The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pain de campagne

dmsnyder's picture

San Joaquin Sourdough & Friends

San Joaquin Sourdough & Friends

San Joaquin Sourdough

San Joaquin Sourdough

San Joaquin Sourdough Crumb

San Joaquin Sourdough Crumb

This boule is made with my Pain de Campagne formula. ( I used KAF French Style Flour with 5% KAF Organic Whole Wheat and 5% Giusto's whole rye flour. I formed one boule which weighed 860 gms baked. I baked at 480F for 18 minutes under a stainless steel bowl, then another 22 minutes at 460F uncovered. The shine on the boule is real. I assume this is gelatinized starch from the covered baking. I thought it was a nice effect.

 The "friends" are baguettes made with the Gosselin pain a l'ancienne formula.(à-l039ancienne-according-peter-reinhart-interpretted-dmsnyder-m) There were 4 of them, but I devoured one with dinner. It did not have as open a crumb as my last batch, but the taste was wonderful - very sweet, classic baguette flavor.


karladiane's picture

What's your signature loaf?

October 2, 2008 - 10:54am -- karladiane

Hi all. I've taken on breadbaking and have been reading and baking very regularly for the past 6 months. BBA, Leader's Local Breads, and Emily Buehler's Bread Science have been my good companions and teachers. Leader suggests baking certain breads a lot to tweak them and to make them your own "signature" loaves. So far, I think that I have several that I'm working toward "signature" status. They are: (1) Pain de Campagne based on Leader; (2) Altamura Bread (a la Leader again); (3) Pane Siciliano based on BBA; and (4) Chocolate Babka (pieced together from various sources).

dmsnyder's picture

Pain de Campagne variation

Pain de Campagne variation


Pain de Campagne variation, crumb

Pain de Campagne variation, crumb

 A couple of weeks ago, I baked a pain de campagne. The formula evolved from that for baguettes which Anis Bouabsa had shared with Janedo. It had some sourdough starter and some rye flour added to Bouabsa's original. Of course, I didn't have any French T65 flour, so I used KAF "French-style Flour," which is their T55 clone. Also, rather than forming the dough into baguettes, I made one large bâtard. The mixing method was also changed somewhat. After a 20 minute autolyse of the flours and water, the other ingredients are added. The dough is mixed using a method I learned from Hamelman via proth5, although I have since found a very similar method in Reinhart's BBA (see his formula for Pugliese.) The dough is stretched and folded in the mixing bowl with a plastic scraper for 20 strokes, repeating this 3 times over an hour. (20 strokes. 20 minutes rest. 20 more strokes. 20 mintutes rest. 20 strokes.

The critical  method I retained from the original was how the dough was fermented: After the autolyse and "kneading," the dough is refrigerated for 21 hours before dividing, shaping and baking. 

 See my TFL blog entry of August 31, 2008 for more details. (

 King Arthur Flour sells a "specialty flour" they call "European-style Artisan Flour." They have told me this is their approximation of French T65 flour, which is what Ansi Bouabsa actually uses for his baguettes. The European-Style Artisan Flour is a blend of Spring and Winter wheats with some ascorbic acid and some white whole wheat. It is 11.7% protein.

 This week, I made pain de campagne again. The only changes from my bake of two weeks ago were 1) I substituted KAF European-style Artisan Flour for KAF French-style Flour, and 2) I made two boules rather than one bâtard.

 The European-style flour absorbed more water, resulting in a drier dough. It was also slightly less extensible, but still more so than, say, KAF Bread Flour. 

 I baked using the same method as before. For the two boules of about 480 gms each, I preheated the oven to 500F and turned it down to 460F after loading the boules and pouring the hot water in the skillet. The water was removed after 10 minutes. After another 10 minutes, the loaves were "done," but I wanted a darker crust, so baked them for an additional 5 minutes, then left them in the turned-off oven for another 5 minutes.

