Just for fun! Pain de Campagne

Sometimes it's good to make bread for no other purpose than good, plain fun! A little creative play to indulge the senses. This bread won't be for lunch boxes, or toast either for that matter, but it did go well with our soup for dinner, and was very satisfying to pull apart! (I always wondered how one would actually eat a loaf shaped this way..).

The loaf is a Pain de Campagne (or 'country bread' in French), from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Bread flour mixed with a mixture of whole wheat and rye flour, with the addition of a sizeable pre-ferment - a starter dough made the day before.

Flicking through the delicious pages of this book, I had to try it. And I had to give this way of shaping a go..it intrigues me! The épis (or 'sheafs of wheat'), are shaped by proofing a bâtard and then using scissors to make cuts down the length and then positioning the cut dough out to the sides. This was my first attempt at this kind of shaping. Hmmm, not so bad, but maybe a little puffy in my eyes. I will try deeper cuts next time. More importantly, the taste. It was really, really good, with the slightest tang. I will use this recipe again, but will be doubling it as it wasn't enough!

The bread was perfect to serve up with soup and the girls (and the man), just loved ripping them off the loaf!

Pain de Campagne from The Bread Baker's Apprentice


  1. I will have a go at cutting one of these today they looks so pretty and would be great with soup.

  2. They are pretty, aren't they. That's what attracted me to them in the first place. The cutting isn't complicated, either. Happy baking!

  3. Beautiful epi! I tried them once too, they're easier than they look and I must have another go soon. If you want to see some fun bread shaping bits and pieces and you can face the challenge of a french site try lepetitboulanger.com - there is a very fine tortoise there - all the best Joanna

  4. Thankyou for this link, Joanna!! It made my night...amazing turtle, and that crocodile!! I'm in awe. If only I spoke French....but isn't it fantastic how a picture tells a thousand words. I also snuck a peek at their epi. Thanks again! ;o)


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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