Pain De Provence (Herb French Bread)

Recipe by Galley Wench
READY IN: 16hrs 25mins




  • The night before baking, make the poolish by mixing together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast to make a batter.
  • Cover the container with plastic wrap and set aside for 8 to 16 hours.
  • Next Day:
  • In large bowl combine the remaining flour with the remaining yeast, salt, and herbs.
  • Add the poolish, the liqueur, and 1/4 cup of the additional water.
  • Mix the ingredients, and, if necessary, add more water or flour until the proper consistency is reached (tacky but not so sticky that the dough sticks to your hands).
  • Knead by hand for 10 to 15 minutes or in a mixer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a well-greased bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Set aside to rise until doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes. Remove it from the bowl and gently degas it, then return it to the bowl, cover it, and allow it to double in size again.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball or long loaf.
  • Cover the loaf with a damp towel and allow it to rise again until doubled in size, which takes between 60 and 90 more minutes.
  • While the loaf is in its final rise, preheat the oven and baking stone, if you are using one, to 450.
  • I also preheat a broiler pan, or cast iron skillet, into which to pour a cup of hot water just after placing the loaf in the oven. This creates steam in the oven which increases the crunchiness of the crust.
  • Just prior to placing the loaf in the oven, score the top of it with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  • Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 450, then rotate it 180 degrees and reduce the oven temperature to 375 and baked it another 25 minutes.
  • The internal temperature of the loaf should be approximately 200 degrees when you remove it from the oven.