Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pain de Campagne...in a loaf pan?!?!?!?!?

My loving wife is not a fan of rustic crusty breads (much to my chagrin). So...I compromised...sort of. I am baking Ortiz's Pain de Campagne sur poolish for the second time. This time I followed the recipe - my first run was minus the rye flour in the poolish which made for an interesting dough - very soft and not enough gluten to hold shape (that might also have been the bakers fault so I cannot be held completely innocent). I made another poolish this morning out of the flour blend (1 cup unbleached all-purpose, 1/2 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup rye), the water (1 1/2 cups filtered) and one packet of yeast. Last poolish was allowed to sit on the counter overnight. Today was a work day so after one hour I popped the poolish in the fridge for an all day chill. It was more active in the hour than the other was over night. I had to run an errand tonight so I came home, set out the poolish, and ran to Sam's. Back home and off to the mixing. This is a hand mixed bread - it tells me I need to incorporate some form of this activity in my workouts...my arm was aching. It mixed up beautifully - soft and sticky at first but it absorbed the last cup of flour and was beautiful - slightly tacky to the touch, soft, elastic - the perfect dough. Knocked it down, folded it repeatedly and shaped into a loaf for the wife's enjoyment - note this is the only time this recipe will be put into a loaf - it's designed as a round. I'm sitting typing as it bakes in our George Foreman oven (I wasn't about to light off the big one tonight). The house smells of warm bread and since there is a glass front I get to watch it...I have new understanding of the term "oven spring". It overran the edges some but it's absolutely beautiful...the crust is turning a rich golden color that will progress to a deeper brown. The use of rye made the dough behave much more differently than the first run. The next run using both rye and bread flour. the last run will remove the rye (as in the first baking) and use bread flour in place of the all purpose and wheat (as I did in the first baking) for the rye. I'll be posting results as I bake (normally 2-3 days to a week to devour, I mean test, the loaves).
I've added the pic...maybe he went back to his country roots...the top of the loaf more resembles a batard. Breakfast will be extra lovely in the morning.

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