Pain de Beaucaire
After a number of attempts and a good bit of reseach I think I am close to making a decent Pain de Beaucaire. It's a challenge that's ranks right up there with the baguette. This was my third attempt. It's a really good loaf of bread and has very good flavor. I will continue to experiment with this dough and the special technique required for cutting and shaping and also requires the use of bran flakes sandwiched between the two layers of dough, placed one on top of the other, in order to produce the open effect seen in the photo below, where the loaf appears to be split. The split is part of the character of the loaf. I have also included a little history of this bread, which was the predecessor to the baguette.
Pain de Beaucaire
Description from: Advanced Bread and Pastry by Michel Suas. “Named after Beaucaire, a region in Southeastern France, the Pain de Beaucaire is one of the first breads to be made “free form”, or not formally shaped. The bread is produced by placing two (2) layers of dough on top of each other and then cutting with a Recle a Beaucaire, strips of dough that are baked side by side, giving this bread its unique appearance. Pain de Beaucaire was very popular until people started to prefer the lighter and crunchier baguette. However, this authentic regional bread is currently enjoying resurgence as a new generation discovers its many appealing characteristics.”Note: Michel Suas gives no details on mixing or shaping Pain de Beaucaire and no photographs.
The following description is taken from the website: http://les7episbio.free.fr/presentation.en.php “Pain de Beaucaire: It’s a sourdough bread which requires a very particular shaping and which gives him [it] a very alveolus [a little cavity, pit or cell, as a cell of a honeycomb] crumb. The pain de Beaucaire has been transmitted for the XV century whereas the town of Beaucaire was the site of the second fair of Europe.” Note: this quoted description is taken verbatim from the website. Bracketed words were added for clarity.