Baking Classics: Pain de Campagne

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The Technique

Pain de Campagne

Pain de Campagne is nothing more than a French sourdough country bread loaf. It is typically made with a variety of flours such as bread, whole wheat & a smattering of rye. It may be shaped all sorts of ways then used to accompany homemade soups, pâté & main dish classics. This tutorial explores a streamlined method for creating a sourdough flavor, minimal handling & a few different shaping techniques to highlight the ease & versatility of the dough. Learn how to make a lovely French country loaf in your very own kitchen.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabama

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1 {7-ounce} & 2 {16-ounce} loaves

3 1/4 cups bread flour, divided
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rye flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 3/4 cups water
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Whisk together 2 1/4 cups bread flour, the whole wheat flour, the rye flour, the salt & the yeast in the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the dough hook then add the water & the apple cider vinegar. Blend on Low speed until a dough forms. Increase the speed to Medium & blend 3 minutes. The dough will be spongy & soft clinging to the bowl sides. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap & let stand at room temperature 8 to 12 hours.

Transfer the dough mixture to the work bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer & fit with the dough hook. Add the remaining 1 cup bread flour. Blend on Low speed until a dough forms. Increase the speed to Medium & blend 5 minutes. The dough will be soft but form a mass. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface & shape it into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap & rise 1 hour. The dough will not double in volume.

Punch the dough down & transfer to a floured surface. Divide the dough into 1 {7ounce} & 2 {16-ounce} portions. Shape 1 {16-ounce} portion into a tight boule & place on a parchment paper-line half sheet pan. Shape the dough in the center using your hands to form an oval shape or it may be left round. Cover loosely with plastic. Flatten the remaining 16-ounce dough portion into a 7-inch oval shape pressing out any excessive bubbles. Fold the top piece of the dough to the center & press it down. Fold the bottom piece to the center & press it down while creating a seam where the two portions of dough meet. Pinch the dough to seal the seam. Flip the shaped dough over. Starting in the center, gently rock it back & forth to the outer edges to create a 10-inch bâtard. Once at each end, pinch them to create well defined points. Place the shaped dough on the half sheet pan. Cover loosely with plastic. Shape the remaining 7-ounce portion of dough & place in a well greased 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise 40 minutes. 

Position one rack on the lowest position in the oven. Place a 13 x 9-inch baking pan filled 2/3 full with water on the rack. Position a second rack directly above it. Place two inverted cast iron skillets directly on the rack. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Dust the dough shapes with a smattering of bread flour & slash the surfaces as desired using a sharp paring knife to create a decorative pattern. Place the half sheet pan in the oven directly over the inverted cast iron skillets. Add 1/2 cup ice to the pan of water. Quickly close the oven door. Bake 15 minutes. Rotate the half sheet pan & add 1/2 cup ice cubes to the pan of water. Quickly close the oven door. Bake the 7-ounce loaf an additional 10 minutes & the 2 {16-ounce} loaves an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the bread from oven. Cool completely before slicing.

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{testing notes}

How To Make Pain de Campagne

Homemade bread pairs perfectly with a variety of soups such as French Onion Soup With Bourbon for quality, family meals but you should also look to it to fill in for a host of upcoming entertaining needs as the bâtards make wonderful crostini toasts when thinly sliced. Make the bread now, cut it into slices & tuck away in zip top bags in the freezer.
 Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabama

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A few pieces of equipment will be needed in order to complete the task. Read through the recipe instructions before beginning. Here’s what you should know.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabamaNo. 1

Whisk together 2 1/4 cups bread flour, the whole wheat flour, the rye flour, the salt & the yeast in the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the dough hook then add the water & the apple cider vinegar. Blend on Low speed until a dough forms. Increase the speed to Medium & blend 3 minutes. The dough will be spongy & soft clinging to the bowl sides. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap & let stand at room temperature 8 to 12 hours. 

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabama1a

After the ingredients have time to develop, transfer the dough mixture to the work bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer & fit with the dough hook. Add the remaining 1 cup bread flour. Blend on Low speed until a dough forms. Increase the speed to Medium & blend 5 minutes. The dough will be soft but form a mass.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabamaNo. 2

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface & shape it into a ball.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabama2a

Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap & rise 1 hour.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabama2b

The dough will not double in volume.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabamaNo. 3

Punch the dough down & transfer to a floured surface. Notice the imprints of my fingers. They indicate a stickiness plus a tearing or texture of the dough. When whole wheat flour is used in bread recipes, it’s important to include other flours to balance the bran. They will help strengthen the final loaves.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabama3a

Divide the dough into 1 {7-ounce} & 2 {16-ounce} portions. Shape 1 {16-ounce} portion into a tight boule & place on a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan. Shape the dough in the center using your hands to form an oval shape or it may be left round. Cover loosely with plastic. Flatten the remaining 16-ounce dough portion into a 7-inch oval shape pressing out any excessive bubbles. Fold the top piece of the dough to the center & press it down. Fold the bottom piece to the center & press it down while creating a seam where the two portions of dough meet. Pinch the dough to seal the seam. Flip the shaped dough over. Starting in the center, gently rock it back & forth to the outer edges to create a 10-inch bâtard. Once at each end, pinch them to create well defined points. Place the shaped dough on the half sheet pan. Cover loosely with plastic. Shape the remaining 7-ounce portion of dough & place in a well greased 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise 40 minutes. 

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabama3b

Position one rack on the lowest position in the oven. Place a 13 x 9-inch baking pan filled 2/3 full with water on the rack. Position a second rack directly above it. Place two inverted cast iron skillets directly on the rack. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Dust the dough shapes with a smattering of bread flour & slash the surfaces as desired using a sharp paring knife to create a decorative pattern. Place the half sheet pan in the oven directly over the inverted cast iron skillets. Add 1/2 cup ice to the pan of water. Quickly close the oven door.

Pain de Campagne By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. French Classics cooking baking tutorials modern southern socials rebeccagordon publisher southern hostess pastry chef tv cooking personality birmingham alabamaNo. 4

 Bake 15 minutes. Rotate the half sheet pan & add 1/2 cup ice cubes to the pan of water. Quickly close the oven door. Bake the 7-ounce loaf an additional 10 minutes & the 2 {16-ounce} loaves an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the bread from oven. Cool completely before slicing.

The Tune
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* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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