Pain de campagne, the 7 hours bread
I have a nickname in the family, it's "the snail". Apparently my way of walking, driving and generaly going thru life is not very adapted to today's pace.
But do we really need to be this fast all the time? Do i want to eat pasta out of a carton box that are done in two minutes? Do i need to watch a TV show, while following the latest tennis result on my computer and updating my facebook status on my cell phone? Is it important to have a car that drives over 200km/h? Does it make sense to make money in the blink of an eye, and loose it a minute after? Clearly to me, no.
Now don't get me wrong, i wouldn't want to go back to my first 56K modem, or do a homemade puff pastry everytime i need one. But i believe it is a real treat to appreciate some "slow" time: seat down to read a book, taking pictures on my old camera and developping them, have tea with a friend... Once again, why not choose quality time over quantity of rushing .
Making this bread, totaly falls under that category, i could have bought one at the bakery, but where is the pleasure of putting your hands in the dough, to see it rise and than the pride of saying: i've made this myself!
From the moment you start, until you can have the first slice of it, it will take about 7 hours. But that first bite of it, is worth every minute! People, believe me, there is pleasure in longing ;)
Pain de campagne, Rustic bread (from "Pains de Tradition" Marguerite Rousseau, Flammarion)
1 big loaf, or 2 small ones
15gr of Fresh Baker Yeast (or 7gr of dried one)
35cl of Tepid Water
70gr of Rye Flour
470gr of Type 55 Flour (+50gr for the work surface)
10gr of Salt
In a jar, put 10gr of fresh yeast (5gr of dried one). Add 15cl of tepid water to disolve the yeast, put the 70gr of rye flour, aswell as 70gr of flour and mix well together. Put a clean cloth on it, and let it rise for 2 hours.
In a big bowl, put the rest of the yeast and the 20cl left of teppid water. Add the 400gr left of flour aswell as the salt, and mix it. Then, add the yeast mixture that has had 2 hours of rest.
Here's where you'll have to work: the paste has to become smooth and elastic, when it is, bring the dough back together in a ball, put flour on it, aswell as a cloth, and let it go for an hour.
After an hour, form your bread(s). Put flour on the tray that will go in the oven, place your bread on it and cover it with a cloth. Wait for 2 hours.
Preheat your oven at 240°C, i would advice you to place an oven dish with some water on the bottom of your oven, for humidity.
When the oven is hot, cut the top of the bread with a sharp knife in a cross pattern, and put it in the oven. After 10 minutes, lower the oven to 220°C and leave it for about an other 25 minutes.
Let it cool on a rack before cutting your first slice, and enjoy it!