Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Ingredient Challenge: Pain de Campagne

Part of an ongoing series of cooking from scratch. That is, we cook something from basic items that don't have multiple ingredients (e.g. store-bought spaghetti sauce includes all sorts of spices and maybe other stuff too; we'd start with tomatoes and individual spices and add them together to make our own sauce). See other challenges here.

This recipe is based on "Pain de Campagne from a Vermont Kitchen" from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook. Despite owning many, many bread cookbooks, this one is our runaway favorite and is the one we use every week. This recipe is probably our favorite from the book and is especially great for company or bringing to parties. The bread has a great, complex flavor and a nice chewy texture. It's great warm with olive oil dip.

There's lots more detail in the recipe in the book, but boiled down, here's how we do it.

At least 12 hours before baking (the day or night before), make a biga in the bread machine. Add to the bread machine:
  • 6 ounces water
  • 3 tablespoons rye flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon bread machine yeast (this ingredient violates the "one ingredient" requirement but the end result is so awesome that we'll let it slide)
Mix for 5 or 6 minutes on the dough cycle and then turn off the machine and let the biga develop for 12-24 hours.

The day of baking, add these ingredients to the biga:
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • Scant tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
Set the machine to the dough cycle. When the cycle completes, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide in two. (The book recommends a single large round loaf, but we prefer 2 smaller long loaves.) Put parchment paper down and stretch the two dough balls into long loaves.

Two long uncooked loaves

Allow the loaves to rise for at least an hour.

Risen dough

Bake in a 450 degree oven (preferably with a baking stone) for around 20 minutes until the loaves are golden brown.

Two baked loaves

Beautiful insides!


Can you enjoy it more than L?

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