Pain de Campagne

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One of my favourite breads. I decided to make this bread because I wanted to make a Croque Monsieur which is a French fried ham and cheese sandwich.  This, toasted with chopped tomatoes and basil..tapenade..paté…cream cheese…ham…ok just about anything. Yes, it goes with just about anything! And though it requires some time, please don’t let that discourage you. The finished product is worth it and you will feel so proud that you made it yourself!

Before I continue, there is a common perception that bread is hard to make. I will throw in my two cents to contradict this and say that this is not true. Some are harder than others but the idea that it is difficult in general is completely wrong. I am including a load of photos to help you visualize each step as well as to help you see that this is not a gruelling culinary feat!

Useful tips I have learned:

* Unless the recipe says so, do NOT add more flour than stated in the ingredients.
* Use room temperature water ONLY. Many recipes don’t tell you that because they presume you know. Too hot or too cold kills the yeast! The water should be like the water you would use to give a baby a bath.
* Kneading does not mean slapping or beating the crap out of your dough or mixture. Not sure how to knead? Check online.This video helped me a lot.

Other notes:

This bread needs a preparation the day before.

This makes two breads.

I had to bake the breads separately.

On with the recipe 😉

Ingredients:

For the premixture:

If you need a converter from grams to cups, check here 
200 grams wheat flour.
50 grams rhye flour
160 grams water
5 grams fresh yeast or  1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
5 grams salt

For the bread:

All of the premixture
500 grams bread flour
100 grams rhye flour
380 grams water
5 grams fresh yeast or 1/2 dry yeast
15 grams salt

Extra materials:

Parchment paper

Sunflower oil

Small glass of water (Holds about 1 cup)

Ready? LET’S GO!👍

For the premixture:

* In a  glass or ceramic bowl, put the flour, yeast (crumbled if using fresh) and the rest of the ingredients. Mix (with your hands) and knead for 3 minutes until it begins to take shape and make a ball. Keep it in the bowl as you do this. Lightly grease the bowl with sunflower oil, place in  the ball , cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge overnight. Take it out 1 hour before beginning to make the dough the next day.

Day 1                              Day 2 Taking it out of the fridge

 

The next day:

* Using the same  bowl, mix the premixture all the rest of the ingredients. Take it out of the bowl and begin kneading. It will be sticky and a bit messy. Don’t panic. This is normal! It will come together. Just be patient. Knead for about 5 minutes. As it begins to make a ball, you can knead it on the counter. I discovered a trick to prevent it from sticking too much to the counter. Pour a bit of sunflower oil  on a paper towel and grease the counter. It really works!  And no, it won´t affect the dough. Just relax:)Form a ball and put it in a clean bowl lightly coated with  sunflower oil. Cover it with a tea towel and let it rest for 1 one hour.

Before                                                             After

After the hour has passed, lightly sprinkle the counter with flour. Take the ball out of the bowl and knead for 5 minutes. You will see the change in the consistency. Remember, patience and time are keys to making bread. After the 5 minutes, place the ball back into the bowl and cover it with the tea towel and let it rest 1 hour more.

Repeat the kneading once more but this time, let it rest for 30 minutes instead of an hour.

Before                                                   After

Take the ball out of the bowl and knead it for about a minute before dividing it in half.

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Form two evenly sized rolls. If you have to add a touch of flour to your work surface, go ahead!

Now you need to let them rise for an hour and a half more. It is the last rising! But before I continue, I will mention something about letting your dough rise in a bowl or in a baneton. A baneton is specifically used for baking bread and is actually quite useful. It can give a very pretty design to your bread and often prevents sticking.

 

wpid-molde-pan-4-400x400.jpg.jpegI have used baskets, bowls and banetons with varying results, depending on the bread. I can tell you that for this bread, you can use a regular bowl and a well floured tea towel. To prove it, I did one final rising with a  floured tea towel in a bowl and the other with a floured baneton.

If using a baneton, sprinkle it generously with flour, place the dough inside and cover with a tea towel.

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If using a bowl, sprinkle the tea towel generously with flour and place it in a large bowl. When sprinkling, do so like sprinkling grated cheese to make a pizza. Do it generously all over and avoid enormous clumps) Place each ball in a bowl with the closed side of the ball facing up. The round smoother side should face the flour. Cover and let rise for 1 and a half hours.

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After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 250° heated on both levels.*Have  the glass of water ready for when you put the breads in. 

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After an hour and a half rising.

Turn the bread over onto a baking tray that has been covered with parchment paper.. The breads will be big, round and with the floured side facing up. Make 4 cuts with a knife to form a square, or a circle or slits.

 

Put the bread in the oven and when you do, quickly pour the shot glass of water on the oven base and quickly close the door. (The steam and heat shock makes the bread rise!)
After 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 220° and open the oven door for 5 seconds to let the heat escape. Close and bake for 35 to 40 minutes more.
If the top turns brown to early, cover with foil.I had to do this after about 15 minutes.

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Take them out and leave them on a wire rack to cool.

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Have fun!

Enjoy! Xxxx Natascha

24 thoughts on “Pain de Campagne

  1. All right, you’ve made me want to make my own bread again. Back in the ’70s — when all things homemade were the socially responsible (read, “hippie”) rage, I discovered the Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown. It’s still available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QWZCEW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1

    In this world of instant access and gratification, maybe it’s the time and patience good bread requires that make people believe it’s difficult to make. But definitely worth it!

    1. That is awesome!! I will have to check out that book! I agree with you. Anything that requires patience or time is deemed difficult! But really, this did not require any special training. I hope that you do make your bread..and share your adventure with us! Thanks again! xxxx

      1. I will. And after I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for following Space, Time, and Raspberries! I’ll work to keep worthy of your time — while you wait for dough to rise, perhaps. 😉

    1. Oh that is so nice! Thanks so much! I used to make bread more often and this is the first time i have made it in several months. Making it made me remember how much I enjoy it and that I should do it more often! xxxx

  2. You are such an inspiring angel 🙂 Thank you. I am starting on my bread making, and I am sure the more I do, the more confidence I will get. I enjoyed that Kneading Video, that was so helpful, as that process always has been a concern.
    Thank you so much for sharing ❤

    1. Hi! You are so welcome! You will see that it is easier than it appears!The video helped me too! I am so happy that you are inspired too! I am looking forward to seeing your bread! 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😍😍😍😍😍

  3. Natascha, that looks AMAZING! Can I admit that bread is the only thing I don’t bake?I am firmly in that camp, the one believing that making bread is TOO hard. You’ve made me reconsider however. I just need to set some time to do this now. And btw, a Croque Monsieur is delish but a Croque Madame is even better! 😉 xoxo

    1. Oh great!!! Honestly, I do understand your hesitancy about making bread! I had it too! I hope you try this because you will see it is not so hard! I tried the Croque Monsieur and the Croque Madame and they only confirmed that what I already knew: The French are culinary geniuses! 👏👏👏😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙😙

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