The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain de Campagne

pizza fool's picture
pizza fool

Pain de Campagne


Howdy!  Miraculous taste on these.  Maybe my best loaves ever, despite being slightly misshapen.

Refreshed starter from fridge

12g / 25ml / 13g ww / 13g KA bf

about 24 hrs room temp

and then a second refresh

12g / 25ml / 13g ww / 13g KA bf

for 6 hours.

Levain - I used ice water because of the room temp (it's summer here in Philadelphia) and because it'd be overnight.

15g starter / 200 ml at 40F / 150g Warthog ww / 50g rye

8 hrs


415g levain / 525 ml at 75F / 800 KA bf

30 min


20 g / 50ml at 75F

30 min

Stretch and Folds

Every 10 min x 4

Bulk Fermentation

Oiled dough bucket at room temp for 3.5 hrs, until doubled

Shape and Proof

No bench rest. Fridge for 8 hrs


Preheat Lodge DOs for 500F for 25m

Parchment paper transfer and cornmeal on bottom of DOs to prevent burned bottom

Then 500F for 20m, 450 for 10m, lids off, 25m more.


adam_smith1992's picture

Great loaf!! will give this recipe a try tomorrow. I like the 8 hour prove, I have found 12 in the fridge is too long.

From memory is this the recipie from Flour Water  Salt Yeast? Also What are the advantages of not doing a bench rest.

And what is your starter made of? I have a pure rye starter and im getting double put not triple rises so was thinking about doing x2 refreshes with a mix of bread and WW flour.

Again, amazing bread!


pizza fool's picture
pizza fool

Thanks!  I sometimes do 12, but in this case it was 8hrs or 16 hrs, and that would definitely have been too long.  I use so much levain that the bulk fermentation and proofing are accelerated, especially in warm weather.  Reinhart uses that much levain, but he does the bulk fermentation in the fridge.  

Also I don't use any bread flour in the levain because the Komo is loud and would wake everyone up, so I'd rather run it at night for the levain but slow it down with ice water.

I don't remember if I got this recipe from Forkish - I like about 20% whole grains, and 10% rye is a bit much, so I settled on 5% rye and 15% whole wheat.  I like the 77.5% hydration - in between annoyingly wet 85% or 80% and for beginners 70% or 75%.

I don't use Forkish's pinchy thing for mixing - too annoying. Stretch and folds every ten minutes are fine, except that already by the second set the dough starts tightening after the second or third fold, making the fourth challenging.  I lift the dough and hold it by the middle and let it sag off the front and back of my hand (if I just grabbed one side the weight would probably rip the gluten strands) and then do the third and fourth folds, if necessary.  I don't want to spend all day stretching and folding every 30 minutes. I want to be out with my kids on our bikes or whatever.

I guess I do a bench rest only if the dough is still really slack after the bulk ferment.  I've found that I usually need it with 80% or 85% doughs, or if I let the dough more than double, in which case it's so gassy that the bench rest helps uhh restructure it or something.  I guess the bench rest gets rid of some of the larger bubbles and refirms the structure.  This time it felt firm enough to hold its shape when I divided it.

My starter is roughly 50/50 whole wheat/white.  I'm not religious about the mix - when I'm lazy I'll use AP flour cause it's easier to get that flour out than the BF. When I'm really lazy I'll refresh without whole wheat so I don't have to go to the basement, shift stuff off my grain buckets, then get out the mill and grind.  I refresh at 1:2:3 when it's going into the fridge for the next few days/weeks so it has more to eat, or if I'm refreshing to bake I do 1:2:2.

My whole approach for the past few months has been to get away from recipes and use a combination of techniques from Forkish, Robertson and Reinhart so that the bread fits my schedule instead of me fitting its.  So maybe a longer autolyse, maybe a shorter one, maybe no rest after salt, maybe only 10 minutes, maybe only 3 sets of S&Fs, or 5, maybe the bulk ferment in the fridge, maybe on the counter, maybe ice water for a long levain, maybe room temp or hotter for a short one. Sometimes starter straight from the fridge with high acidity, sometimes 1 or two refreshes to flush out the acetic acid. Sometimes everything works out, like today, and I end up with an A+ bread.  Usually I end up with a B+, A- or A bread, and those are just fine and I don't freak out at anyone cause I missed a two minute window to do a stretch and fold and now it's all ruined, ruined, because I didn't maximize the potential of the wheat.  I made a B+ bread a few weeks ago, and my wife said it tasted like France.