Country Bread (Pain De Campagne)

Total Time
3hrs 35mins
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 35 mins

The addition of rye flour, which is common in many hearty French breads, gives the bread great color and texture, and a fine crust.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Starter:.
  2. Mix water and honey in medium bowl. Add yeast; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup bread flour; stir to combine. Add remaining 1/2 cup rye flour. Mix in enough bread flour to form shaggy mass that can be worked with hands. Turn out starter onto floured surface; knead 3 minutes, adding more bread flour if too sticky to work. (Starter will be doughlike in texture at this point.)
  3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon bread flour in medium bowl. Add starter dough to bowl. Cover with plastic; let stand at room temperature overnight (starter will lose its shape and spread to a thick batter).
  4. Bread:.
  5. Place 1/4 cup warm water in small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over; stir to dissolve. Mix 3 cups bread flour and rye flour in bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with dough hook. Add yeast mixture and remaining 2 1/2 cups warm water; mix on low speed to blend. Add 1 cup bread flour; beat 4 minutes. Add enough bread flour to form shaggy mass; beat 4 minutes. Add salt and starter; continue mixing until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, adding more bread flour if too sticky to form dough, about 5 minutes.
  6. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; turn to coat. Transfer dough to large bowl. Cover with kitchen towel. Let rise at room temperature 1 hour.
  7. Generously flour 1 heavy large baking sheet and 1 heavy medium baking sheet. Punch dough down. Turn out onto floured surface. Knead until smooth, 2 minutes. Divide into 3 equal portions. Shape each into ball. place 2 balls on large sheet and 1 on medium sheet. Cover with kitchen towels. Let rise at room temperature until doubled (test by pressing 2 fingers gently into dough; if indentations remain, dough has risen completely), about 2 hours.
  8. Preheat ove to 450°F Place baking pan in bottom of oven; add water to create steam. Using sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slits across top of each loaf. Place baking sheet with 2 loaves in oven. Bake until breads are deep brown and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.
Most Helpful

This is chewy, delicious bread, with a hearty crust - perfect for soups and stews, with a wonderful texture and taste. Now I know what the trick is to making bread that perfect heartiness and colour! Thanks, Swissms - this was well worth the wait. I threw ice cubes in the bottom of the oven like WiGal did - this worked perfect. I also used the recipe converter to make 2 loaves instead of 3, which was perfect for us. Next time, I'll just make sure I don't fall asleep while it's doing it's last rise, so I'll get a good picture! Made for 1-2-3 Tag.

Katzen December 30, 2010

Definitely a 5 stars-chewy, nice texture, and not too soft. You do have to plan ahead for making this. Next time for step 7, I would put each of the three balls of dough on its own baking sheet b/c the two I had on one sheet merged together (after about an hour and a half) so when I moved the balls around the dough fell and I had to wait for them to rise again. Instead of putting a pan of water in oven I put 2 cups of ice cubes onto oven floor. Thank you swissms for posting a keeper. I wanted to try this recipe b/c I need a denser bread for Lex's Roast Chicken plus to use for sandwiches. This recipe is huge and wonder if there aren't more than 18 portions?

WiGal October 22, 2009