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Apr 19, 2020

Garlic and Cheese Country Bread (Garlic & Gruyère Pain de Campagne)

This Garlic Gruyere Pain de Campagne Boule is a big sourdough loaf with a swath of roasted garlic and cheese nestled right under the crust.

Garlic and Cheese Country Bread (Garlic & Gruyère Pain de Campagne)

To achieve the pockets of garlic and cheese right under the crust, you flattened the final dough and spread it with the roasted garlic and cheese mixture, and then you roll it up into a boule. You then tighten the boule until much of the filling is just under the skin (outer crust) of the bread.

Then you decorate the boule with cilantro, parsley, or celery leaves and stuff whole garlic cloves into the center. It makes a pretty stunning presentation.... perfect for giving to a special neighbor or dinner hosts.

Garlic and Cheese pain de campagne

There is so much roasted garlic in this bread that your house will definitely be a no vampire zone.

The dough begins with a firm starter, which has a hydration level of about 50% (ratio of water to flour). My starter has a hydration level of 100%, but I was able to use it to create the firm starter for this bread with just one feeding.

I used to maintain three different starters with different hydrations, and then I realized I could just pull out a portion of my basic starter and just feed it based on the formula for the bread I was making. If you want to, you can start with a small amount and feed it twice over a couple of days to make sure you've got the right levain before mixing the final dough.

Garlic and Cheese Country Bread slices

The Story of this Pain de Campagne Dough. 

My bread geek friend David introduced me to this formula. He is a devotee of the Della Fattoria Cafe in Petaluma, California, where he lives. It's in the cafe's amazing cookbook by Kathleen Weber. The dough for this bread was developed years ago for Thomas Keller's The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California. How cool is that?

You can use the basic dough recipe and make it your own. In the cookbook, Kathleen demonstrates how the dough recipe can make either 2 batards, a large batard coated in pumpkin seeds, one large boule, an olive filled loaf, and this garlic and cheese bread.

Garlic and Cheese Country Bread

Tips for making this garlic and cheese country bread.

The dough is silky smooth and very easy to work with. Making it involves using both a stand mixer and three subsequent stretches and folds. I made one big loaf, but you can divide the dough in half to make two loaves.

For the cheese, I used Gruyère, which is a great melty cheese. You can also substitute Asiago, Grana Padano, or Parmigiano-Reggiano.

I used flat-parsley for decorating the sides of the loaf. Of course, you can skip this step.. but it's pretty fun!

To get the cheese and garlic to move to just under the crust of the bread, after spreading it over the flattened dough and then forming a "purse" to enclose the garlic and cheese.

After that, you tighten the dough against the work surface with a bench knife until you begin to see the mixture just under the surface of the dough.

Baking bread on a stone

Rather than create steam in the oven, I baked the loaf on a baking stone under an upside down metal bowl for the first 25 minutes of baking. You can also bake the loaf in a preheated Dutch oven.

If you don't have a sourdough 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.

Garlic and cheese bread

This week, the Dinner Table group is making recipes loaded with garlic.

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

I originally posted this recipe in 2014 (see photo above). It was great to remake this bread and update this recipe. This is definitely a garlic forward recipe.

This Garlic Gruyere Pain de Campagne Boule is a big sourdough loaf with a swath of roasted garlic and cheese nestled right under the crust.

This bread freezes well. Wrap it in foil, and then plastic freezer wrap. Freeze up to two weeks. To thaw, remove the plastic wrap but leave it in the foil. Thaw at room temperature.

Garlic and Cheese Country Bread (Garlic & Gruyère Pain de Campagne)

Garlic and Cheese Country Bread (Garlic & Gruyère Pain de Campagne)
Yield: 32
This Garlic Gruyere Pain de Campagne Boule is a big sourdough loaf with a swath of roasted garlic and cheese nestled right under the crust.


