Pain de Campagne experiment
MaryinHammondsport and I agreed the other day that each of us would bake BBA's recipe for pain de campagne and then compare our results, since BBA lacks photos of cut slices or a description of the crumb. Well, Mary, once again, I produced a really delicious bread, but the crumb was still tight and the oven spring was minimal. I used rye flour instead of whole wheat. During the risings, my kitchen was about 80 degrees and the fermentations were a little on the quick side, but I followed the instructions to degas lightly if the dough was rising too quickly. As for shaping the bread (two batards), I really can't imagine how I could have degassed less and still have managed to shape loaves. The two loaves were about a foot long, 3 1/2 inches wide, and 2 inches tall. Sorry, no pictures. The battery in my camera seems to have died.
What I produced might just be the bread this recipe produces, because I swear I followed the recipe exactly. I didn't load the dough down with lots of extra flour, I handled the fermented dough with reverent gentleness, and I don't think I let it over-rise. I used an oven stone, the heat was as high as my oven will get, and I threw hot water into a heated cast-iron skillet at the bottom of my oven and sprayed the sides of the oven three times, as directed. I made three diagonal slashes per loaf. It may not have been the world's best scoring, but it was hardly butchery.
Mary, I'm looking forward to your report.