Pain de Campagne, the next bread on my Modern Baker Challenge line-up, was a rather time-consuming bread. Of course, not as time-consuming as Reinhart’s or Hamelman’s breads, this is a 1-day bread after all. But compared to other breads in the bread section, it was.
This recipe uses the French bread recipe from the same section, only that after the 7th step you have to do different things. I have no clue how these things differ, though, because I haven’t made the French bread yet. Anyway, I made the two doughs as stated in the recipe, and everything came together quite easily… The dough was wet, though! I was about to add more flour, but then I figured that this was French bread dough – and French bread dough is supposed to be wet, isn’t it? How would you get this nice open airy crumb if the dough wasn’t wet? OK, so I could resist the temptation of adding more flour and just went on. And I realized, that stretching and folding really DOES help in strengthening the dough. I know, I know, I should have realized this a lot earlier already, but for some reason I’ve never really seen the difference stretching and folding makes. This time I did. I was even able to form a nice boule! But when it came to scoring the boule, I again realized that my slashing skills suck! They really do! I think I have been successful two or three times so far, out of HOW MANY breads? At least 150…. Oh well… But this bread was really nice. Nothing spectacular or overwhelming, just a nice plain country bread with a surprisingly open crumb – yay!