Jan 30, 2015

Pain de Campagne Batard

Pain de Campagne Batard

The first time I made this Pain de Campagne, I stuffed it with roasted garlic. It was so good, I had to try it plain.

The dough is so supple and easy to work with, the crust is crunchy and flavorful, and the interior is airy and soft.

Pain de Campagne Batard

While I love baking all kinds of bread, I am particular to lean bread. "Lean?" you ask. By that, I mean bread that is not enriched with eggs, sugar, milk, or a lot of fat. All of the moisture comes from water.

The array of breads that you can produce with only flour, water, salt, and leaven is amazing. Baguettes, epis, boules, and ciabatta all come to mind.

Even when the bread is shaped the same, the techniques used to mix and proof the dough produce breads that affect the outcome. So does the ratio of water to flour. So does the weather!

This bread combines machine or hand kneading along with the stretch-and-fold method. The resulting dough, while high in hydration, does not really stick to your hands as you work with it. It is also very soft and smooth. I love the shiny and moist crumb (interior).

Pain de Campagne Batard

Pain de Campagne Batard


The dough begins with a firm starter, which has a hydration level of about 50% (ratio of water to flour). My mother starter has a hydration level of 100%, but I was able to use it to create this firm starter for this bread with just one feeding.  Leftover starter can be refrigerated or frozen. It actually stays active longer than higher hydration starter.

To convert any starter:

69 g active starter
153 g room temperature water
270 g unbleached all purpose flour
30 g whole wheat flour

Mix the ingredients in a stand mixer until smooth. Place the dough into an oiled container and cover with plastic wrap. Let ferment at room temperature overnight.

If you don't have a starter, you can create a biga with 153 g of water, 270 g of all purpose flour, 30 g of whole wheat flour, and a pinch of instant yeast. Cover and let sit overnight, until it is quite puffy. Also, add about 1/4 tsp of yeast to the final dough.

Final Dough Ingredients

126 g firm starter
506 g water at 80 degrees F
704 g unbleached all purpose flour
19 g fine sea salt or non-iodized table salt


  1. Put the starter and water in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix it with the paddle attachment on low for about 30 seconds. 
  2. Add the flour and stir a few times to moisten the flour. Mix on low with the paddle attachment for two minutes.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and let the dough sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough, and mix with the dough hook on low for 6 minutes. 
  5. Scrape the dough into a large oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  6. Do three stretch-and-folds every thirty minutes, covering the bowl/bucket each time. 
  7. After the final stretch and fold, place the dough container in a spot in your house that is warm, and let rise for 2 to 3 hours. The dough will have bubbles on top. 
  8. Pre-shape the dough into a ball and place it seam side down on the counter. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  9. Turn the dough over, and shape it into a large batard (an oblong loaf).
  10. Flip the dough over, seam sided down, and drag the dough toward you on the counter to tighten the outside. Rotate the dough 180 degrees, and drag it again. Rotate a couple more times. The purpose of this is to encourage the loaf to rise up, not out like a pancake. 
  11. Place the batard, seam side up, into a floured oblong basket or in a floured couche (cloth) to support the sides. 
  12. Cover the dough, and let rise until quite puffy, two to three hours. 
  13. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. I baked my loaf on a preheated stone with an upside down foil lasagna pan, but you can use a parchment lined baking sheet. 
  14. When the dough is ready, place a parchment sheet on a peel, and turn the dough out onto the peel. Slash the top of the dough in a pattern that you like, and place the dough, parchment and all, on top of the stone, cover with the pan, and close the oven door. Reduce the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  15. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the pan/lid, and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the bread is golden and has reached an internal temperature of about 205 degrees F. 
  16. Cool completely on a wire rack. 
This recipe was adapted from Della Fattoria Bread: 63 Foolproof Recipes for Yeasted, Enriched & Naturally Leavened Breads. I am completely smitten with the book.

Submitted to Yeastspotting 


  1. love your bread Karen it looks amazing in the crumbs are so huge can this recipe be doubled And two..

    1. Yes, it can. You could also form this dough into two smaller loaves.

  2. Wow, this bread looks absolutely gorgeous! That crust looks crispy and rustic! The interior is airy. Ah I can smell it!

    1. Thanks so much! It's one of my all time favorites.

  3. What an amazing rustic looking bread. I would die to have a couple of slices right now. I need to get my bread baking going soon :-)


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