Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pain de Campagne (BBA Challenge)

Before I proceed with my post about this week's Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, I feel the need to shout out to my fellow challenge participants and pause here for a public service announcement. The sour dough recipes requiring a starter are for the most part lumped together in the book, and we won't get to those until later in the fall/winter, so until this past week, I was in no rush to cultivate a starter. However, in leafing ahead through the recipes, I noticed that the panettone recipe also requires a starter. On my bread baking calendar, that recipe stands to be executed two weeks from now, so I went ahead and gave birth to Biddy, my sourdough starter. (Don't look at me like that. I know, I know.. it's weird, but traditionally bakers give their starters a name, so who am I to challenge tradition?) Biddy is my mom's name. No. Really. Her given name is Beatrice, but she's been called Biddy all of her life. She neither is a biddy nor acts like one, but she'll retain that moniker until the end of time. So in her honor, I present Biddy... my starter.

I chose to develop my starter differently than the way Mr. Reinhart suggests. I'm following a technique recommended by fellow bread baking apprentice Paul, from Yumarama. This starter uses (wastes) much less flour over the length of time it takes to mature than does a traditional starter. I just hate wasting flour, don't you?

Anyway, there's your heads up guys. You're going to need that starter a lot sooner than you thought you would!

Back to the recipe at hand. This week I tackled the Pain de Campagne recipe. I'll admit, after last week's fiasco with the Pain a l'Ancienne, I was feeling intimidated. I needn't have worried. This bread came together like a charm. The dough was easy to work with and aside from my usual forming and slashing struggles, this challenge came off without a hitch.

I opted to use pumpernickel flour over the whole wheat and it really added a nice touch of "grain" flavor to the finished bread. I made half of the dough into dinner rolls and then because every whipstitch I think I'm artistic, I tried my hand at the decorative scissor snipping Mr. Reinhart suggests. Though they didn't turn out hideously awful, I don't think the fine folks at Panera are going to be beating down my door any time soon requesting me to work for them.

I shaped the other half of the dough into a baguette and then again brought out the scissors and attempted to snip it into some semblance of an epi (sheaf of wheat.) Not too terrible for a first timer, but improvement will come with experience.

And the flavor you ask? Lovely! Crusty and chewy, and full of flavor, this is definitely a recipe worthy of serving to your dinner guests. I picture these rolls served along side a big bowl of soup for a wonderful and filling lunch. (And that's just what I did!)

As always, thanks to Nicole at Pinch My Salt for keeping us in line and for heading up this challenge. Next week's bread is Pane Siciliano. More forming and shaping fun!

17 comments:

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Impressive! I am amazed by all of the BBA participants... I don't have that kind of baking skill!

Barbara Bakes said...

Beautiful bread - I just want to rip off a chuck and eat it!

June said...

Once again, I'm speechless & don't say, ya right. Your bread looks incredible and I love the wheat sheaf. My mouth is absolutely watering with the thought of it - darn! As for Biddy - you watch her real good. Once, I had a starter in a jar that I had to ditch just before moving, so I put a lid on it and made the mistake of putting it in the trash a couple of days before the collectors came to take it away. Yup it blew! What a commotion that caused - you can imagine how glad the neighbors were to see me leave! LOL

stephchows said...

great job!! I think your epi is just fine, i'd chow it no problem :)

Cindy said...

Great idea to use pumpernickle. I would have loved to see the inside crumb.

Those buns are adorable and if my epi turns out half as good as yous, I'll be thrilled.

Thanks for the heads up on the starter. Mine is on day 3 but is yet to be named. I guess I better get out the old baby naming books!

oggi said...

The epi looks beautiful! I might reconsider and try it with pumpernickel flour.

I named the starters I made in May of this year, Brad and Angelina. I already ditched Angie to save space in the fridge and kept Brad. He is doing great.:D

Mags said...

Jen: I didn't either until starting this challenge. It's amazing how much I've learned so far!

Barbara: LOL..thanks! It's just like that, the kind of bread you want to rip off and chew!

June: Speechless? You? LOL... thanks for your kind words. And I promise to keep an eye on Biddy. I'd hate to have her blow!!

Steph: Whenever I get an "I'd chow" from you, I know I've done a good job!

Cindy: Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?...LOL

Oggi: Good riddance to Angelina, I say. You and Brad will get along just fine!

Alyssa said...

Look at you go! And that epi loaf. I only hope mine turns out as pretty. Thanks for the additional starter link, too. Mine's started already, but I'm always interested in other roads.

Mags said...

Alyssa: Thanks! You're doing great yourself! I'm really enjoying following your blog as you go through this challenge.

Janice said...

That epi is beautiful! I'll hope for good results, as well. I'm so paranoid, I started my sourdough starter about two weeks into the challenge, so I'm okay on that front. Always delighted to see how you've done on a bread - I usually learn something from stopping by - or else you make me laugh really hard!

Rosemary & Garlic said...

Your epi looks superb, wasn't it fun to snip away?

Mags said...

Janice: Thank you! And good luck with your Pain de Campagne!

Rosemary: I loved the snipping! Much easier than slashing, I think.

Má Abreu said...

I really want to eat this bread! It's really divine! Má Abreu

Mags said...

Ma Abreu: Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

misterrios said...

Glad this one worked out after the whole pain a l'ancienne fiasco. The epi is beautiful. Panera would be lucky to have you.

Mags said...

awwww misterrios, thank you! (I think I'm really starting to get the hang of this!)

ap269 said...

Nice crust and shape! Mine didn't turn out so well. It was ok, but I had expected more...