Pain de Campagne

by Michelle on November 7, 2009

Pain de Campagne;(“country bread” in French) is typically a large round loaf (“miche”) made from a natural leavening similar to, but not as sour as, American sourdough. Most traditional versions of this bread are made with a combination of white flour with whole wheat flour and/or rye flour, water, leavening and salt. For centuries, French villages had communal ovens where the townsfolk would bring their dough to be baked, and the miches weighed from four to as much as twelve pounds. Such large loaves would feed a family for days or weeks, until the next baking day.

Before the advent of roller milling, virtually all wheat was milled by stone grinding. In order to produce a lighter, less toothsome bread, the whole wheat flour was sifted or bolted using mesh or cloth. This resulted in a whiter flour that still retained some of the bran and germ. The addition of rye flour in some recipes probably originates from the presence of rye growing among the wheat. All the grain was harvested together, and as much as 10 percent of it would be rye. Rye flour ferments more quickly than wheat flour, and it imparts a distinctive flavor to traditional pains de campagne.
Today pain de campagne is still made in France, and is enjoying a growing appreciation in the United States. The doughs are allowed to ferment for several hours, allowing the natural bacteria and yeasts to grow, and are then rounded and placed in linen-lined baskets called “bannetons”. After the dough has risen, it is dumped out of the basket and onto peel, and slid into the oven where it bakes at around 450 F (240 C) for about one hour.
 
 
 

 

DSCF9081-1

Pain de Campagne is my 16th bread for Bread Baker’s Apprentice and I’ve enjoyed each and every bread. But I have to admit the fermented recipes are my favorites.

As soon as I tasted the Pain de Campagne it reminded me of a long ago dinner with a Sicilian friend. We were enjoying our dinner and he tore off a piece of bread, slathered on some cream cheese and dipped it in his wine. Hmmmmm….interesting and something I’d not seen or tasted before. So I loaded up the cream cheese, dipped and bit into heaven. I was perfectly happy for the rest of meal eating nothing but bread dipped in wine!

Bread with cream cheese goes especially well with a Merlot. And I just happened to have a bottle of Columbia Crest Merlot and had a very nice Sunday afternoon watching football and dipping in the wine!

DSCF9098-1

I did start a new Bread Making Group, HBinFive and we will be baking our way through the new book “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois. It’s a fun, freewheeling group that I’m sure anyone would enjoy. And we’ve even started a new side feature, Camp Breads, which is baking 5-minute breads in an outdoor grill or on a campfire.

To see a demonstration of Jeff and Zoe’s bread making method, please watch the below video and if you are interested or have any questions, contact me at ms dot bigblackdog at gmail dot com. In any communication please include your full name and if you have a blog include the blog name and URL and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

And a Book Giveaway………..

If you join HBinFive by November 15th you will have a chance to win a signed copy of “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois!

Please visit some of my fellow BBA’ers and see their version of Pain de Campagne:

Janice of Round the Table
Susie of Susie’s Home and Hobbies
Phyl of Cabbages and King Cakes
Jolene of What’s Cookin, Chicago?
Paul of The Yumarama Artisan Bread Blog

All Rights Reserved 2008-9 © Big Black Dog

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly

Comments

  • misterrios November 7, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Cream cheese and wine, eh? Maybe I’ll have to try it. The bread looks beautiful. Is that a Fougasse shape in the background? Would love to see what that looks like.

  • Kayte November 7, 2009 at 11:32 am

    You always have quite the way with bread. I will get there eventually. Working on focaccia now. Slow & Steady, right? I loved the little historical bit you shared, such fun to read all that!

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies November 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I haven’t gotten this far yet – your loaves are beautiful! I love that you dip them into wine. :)

  • Its So Very Cheri November 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Wow–I have never heard of that combination before. Hmmmm. I love bread maybe I will make some home made bread this weekend.

    cheri

  • Danielle November 7, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Beautiful bread there Michelle! and how fun to dip it in wine with cream cheese. I’m going to have to do that tonight!!! (I happen to have a bottle of Merlot..woo hoo). And thank you for sharing the video :)

  • Lynda November 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!!

  • gfe--gluten free easily November 8, 2009 at 12:45 am

    The camp bread aspect is intriguing as we camp all summer long on our mtn/river property. It’s gluten-free for me, so please let me know if anyone gluten free joins your group and comes up with some great, tasty breads! :-)

    Shirley

  • Joanne November 8, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    I’m not sure that I’ve ever had pain de campagne but I really love sourdough/fermented breads. I think I need to pick up a copy of the BBA if I am going to take this whole cooking with yeast thing seriously. I think it would be a good challenge for me for the new year.

    This bread looks so delicious and your new cooking group sounds like it’s so much fun!

  • Brian the old man November 9, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Hi Michelle, that’s sounds fantastic. I would love to enjoy some wine, bread and cream cheese. It reminds me of my days in college when we would go and spread out our blankets in the park and have our wine and cheese while we enjoyed the Atlanta Symphony play.

    On another note. I have passed along an award to you. You can find the details on Oldman’s Cantankerous Point of View at http://oldmanblurts.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for all that you do.

  • girlichef November 9, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Oh, it’s so beautiful :) Pretty soon I’ll break out of my (scaredy cat) box and start baking my own bread more…

  • Cindy November 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    What an unusual combination…bread, cream cheese and wine!! I am impressed that you’re about to commit to baking your way through another bread book!

    I watched the video and have to admit I’m intrigued. I’m going to get a copy of that book because after consuming so much white flour, I need something healthier.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cindy

  • Jeff November 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I remember making this bread but I don’t remember it. I thought it was good and I liked it but once again I dunno. Man so much bread so little time. I will definitely check out the HBinFive when I am done with BBA. So much bread……

  • [...] Big Black Dog [...]

  • Threaded commenting powered by Spectacu.la code.

Previous post:

Next post: