Pain de campagne/ French country bread

I havent been posting much lately as I have been a busy bee at work, I also haven’t been baking as much. I have every saturday off so have been cramming in bread baking, and this is the bread I have been baking! Its my Mum’s personal favorite, it’s a french country loaf that uses a “Pâte fermentée” wich means old dough, back when my dad was a baker they used bits of unbaked dough from the previous day to flavor the fresh dough the next day but you can also make up a special little bit of Pâte fermentée the night before you bake. It’s kinda like how starters flavour bread but a lot more mild and less work as you don’t need to feed it on a regular basis. This bread has a lovely flavour- partly because of using the old dough, but also because it has just a hint of rye and a hint of wholemeal flours, it’s a french country loaf that dates back to when French farmers grew small amounts or rye amongst the wheat and milled it all together, villagers used to bake up large loaves of this bread in communal ovens once a week.


Pâte fermentée (old dough):
2 cups white bread flour
2/3- 1 cup tepid water
1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the flour, partially mix then add the salt and bring together to form a dough, knead until elastic- about 8-10 minutes and place in an oiled bowl, covered, to rise for about 1 hour- or until it has risen noticeably. Place in the top of the fridge overnight (or up too 3 days) and use as required in bread.



Pain de campagne:
1 1/2 cups tepid water
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp of unrefined sugar/ or agave
1/2 a recipe of Pâte fermentée (see recipe above)
2 1/2 cups strong white bread flour
1/3 cup strong wholemeal flour
1/3 cup rye flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil

Mix together the water, yeast, sugar and Pâte fermentée- squeezing the Pâte fermentée with your hands to break most of it up- mix in the flour’s until partially combined. Dissolve the salt in about a tbsp of water and add it in. Continue to mix the ingredients together until it comes together as a dough. Knead on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until the dough quickly bounces back after being poked with a floured finger. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and toss to coat it, cover and leave to rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Punch the dough back down and shape into a boule before placing in a floured banneton (or back into the bowl) for another 30 minutes- 1 hour to double back up. Preheat the oven to 230c/450f and place a metal oven proof dish on the bottom of the oven filled with boiling water (be careful!). Turn the bread onto a greased baking sheet and slice a couple of times with a sharp knife. Bake for 35- 45 minutes until the curst is dark and the loaf fully baked. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

BROT vegan french bread pate fermentee

7 thoughts on “Pain de campagne/ French country bread

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