Nutritional information per loaf

Calories: 1653kcal | Carbohydrates: 345g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 22mg

Campaillou Recipe | Chewy French Bread Recipe

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.

Campaillou Recipe
Total Time
Watch Recipe Video
00:09:38 min

Nutritional information per loaf

Calories: 1653kcal | Carbohydrates: 345g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 22mg

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Ingredients for 1 Servings:

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

How to make Campaillou with instant or active 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 the 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.

Changing the size of the recipe

This recipe makes 1 large sized bread. If you want to change the size of the recipe, use the bakers formula. If you increase the size of the recipe to make more loaves, divide the dough pieces before the final bench rest.

Total Recipe Time

  • Preparation Time
  • Cooking Time

Goes Great with

The “Chewy brown” is extremely popular in Brighton. Produced by Real Patisserie, it was the first bread I fell in love with. It’s through researching this bread that I discovered the original chewy bread, the pain campaillou. What makes this bread even more popular in the Busby household is how quick and easy it is to make. What’s great about this bread is that it doesn’t need shaping! This rustic loaf takes 15 – 18 hours to make, which includes the making of an overnight poolish preferment.

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

What you need to make a Campaillou bread

To make this amazing rustic bread, you’ll need the following equipment:

Using a thermometer will help you with controlling proofing times. For accurate dough temperature readings try this thermometer from Gdealer. Aim for dough temperature between 25C and 30C (77-86F).

What if I don’t have a baking stone?

A baking stone conducts heat into the loaf. Using one increases the height of the oven spring and helps to give an even bake on the base of the loaf. If you don’t have a baking stone, preheat the thickest baking sheet that you have.

Can I use a Dutch oven to make this recipe?

Yes, if you would rather use a Dutch oven to make this recipe. Simply preheat the dutch oven and drop the dough inside on a sheet of parchment paper to bake. If you are looking to get a dutch oven, try this one from Challenger.

Do I need to make a poolish preferment?

Because of the reduced second rise, this bread recipe benefits significantly from the added dough maturity that the poolish preferment provides. Without the poolish, the bread is unlikely to rise as well in the oven, and you’ll end up with a dense crumb. If you want a simple bread without a poolish, try my beginner’s bread recipe and proof it in a couche.

campaillou bread recipe

Step-By-Step Method For This Recipe

1) 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.

2) 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 into a large mixing bowl.

3) Incorporate the ingredients

Use a plastic dough scraper around the edges of the bowl to combine the ingredients 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 fast for 2 minutes to fully incorporate. Skip to step 8.

4) Slow knead the dough

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

5) 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 it in the fridge

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) 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 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.

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).

9) 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.

10) 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 its original size.

11) 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.

12) Final proof

Leave the dough to rise on the table for a short 20-minute rise.

13) Baking

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.

14) Remove from the oven

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

15) Cooling

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

Goes Great with
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