  • 69 g (1/4 C) active existing starter
  • 155 g (1/2 C plus 2 1/2 T) water at 75 to 80 degrees F
  • 207 g (1 1/4 C plus 3 T) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 30 g (3 1/2 T) whole wheat flour
Garlic Puree
  • 225 g (about 1 1/2 C) peeled garlic cloves
  • About 1 C of extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover the garlic gloves)
Final Dough
  • 126 g of the starter
  • 506 g water at 80 degrees F
  • 704 g unbleached all purpose flour
  • 19 g fine sea salt or non-iodized table salt
  • 1/4 C of the garlic puree
  • 1 C grated hard cheese (I used Gruyere, the book recommends dry Jack, Asiago, Grana Padano, or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 1 small garlic head or a few large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • A few cilantro, parsley, or celery leaves


How to cook Garlic and Cheese Country Bread (Garlic & Gruyère Pain de Campagne)

To Make the Starter
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight, until puffy.
To Make the Garlic Puree
  1. Place the garlic cloves in a medium saucepan and cover them with olive oil.
  2. Bring the oil to a simmer, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Let the mixture cool, and then strain the oil into a jar and save to use for dipping.
  4. Puree the garlic cloves with a small food processor or hand blender.
To Make the Bread
  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.
  6. Do three stretches and folds every thirty minutes, covering the bowl/bucket each time.
  7. After the final stretch and fold, place the dough vessel 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 press it into a 10 inch round. Spread the round with the garlic, leaving a half inch border on the edge of the dough.
  10. Sprinkle the cheese over the garlic.
  11. Fold the sides of the dough over the cheese/garlic mixture in the same way you would make a boule.
  12. Flip the dough over, seam sided down, and drag the dough over the counter to tighten the outside. Rotate the dough, and drag it again. Rotate a couple more times. As you tighten the outside of the boule, the garlic mixture will move to just under the surface of the dough.
  13. With a sharp knife, poke a hole in the top of the boule, and insert the unpeeled garlic.
  14. Moisten the leaves, and place them on the sides of the boule.
  15. Place the boule, seam side up, into a floured nine inch banneton or floured tea towel lined bowl.
  16. Cover the dough, and let rise until quite puffy, two to three hours.
  17. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. I baked my loaf on a preheated stone with an upside down metal bowl (see photo), but you can use a parchment lined baking sheet.
  18. 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 if you like (see photo at the top of this page), and place the dough, parchment and all, on top of the stone, cover with the hot bowl, and close the oven door. Reduce the oven t0 400 degrees F.
  19. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the bowl, and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the bread is golden and has reached an internal temperature of about 205 degrees F.
  20. Cool completely on a wire rack.
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bread, sourdough, garlic, cheese

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  1. Oh, that brings me memories! I made this bread or a very similar recipe, I think I got it at Susan's site - it was before I had my blog, and I remember it was one of the best breads I'd ever made!

    the garlic turns so mellow!

    your bread looks perfect as usual.... ;-)

    1. Oh thank you Sally! I bet yours was amazing.

  2. Hi Karen, lovely looking bread, I bet this is delicious!

  3. Hi Karen. This looks exquisite. Roasted garlic always has such a nice flavor. I like you tip about using a metal bowl upside down.

  4. Your breads always look and sound amazing! Plus how can you go wrong with cheese???

  5. Your loaf is just exquisite and I can only imagine how lovely those flavors are infused throughout. Just beautiful!

  6. What a gorgeous loaf of bread. The garlic and Gruyere sound heavenly together.

  7. Sourdough AND garlic AND Gruyere--wow! And I've been meaning to get some starter from a friend who has it!

  8. That crust and that crumb. It's all making my mouth water! I am totally enamored of your bread skills.

  9. I was wondering why your recipe asks to make so much starter? When you are making the bread, you only use about 1/3 of the starter made.

    1. That's kind of typical for sourdoughs. You keep the rest for the next loaf. You can always make less if you prefer.


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