The Fresh Loaf

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David's Pain de Campagne...kinda

Paddyscake's picture

David's Pain de Campagne...kinda


I've carefully avoided the high hydration slack doughs, fearing terrible results like baguettes that look like they were run over and batard-like blobs of baked dough. Little did I know that David's Pain De Campagne would start me on the road to this challenge. It's always good to have someone give me a little push..I'm the scaredy cat, but once I get going, have a good time. You know, like a roller coaster!

I was a little concerned when I saw my fermented dough hadn't doubled in the 21 hours. David's was bubbly and had doubled. Mine looked pretty much the same as when it went in the fridge. I knew my starter was well fed and happy, so what had I done wrong? I had recently made a similar recipe where the fermented dough rose well in a brotform, but when turned out, flattened. The oven spring though, was remarkable. What have I got to I kept going.

The dough was shaped and then pretty much flattened while proofing. David describes the shaping as lifting and folding the edge closest to you up over the center. Well, it was more like trying to coax/roll the dough up and over, there was no lifting! On final shaping you are supposed to roll the log like loaf to taper the ends. That wasn't happening, I just ended up with a very long flat baguette-like shape. OK, I'll deal with it.

Bake time came and I tried my hand at baguette slashing, which would have been OK if I had started out a little more to the left. I made 2 slashes and ran out of room for the 3rd. Oh, well..My next problem was the loaf was longer than my stone. All right, I'll put it diagonally on the stone. Easier said than done. I had a good 4 inches hanging off the front of the stone..YIKES.. I quickly grabbed a cookie sheet and slide it underneath the parchment paper and coaxed it back farther on the stone. Phew.

The first 15 minutes crawled by and finally I got to open the oven door..ALL RIGHT!! good oven spring. The loaf turned out OK, believe it or not. Still waiting for the taste test.

Now my new goal in be able to reproduce those beauties that David always turns out.

Thanks David, for sharing your techniques and recipes.

I'll keep truckin'


Pablo's picture

Great post, Betty, thanks for sharing the trials and tribulations.  That sounds so much like my baking experiences.  And that crumb is GORGEOUS! 


Paddyscake's picture

It's fun to commiserate! I have to tell you, having the end of the loaf hanging off the stone would have made you blink twice to believe your eyes. Never have you seen anyone move so fast! Thank God for held it all together!


dmsnyder's picture

When you put together a resiliant and forgiving dough and a resourcefull baker, you can't lose.

I've made this bread a few times myself. I keep playing with different flours and hydrations and steaming methods. It is sometimes pretty to look at and sometimes not. It has always been good to eat, but the prettiness does not seem to correlate with the flavor.

I've eaten it plain, as toast with butter, toast with almond butter, as french toast, as croutons, as bread crumbs (in Salmon Cakes. Yum!). Enjoyed it every which way.

I'm glad you baked it, and I'm eager to hear how you like it.


Paddyscake's picture

not much flavor. My husband has a much more discernable palate that I do. He agreed, not much going on. I'll keep playing with it..I'd like to try it with a biga/poolish and then mix and retard another night. It's all fun and I'd love to master handling the slack dough as you have!

Thanks again, Betty

SylviaH's picture

Beautiful loaf, Betty!  Thanks for sharing your experience with it..the crumb looks very nice!


DonD's picture


It turned out great for a first try. Great looking crumb too. As for your concern about you dough not doubling after 21 hours in the fridge, I find that letting the dough ferment at room temperature for 1 hr until it has risen 1 1/2 times before refrigerating it would give you the doubling of the dough with nice big air bubbles on top after 21 hrs in the fridge.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"...letting the dough ferment at room temperature for 1 hr until it has risen 1 1/2 times before refrigerating it."

You are kidding .... right?   Straight dough?

Paddyscake's picture

You are a sharp one! nothing gets by you!


xaipete's picture

Hi Betty. I don't always have this dough double in 21 hours, but it is nothing to worry about. See David's recent post.

Your loaf, scoring, and crumb look terrific.


Paddyscake's picture

Sylvia, Don  & Pamela..appreciate the encouragement.

Pamela, glad to hear that I was not alone with it not doubling. I was freaked out when I took it out the next day and it looked the same as it went in.

I'll keep working at it. I really enjoy how industrious your are with your baking and posts!