell from the overabundance of pictures! This one also felt as light as a feather after baking (+ its 10 minute rest with the oven off and the door open).

This is a great sandwich or toasting bread, and last night I made croutons by roughly cubing up several slices, crust and all, and putting them in a hot cast iron frying pan with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley and basil. These got sprinkled over a homemade escarole-bean soup and made for a memorable, comforting meal on a wintry day.

Thank you for the formula, Glenn!

All the best,  Janie

p.s., sending to Susan for yeastspotting


pmccool's picture

Last weekend, I had a number of errands to run and it occurred to me that I could plan a route that allowed a stop at Fervere Bakery and then go on to the River Market and (since it was close by) The Planter Seed and Spice Company.  Think of it as a trifecta for a foodie.

Fervere is a not-so-old bakery in an old neighborhood to the south and west of downtown KC.  They are known for turning out some of the best breads in the area and for a rather quirky business model.  For pictures and a lengthier description of their products and process, I'll refer you to their website.  There's also a short video on youtube that you can watch.

Having heard a lot about Fervere and their breads, I was eager to try some.  I chose their pain de campagne, reasoning that I would be tasting the bread without any other influences (although I have to say that I sampled their orchard bread and it was wonderful!).  It turned out to be a really good choice!

The loaf is round and miche-like in shape and size, like this:

I would guesstimate it to be about 4 inches high at the tallest point and 12-14 inches in diameter.  As you can see, the crust colors range from golden browns to deeper, more caramelized russet tones.  The bottom crust, where it was in contact with the oven sole, is darker still.  The color and size of the slash indicates an early and large expansion after the dough was loaded in the oven.  This is borne out by the texture of the crumb:

The cells are random in size and distribution.  Although some of the alveoli are fairly large, this bread worked very well for sandwiches; protecting the diner from unexpected drips of condiments.  The crust is fairly thin.  By the time I got home from all of my running around that day, the crust had softened from crisp to chewy, due to being enclosed in a plastic bag.  The crumb was very moist and cool; this is evidently a high-hydration dough.  Oddly enough, although the crumb is relatively soft, it isn't mushy.  Press gently on the loaf and it yields, then immediately rebounds.  There's a firmness, a sturdiness, to this bread.  And it has excellent keeping qualities, having lasted nearly a week at the present cool room temperatures with no appreciable staling.  (My wife was out of town most of the week and, good as it was, a man can only eat so much bread by himself!)

Opening the bag and inhaling the aroma is almost intoxicating.  Deep, toasty caramel, roasted malts, a suggestion of chocolate, a mild tanginess and other notes that I don't have the vocabulary for.  These carry over into the flavor, which also boasts a forward wheatiness while the sourness virtually disappears.  A bite with crust is entirely different from a bite without crust.  If Wonder Bread is at one end of the chewiness spectrum and vollkornbrot is at the other, this lands just about squarely in the middle.  Firm, yes, but it yields to moderate pressure.  This is seriously good bread.  If I weren't a home baker, this is the kind of bread that I would want to buy.  Given the trek from my suburban location, I'm glad that I don't have to depend on Fervere for my daily bread but it is nice to know that it would be worth my time if I were in the vicinity.  And I would recommend that you stop in if you find yourself in Kansas City someday.


RigoJancsi's picture

Lalvain du Jour pain de campagne : need help

November 30, 2010 - 9:37am -- RigoJancsi


I am looking for the french type powdered starter 'Lalvain du jour pain de campagne' (LA 2).

King Arthur used to sell it but they don't carry it anymore. They have another french starter, LA 4, which produces a stronger, San Francisco type flavor. Can someone tell me where can I buy the milder LA 2 starter?


Franko's picture




Pain de Campagne


This weeks bake is somewhat of a hybrid between Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with increased Whole Grain and a formula posted by JoeVa back in January of this year for a Pane a Lievito Naturale con Segale Integrale .


The final dough includes a ratio of 20% whole rye flour as well as malt syrup and nondiastatic malt powder. The malt syrup helps provide the natural yeasts with sufficient nutrition during the long fermentation of this dough (30+hrs) and the nd malt powder is used for added flavour, similar to JoeVa's formula. But where Giovanni's posted formula calls for a stiff levain, I used a liquid white levain as per Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with increased Whole Grain because that's what I had active at the time. Since the levain is a wheat based leaven I'll just call this a Pain de Campagne for now unless someone has a better suggestion for it. The bread has a good sour note to it that combines well with the malt for a balanced overall flavour. The crust is chewy and the crumb is even, which makes it a good loaf for sandwiches and everyday use, and a bread I'll be making often. Formula and photos included.

















Mature white Liquid Culture




Bread Flour
















Final Dough




Rogers Unbleached Bread Flour




Nunweiler's Dark Rye Flour








Malt Syrup




*Non-diastatic Malt Powder
















Total Hydration




  • non diastatic malt powder can be found online at KA


Mixing Time-5 minutes on 1st speed 7-8 minutes on 2nd speed

Desired Dough Temp-76F


Add all ingredients except the salt to the mixing bowl and mix on

1st speed for 2 minutes. Add the salt and mix for an additional

3-4 minutes on 1st speed, or until all the ingredients are combined.

Mix on 2nd for 7-8 minutes until the dough is cohesive but not fully

developed. Turn the dough out onto the counter/bench and work by

hand until the dough is smooth and well developed. The dough

should have a medium feel to it, pliable but slightly resistant to the


Bulk Ferment -2 1/2hrs at 70F

First stretch and fold after 50 minutes

Second s&f after 50 more minutes

After a full 2 ½ bulk ferment, round lightly, cover and rest for 15 min ,

then shape as desired. Place in floured banneton (if using) and place

in refrigerator or at a temp of 58F or less for 26hrs. After this time bring

the dough to room temp for 4 hrs or until almost fully proofed, slash, and bake at

500F for 10 minutes with normal steam then reduce the temp to 440F for

the remaining bake time of 30-35 minutes, rotating the loaf after 20 min

to colour evenly on all sides. Cool for 8 hrs minimum, wrapped loosely in

linen on a wire rack before slicing.






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