The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

20100523 More Sourdough Pain de Campagne

Yippee's picture

20100523 More Sourdough Pain de Campagne

This was another white bread with a small amount of whole rye flour.  I’ve started to enjoy the simple shaping of a boule.  Actually, as they say in the commercial, ‘I’m lovin it.’ It does not require much intense planning or attention to details.   Processing of this type of bread is quite soothing, especially at the end of a long day, to an exhausting body and mind.   My original plan was to make baguettes but it was running late so I switched to a boule instead.

This loaf was quite similar to the previous one except for a few things.  Multiple levains were used in this bake and they were refreshed the night before mixing.  As a result, no commercial yeast was needed this time and fermentation was relatively speedier. Diastatic malt powder was used in anticipation of an extended fermentation. I was still experimenting with my oven temperature in order to achieve the right balance between optimum oven spring and color. The loaf still came out a bit too dark to my liking.  Further adjustment of temperature and timing is needed in next bake. 

I’ve been constantly on the look out for a more care-free way of making bread, as long as the quality of my loaves is not compromised. Retarding is one of the methods that enables me to complete the final proof without being too attentive to the dough. However, I’ve found that the temperature of my fridge is too low for the dough to rise to its full capacity. I’d like to have the dough ready to bake when I take it out of the fridge and not have to wait for it to warm up and complete its final proof afterwards.  Hmmm, wouldn’t it be nice to own a retarder as well? Well, before I have that extra gadget, here’s what I did: During my waking hours, I raised the temperature of my proofer a bit so the dough was about 80% complete of its final proof before I shut down.     The remaining phase of final proof carried on in the fridge overnight until I was ready to bake in the following afternoon. This ‘strategy’ worked out pretty well to further fit bread making into my schedule.

The multiple levains had brought more elaborate depth of flavors to the loaf.  It’s slightly tangier than the previous one as extended, cooler fermentation was employed. The initial light and velvety mouthfeel contrasted distinctively with the soft crackling of crust into smithereens that followed. What a sensation! Everybody in the family was satisfied.

A summary of the formula and procedures is as follows:


Here are some pictures:



ehanner's picture

Beautiful Bread Yippee!

And, a very nice photo display.


ananda's picture

Just to echo wahat Eric has written

Best wishes


dmsnyder's picture

Everybody in the family was satisfied.

I'd be satisfied too. It looks wonderful.


SylviaH's picture

What a gorgeous boule and display.  I love looking at and how you display your beautiful photos.  I'm going to go view it again ; )


Yippee's picture

for your compliments!


Daisy_A's picture

Wow Yippee, that boule looks gorgeous - what a lovely crust and wonderful gelatinization on the crumb! Love the photos too.

I'm currently trying my hand at the simpler sourdough boules, starting with Hamelman's basic pain au levain. I've also had problems retarding dough but of the opposite variety - my rye starter managed to quadruple the dough during a 21 hour retardation - so either I hadn't proved it enough before refrigeration or the starter has grown particularly feisty in our current warm weather.

I am now looking for recipes with shorter overall fermentation times so this one appeals. Thanks for posting the formula.

Wishing you continued good baking,  Kind regards,  Daisy_A

Yippee's picture

You may also try Susan of San Diego's sourdough boule formulae which are very simple but effective.   My first boule was using her formula.


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Yippee,

Thanks for the recommendation. I am looking forward to trying that. Just looking for a suitable cover. My pyrex aren't big enough and I don't want to chance my Le Creuset - I have read posters on other boards saying that their enamel started to crack. Will hopefully try again tomorrow to find a suitable metal bowl.   Kind regards, Daisy_A