Sunday, November 15, 2009

BBA Challenge Bread #22—Pain de Campagne

PdC epi closeup

I'm almost caught up with my BBA baking; now I'm working on catching up with documenting my efforts. Here's bread #22, Pain de Campagne, which I made 4 weeks ago. It'll be interesting to see how much I can remember. Let's find out...

I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with 200+ other amateur bakers. Want to join in the madness, or just learn more about this semi-crazy undertaking? Check out the following links:

According to Mr. Reinhart, Pain de Campagne "is the perfect dough for creative shaping." That sounded promising to me. I do like to get creative with bread dough. I decided to try the epi for part of the dough because it's such a distinct and lovely shape, but debated about what to do with the rest.

PdC-2 ready to split
PdC-3 epi

I split the dough roughly in half, shaped one half into a baguette - badly - and set it aside to proof. The signature shape is created after the dough has proofed and is ready to bake. It was during the shaping of this first hunk of dough that I thought it might be a bit slack. From what I remembered seeing of other baker's breads, mine seemed too wet. It was too late to do anything about it but soldier on.

For the second half of dough, I decided to go seasonal and make pumpkins. I kind of meant to make them small and roll-like, but they were on the big side. They worked great for dinner, though. Just about the right amount for Dwight and myself.

PdC-4 shaping collage

Back to the epi. It's snipping time!
PdC-5 epi proofed

The dough proofed nicely but spread out a bit more than I would have liked. I think the slackness of the dough and my poor baguette shaping skills are to blame. If I'd gotten good surface tension on the dough, it would have proofed UP more, not mainly OUT. Once I got the hang of it, the snipping part was a lot of fun

PdC-6 epi cut
PdC-7 epi shaped

To the oven!

As with the other rustic breads, Pain de Campagne uses the "hearth baking" method which should produce a nice, browned crust. I was disappoined with the pale color of mine. I would have left them in a bit longer, but the bottoms were starting to burn.


So, what did I think of this one? It was good, but not great. I was disappointed with the look of it for one. I was hoping for a nice, deep color like I had with the Pain a l'Ancienne. Although I need to work on it, I much preferred the Pain a l'Ancienne and will make that again. This one, though. Probably not. It wasn't a standout and there are many others that have been.

Check out these other BBA bakers for superior results:
Daniel at Ährelich Gesagt
Mags at The Other Side of 50
Paul at Yumarama
Cindy at Salt and Serenity


  1. Love the festive shapes ~ you did a fabulous job! I wonder if your loaf bottoms are browning earlier due to a darker pan? Or you could try moving the pan one rack higher in the oven...Can't wait to make my own epi...

  2. Thanks, Frieda! I think the pan position is a good point. I think I need to experiment with that. Good luck with yours!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Please note that I moderate comments so yours won't show up right away, but do know that I read all of them!

I will gladly answer any questions you have right here in the comments. If you would prefer a reply back via email, just let me know and include your email address. Or you can email me directly at info_kellyluna {at} frontier {dot} com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...