Pain Au Rustique

I wrote previously about my new motivation in discovering new ways to make bread. I’ve been hitting YouTube in the past couple of evenings and have loads of ideas I want to try out. 

I also want to really use the mentality of a baker when creating a loaf, be it a professional Boulangerie in France or an Italian housewife in a rural village.

So the idea of making a rustic loaf with French flour, a bit of rye and dash of wholemeal really excites me.

I’ll be using a white sourdough as my levain and instead of a normal slow, then fast kneading technique. I’m going to do a mega autolayse.

For this, I’ll combine the ingredients, including the salt the night before, then mix it on a fast speed in the morning.

As I’m trying to keep the bread simple and relatively hands-off, I want to do the minimum amount of folding after this. One fold, shape, prove and then in the oven.

I tried my first attempt last night, mixed it this morning and took it to work to steal an oven. I ended up going for a 90% hydration! It’s not my normal ratio, but this is all about going out of my comfort zone.

Once proofed, I chucked it in the oven. It didn’t have much strength and went outwards instead of up on the tray. But, when tasted, it was really, really nice!

Most importantly, it was different to my normal range.

I’m really really excited about this. I can see this recipe opening doors in my future creativity, it could potentially open up a whole new recipe range.

But it’s not quite ready yet, I should’ve folded it more, or mixed it for longer, or used less water.

The dough didn’t have enough structure and it was a bit pancake. Despite the taste and the crumb texture is great, the crust, shape and overall appearance need some work.

But I’m excited to get it right.

However, this is really exciting me and I can’t wait to give this another go next week when I’m in the bakery doing my lessons.

It’s amazing to have my creative fingers on the go again!