The rustic charm of French Country Bread


It was either drizzling or raining cats and dogs most afternoons lately that outing plans were rescheduled and swimming with the tot was adjourned yet again. One good thing that came out from those hours indoor with the hum of rains outside is it somehow sets the mood for simple leisurely lunches. Minimal fuss, yet flavours are savoured in between conversations. My idea of perfect lunch however, translates to food that can be enjoyed by The Husband and the fussy tot.

I settled for something unique yet easy enough to bake.

French county bread. Hand kneaded, leavened to rise and criss crossed on top for the authentic artisanal look. With addition of whole wheat and rye flours.

I decided to go on long route of bread success by using a poolish starter. The starter was made a day in advance so some planning is definetely needed if you want to do bread baking this way.What you accomplish is so well worth the planning and the hours; a sourdough kind of bread which is so full o flavour!

We enjoyed the bread as is, slathered with some real butter, and some roasted cherry tomatoes, yum! It was also delicious with a bowl of soup, seasonal simplicity that we crave a lot these days.
French Country Bread
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp rye flour
1 cup water
1 tsp yeast
4 cups bread flour
1 cup water
1/2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1.Prepare the poolish 1 day in advance. Incorporate all the ingredients with a  whisk. Loosely cover the bowl and leave it at room temperature for 1 day- minimum 16 hours for it to develop.
2. In a large bowl, mix the dough ingredients and all the starter. Hand knead for 10mins until dough is elastic. Leave to prove for 1 hr.
3. Punch down dough and form a shape that you like. Preheat oven at 200C.
4. Spray the inside of oven with water. Criss cross the top, dust with flour and place the dough and bake for 15 mins.
5. Reduce heat to 180C and bake for another 25 mins or until golden. Spray water into the oven every 15 mins.

Sending this to YeastSpotting


  1. says

    bread looks fatastic. ur new camera is simply superb. the clicks r really amazing. me too enjoying the rain by cooking and bakkng. sent ur entry to yeast spotting dear.

  2. says

    Bread looks perfect and yum….nice color……loved the way you platted too….coming to the food photography submission…..I am always checking it dear….but not finding the ingredients you are mentioning….so skipping them….inshaAllah will soon participate…..

  3. says

    nothing like freshly baked bread at home, and especially if them look as rustic yet soft as these! nope, didn’t find rye flour at carrefour too …so even this is out of my limits :( and oh the photos are simply gorgeous!!

  4. says

    Postal Grunt: THanks for pointing it out. I have now updated the recipe. It should read as 1 cup of water for both starter, as well as the main dough ( 2 cups in total). Give it a go and you’d be delighted with the results!

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