The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Advice Before Pain De Campagne Attempt - FWSY

lofi's picture

Advice Before Pain De Campagne Attempt - FWSY

Hello all,

Tomorrow I'm going to be attempting Pain De Campagne from FWSY (Forkish). I've searched through the forum looking at previous posts and generally found the following advice,

1. His timings are very overestimated/generous so I need to watch the dough carefully.

2. The levain builds are extremely generous, so I think I will take 1/4 of his levain build (I'm only making 1 loaf anyways)

Is there any other advice I should heed? I'm planning on upping the ration of whole wheat to white flour he uses, I think this will help with keeping the dough a little bit more manageable as well. 

One question I do have is should I proof my dough on the countertop after shaping and then retard it? So far the breads I've made had ok crumbs but have been a little gummy. I've tried extending the BF but that hasn't done much so I was thinking maybe I should proof the bread for a bit on the countertop before doing the retard since my fridge is pretty cold (I usually retard in the fridge for 16 hrs).

Also, I've seen some mixed opinions about using commercial yeast in the final dough as Forkish does... Should I use it or not?


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, lofi.

It sounds like you have a good plan. Just keep an eye on the dough. The clock is not your friend when it comes to fermentation, especially if you skip the instant yeast which is okay. It does change the fermentation timing and makes it more temperature dependent. It also seems to generally lead to a more dense crumb, but that's not a problem.

I have a proofing box, and I bulk ferment at 76ºF. The dough is usually ready to divide after about 3.5 to 4 hours.

I have personally developed a routine where I proof the shaped loaves for an hour or two at room temperature before retarding. My fridge runs 40-42ºF. If the loaves look like they need it, I also proof at room temperature or in a proofing box for an hour or two before baking them. 

The most important caveat is still to watch the dough and not the clock.

BTW, I also almost always increase Forkish's PdeC to 20 to 40% whole grain flour. Because these absorb more water, I also increase the hydration. For example, where Forkish calls for 620g of water in a final dough, I'll use 650 or even 670. If you are not yet comfortable with slack doughs, you might want to sneak up on the hydration gradually.

Happy baking! Looking forward to your post.


lofi's picture

Thanks David, I think I'll try the recipe with yeast and will give a countertop proof a go before retarding the dough. Will post back with results!

WatertownNewbie's picture

You wrote "So far the breads I've made had ok crumbs but have been a little gummy."

Be sure that you bake long enough.  If you have an instant read thermometer (a Thermapen is great for this), keep the loaf in the oven until the interior temperature exceeds 208dF.  (If the outside begins to burn, put an aluminum foil tent over the loaf.) 

Also, let the bread cool sufficiently before you slice it.  Slicing too early will often result in a gummy crumb that has not had adequate time to dry.

You have done your homework, as David noted.  Happy baking.