BBA Challenge #22: Pain de Campagne

When I started the BBA Challenge a couple of months ago I totally fell in love with the épi shape. Thus, I was really looking forward to making this bread. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with the result.

Another bread with a pâte fermentée. On the second day mixing, kneading, fermenting and shaping.  And this  is where it went wrong. I just read “Shape the dough as shown on pages 72-79, depending on what shape you desire”, so I made a bâtard, let it rest, shaped a baguette, got my scissors and made the cuts for the épi.  After having shaped the épi, I still had some dough left and decided to make a fendu (split bread). Then I continued reading and the book said to mist the dough with oil, cover it with plastic wrap and proof it for about an hour. OK, so far so good, I thought. After an hour I prepared the oven for hearth baking and then read: “If you are making épis, you can make the scissors cuts shown on page 76.” WHAT? I already made the cuts!!!!!! Hmm, maybe that’s why my épi looks more like a christmas tree than a sheaf of wheat? Anyway, in the oven they went.

When they came out they had a really nice color, but the shapes were kinda weird. My kids were amazed that mommy had made a snake for them. Well, yeah, sorta…. And the fendu looked like a huge “Schrippe” (this is our regional word for “Brötchen” which means “roll” – the Bavarians call it “Semmel”).

Anyway, the shapes didn’t really make me happy, and the crumb didn’t either. It was pretty tight. The taste was ok, but we’ve had better breads than this one.

Next time I might try a Couronne Bordelaise which is explained here because it looks REALLY pretty. I also want to make the épi again, just to see if it makes a difference whether you make the scissors cuts before or after proofing.

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7 responses to “BBA Challenge #22: Pain de Campagne

  1. I hate when you read the instructions, only to discover you have either done something too soon or too late. I think cutting after proofing would have made a difference in the final result. At least the kids were amused!

  2. Your bread still looks great! You take some awesome photos ~ I’ll have to try an epi, too…

  3. I think your bread looks beautiful! I’m disappointed that you didn’t love the taste . . . I’m hoping to make mine this weekend. And now I have to decide between the epi and the couronne, which, you’re right, looks very pretty in that post!

  4. I love the “Christmas tree!” I think you did a fantastic job and I love your photos too.

  5. Thanks for all your kind comments!

  6. Snakes, LOL.

    But the epi looks lovely, btw.

  7. I like the epi, looks like some groovy s-bread. It’s one of my favorite shapes. I do remember the crumb being pretty tight on this one, but I also loved the flavor as well. By the way, that fendu does look like a Schrippe! It looks awesomely like one! Maybe I’ll do that intentionally next time. Would be funny to bring a huge one to a party, especially in Berlin.

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