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French Country Bread

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I was not even looking for new bread recipes. I think night had already fallen and I was mindlessly surfing the web when I found this formula for a French-style country bread on a site offering services to professional bakers. I was so taken by the picture of the loaf, that I just had to try to bake it. The recipe calls for mixing the dough without salt first. An overnight-rest in the refrigerator helps to develop the flavor and the crust. The following day the dough is divided and baked after a short to medium rest. Very easy to do and quite delicious.


Source: http://www.baekogruppenord.de

The picture above is the “money shot” from the pdf-file with the recipe. I think, I should have extended the final fermentation to get this bread to look more relaxed and spread out.

French Country Bread (2 loaves)

  • 400g Type 55 style flour (100%)
  • 288g spring water (72%)
  • 6g fresh yeast(1.5%)
  • 9g sea salt(2.3%)
  1. Combine the flour, water and yeast and knead the dough about 10 minutes on slow speed (or alternate gentle 10-second-hand-mixing and 5-minute-rests for about 20 minutes).
  2. Add the salt and finish kneading on fast speed.
  3. Let the dough rest for 60-90 minutes. Fold once halfway in between.
  4. Put the dough into the fridge overnight
  5. Scrape the dough onto the floured counter, divide it and let rest for about 30-60 minutes. The dough should spread and look relaxed (recipe called for “short rest”, but how long is “short?”).
  6. Heat oven to 240°C. Put loaves into the hot oven, reduce heat to 230° and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Make sure the bread is well-done, it should be a crusty loaf that does not soften over time.

This recipe is hosted on the site of the BÄKO Gruppe Nord – a company offering all sorts of products and services to the professional baker. The recipe (link to the pdf-file) is available in German only though.

Written by theinversecook

5 November 2007 at 04:08

Posted in Bread, Brot, food, pain, pane, Recipe

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. Hello,
    I ate this bread when I was visiting France in September, and wanted to make it. It was square in shape, just like your picture.

    How did you get the square shape?

    Thanks.

    Daya.

    Daya Piyasena

    2 December 2007 at 23:47

  2. Hi, Daya,
    I folded in the edges. As obvious from the 2nd picture, which shows the pic from the creator of the recipe at http://www.baekogruppenord.de, I still have a long way to go.

    I believe in real bakeries they have a big frame and just cut squares from a big pillow of dough.

    Regards
    Nils

    theinversecook

    3 December 2007 at 00:20

  3. I am fascinated by the numerous ways you can make bread. Especially what changes in temperature and things such as kneading and putting ingredients in at different times can do – I think you once made a bread where the dough is frozen? Making bread feels like something between art, alchemy and negotiation with an alien species! Will try this procedure out asap, and hope I will be patient enough to keep to the timings!

    Angela

    10 May 2009 at 05:41

    • Hi Angela, I haven’t actually tried the frozen dough ‘technique’, if it is one, myself. There is a bakery in Münster, Germany, that bakes excellent bread from frozen dough imported from France. The saleswoman wasn’t shy at all to tell me about this and the way I remember it, she felt it was a sign of the special grandness of their bread (it’s the ‘Butterhandlung Holstein’). I didn’t ask what she thought of the German bread available at the other local bakeries.

      I think the last step is the most important, timing-wise, in this bread. The dough should be very relaxed when it goes into the oven, feeling a bit unresponsive. Good luck!

      theinversecook

      10 May 2009 at 18:00


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