Campaillou Recipe For A Lovely Chewy Bread 

 April 1, 2021

By  Gareth Busby


15 - 18 HOURS


Campaillou is seriously one of my favourite breads, my girlfriend got weirded out by my love for this bread! I think she thinks I love it more than her... Maybe. It's a tough choice.

The "Chewy brown" is extremely popular in Brighton. Produced by Real Patisserie was the first bread I fell in love with. It's through researching this bread that I discovered the original chewy bread, the campaillou. 

What makes it even more popular in the Busby household is how quick and easy it is to make - if you use a dough mixer!

How to make campaillou with a video tutorial


For the poolish:

   150g  White bread flour

   150g  Water

    0.5g  Fresh yeast (0.25 dried)

For the dough:

   300g  White bread flour

   201g  1st water

    4.5g  Fresh yeast (2g active dried)

       7g  Salt

     15g  2nd water

Method for Campaillou


Prepare the poolish

Make the poolish 12-14 hours before starting the dough by whisking the yeast and the water together. Once dissolved, add the flour and gently mix for a minute or two until the mixture has a fairly even consistency. Cover and leave on the kitchen table for 12-14 hours. When the poolish is developed it will have bubbles raising above the surface.


Weigh the ingredients and combine

The next day, weigh the ingredients and add the poolish to the water and then combine all ingredients excluding the 2nd water to a large mixing bowl.


Incorporate the ingredients

Use a plastic dough scraper around the edges of the bowl to combine the ingredients at first. After a minute or so, take the dough onto the table.

Using a dough mixer?

Add the poolish, flour, 1st water, yeast and salt to a dough mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment. Knead at a slow speed for 5 minutes and them increase the speed for a further 8 minutes. Slow the mixer, add the 2nd water and continue kneading slowly. Once the dough has pulled together, knead on fast for 2 minutes to fully incorporate. Skip to step 8.


Slow knead the dough

Knead gently with long stretching motions. Continue this for 8 minutes, by now the dough should have an even consistency.


Allow the dough to rest

Place the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a bag and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. If the dough is warm (above 23C), put in the fridge.


Fast knead the dough

Take the dough out of the bowl and knead fast for 5 minutes. Cover again, and place in the fridge for 5 minutes. This will cool the dough so it can be kneaded some more.


Add the 2nd water

Remove the dough from the fridge and add the 2nd water to the bowl. Push the dough into the water until it incorporates - it can be quite tricky to get the water to combine, but persevere, it will do. Once combined, remove the dough from the bowl and fast knead on the table for 2 minutes.


Bulk fermentation

Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rest. If the dough is warm and sticky (use a temperature probe (+25C or 77F) to be precise) use the fridge, otherwise it can be left on the kitchen counter. Leave for 1 hour. Preheat the oven at around this time to 250C (480F). For best results, use a baking stone.


Stretch and fold

Remove the dough from the bowl and complete a stretch and fold. Just gently knead it for 30 seconds if you find this difficult.


Bulk fermentation continued

Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover and leave to rest for one hour or until the dough is gassy and double it's original size.


Use a stretch and fold to shape the bread

Complete another stretch and fold, but this time place the dough on a lightly floured area of the worktop after folding.


Final proof

Leave the dough to rise on the table for a short 20 minute rise. Yes, 20 minutes seems too short but this is the beauty of campaillou!!



Gently pick up the dough and turn it upside down on a peel. Drop the bread into the oven, adding a small amount of steam. Bake on the stone for 35-40 minutes, opening the oven door halfway through to release the steam.


Remove from the oven

Once the bread has a nice, light golden colour, remove form the oven using a peel and allow to cool.



Once you are happy that your bread is baked and it is out the oven, leave it to cool on a cooling rack for 2-3 hours before tucking in.

Using dried yeast

If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as fresh yeast.

Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, warm the water for the poolish to 35C (95F) - no higher. Add the yeast to the bowl, whisk and leave for 10 minutes to bloom. Combine the flour for the poolish with yeasty water, place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. Return to worktop and allow to ferment as above.

When ready to start the dough, warm 10 grams of water to 35C (95F), add the yeast with half a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to stand for ten minutes before adding to the dough. Remove 10 grams of the 1st water addition from the recipe.

Top tips for the best campaillou

If you increase the size of the recipe to make more campaillou breads, divide the dough pieces before the final bench rest. What's great about this bread is that it doesn't need shaping! This dough could also be used to make baguettes.

Keep an eye in temperature during the process, keep taking readings if you have a thermometer. Try to cool the environment to keep the dough temperature just below 28C (82F).

Authentic campaillou should use the real campaillou flour made in the region in France it originates from. It is possible to get hold of in other countries but can come in quite costly. These recipe works well with T55 or T65 French flour, though any decent bread flour will make a great campaillou style bread.

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Average: 5 (from 53 votes)
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