 The crust did not stay as crunchy as the previous version. The crumb was about what I expected. The dough acted like a 68% hydration dough, and the crumb looked like it. The aroma of the sliced bread, 3 hours after baking, had a pronounced smell of wheat bran, and the taste of the whole wheat in the flour really came through. It was only slightly sour. The texture of the crumb was quite nice. It was tender and chewy. My experience suggests the flavors will meld by tomorrow morning, and the taste will change. I'm looking forward to tasting it.


Personally, I prefer the previous iteration, at this time but others may differ. Certainly, both are very nice. 


dmsnyder's picture







The formula for this bâtard is derived from that for Anis Bouabsa's baguettes, as shared with TFL by Janedo. Jane prompted me to add some sourdough starter, and this resulted in a big improvement, to my taste. We had also discussed adding some rye flour to the dough. Jane said she and her family really liked the result. The addition of rye and sourdough makes this more like a pain de campagne, which is traditionally shaped as a boule or  bâtard. The result of my mental meandering follows:



Active starter ........................100 gms

KAF French Style Flour.......450 gms

Guisto's Rye Flour..................50 gms

Water......................................370 gms

Instant yeast............................1/4 tsp

Salt............................................10 gms



In a large bowl, mix the active starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the yeast over the dough and mix with a plastic scraper. Then sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix.

Using the plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 20 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 20 minutes later and, again, after another 20 minutes.



After the third series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.) Immediately place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours. (In this time, my dough doubles in volume and is full of bubbles. YMMV.)


Dividing and Shaping

(I chose to make one very large bâtard, but you could divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces and make smaller bâtards, boules or baguettes. Or, you could just cut the dough and not shape it further to make pains rustiques.)

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. To pre-shape for  a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .


Preheating the oven

Place a baking stone on the middle rack and both a cast iron skillet and a metal loaf pan (or equivalent receptacles of your choosing) on the bottom shelf.  Heat the oven to 500F. (I like to pre-heat the baking stone for an hour. I think I get better oven spring. Since I expected a 30 minute rest after pre-shaping and a 45 minute proofing, I turned on the oven 15 minutes after I had pre-shaped the loaf.) I put a kettle of water to boil 10 minutes before baking.



After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (This turned out to be 30 minutes for me.) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!



Put about a cup full of ice cubes in the loaf pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and close the door.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf. Uncover the loaf. Score it. (The bâtard was scored with a serrated tomato knife. The knife was held with its blade at about a 30 degree angle to the surface of the loaf. One swift end-to-end cut was made, about 1/2 inch deep.)

Transfer the loaf and parchment paper to the baking stone, pour one cup of boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door. Turn the oven down to 460F.

After 15 minutes, remove the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is browning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.



Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.



I got very good oven spring and bloom. This loaf has an ear by which you could carry it around. It sang to me while cooling. The crust is nice and crunchy. The crumb is well aerated and almost "fluffy" in texture, but with tender chewiness. The taste is just plain good. It is minimally sour. Based on my half-vast experience, I'd say it is fairly representative of a French Pain de Campagne, the major difference being that it is less dense than the ones I recall. 

 This is, for me, not merely a good "novelty" bread. It could join San Francisco Sourdough and Jewish Sour Rye as an "everyday" bread I would enjoy having all the time.  The method is good for those of us who work outside the home. It can be mixed in the evening and baked in time for a late dinner the next night. 




weavershouse's picture

Pain de campagnePain de campagne


This is the first time I made Leader's French Country Boule and I'm very very happy with it. I doubled the recipe and made 3 loaves. The boules are 8" across and the batard is 12". I thought they were well risen but I guess I should have let them go longer because they busted out. I should have left the boules darken more just because I like the dark better. Instead of the whole wheat called for I used First Clear Flour and I used pumpernickle for the light rye and I used a little more salt than called for. My sour dough starter was refreshed 3 or 4 days before I made the starter but it did good. It was a stiff starter.


I will make this often. The flavor is excellent. The crumb is even with no large holes. Did anyone else post a photo of this bread so I can compare? How long did you let it proof after shaping? I know zolablue and Liz made does is compare bread friends?


By the way Liz, I picked up my rye grain yesterday. The health food store finally got it in. I'm itching to try it. weavershouse


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