The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain de Campagne and Practice Shaping

nadira2100's picture

Pain de Campagne and Practice Shaping

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 Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

and the shaping is - as you say - a matter of practice.

Very encouraging post.

Did you watch Ciril Hitz' or Jeffrey Hamelman's movies?

Happy Shaping,


nadira2100's picture

Aha! No I haven't seen the videos. Thanks for pointing me in that direction :) And thank you for your kind words. It's always a challenge when you don't have an expert baking with you to tell you if you did something right.