Pain de Campagne Recipe: Authentic French Country Bread

Delight in the rustic charm and satisfying taste of homemade Pain de Campagne, also known as French Country Bread. This recipe brings the essence of the French countryside into your kitchen, offering a hearty, crusty loaf that’s perfect alongside any meal or enjoyed on its own. Pain de Campagne is celebrated for its blend of flours and a long fermentation that enhances its flavor and texture. Follow this step-by-step guide to create your own beautiful loaf of traditional French bread.


  • 200 ml warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 g dry yeast
  • 300 g all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
  • 300 g bread flour (about 3 cups) OR substitute with all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil (for greasing)


  1. Activate the Yeast:
    • In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together both types of flour and salt.
  3. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:
    • Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and stir with a spatula until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Knead the Dough:
    • Grease your work surface with oil. Transfer the dough and knead for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for about 5 minutes.
  5. First Rise:
    • Lightly grease a bowl with oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Shaping:
    • Gently deflate the dough and shape it into a round loaf. Place it seam-side down in a floured banneton basket or a lined colander. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the Oven:
    • While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 230°C (450°F). Place a baking stone or baking sheet inside to heat.
  8. Scoring:
    • Just before baking, carefully transfer the dough onto the preheated stone or sheet. Make shallow diagonal cuts on the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
  9. Bake with Steam:
    • Bake for 25 minutes with steam by placing a pan filled with hot water on the bottom rack of the oven during the initial baking time.
  10. Reduce Heat and Finish Baking:
    • After 25 minutes, remove the pan with water and reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F). Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the bread has a golden brown crust and sounds hollow when tapped.
  11. Cool:
    • Transfer the baked bread to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tips for Success

  • Proper Measuring: Ensure accurate measurement of ingredients, especially the flour and water, for consistent results.
  • Steam Environment: Creating steam in the oven is crucial for developing a crisp crust and proper rise.
  • Cooling: Allow the bread to cool fully on a rack to ensure the interior structure sets properly.

Health Benefits

Pain de Campagne is made from simple, wholesome ingredients and is naturally vegan. This bread provides complex carbohydrates for energy and is free of preservatives, unlike many store-bought breads.


Baking your own Pain de Campagne can be a rewarding experience, yielding a loaf that’s both beautiful and delicious. This bread pairs wonderfully with cheese, cured meats, or simply a touch of butter, and can be a showstopper at any dining table. Embrace the art of French bread making with this fulfilling recipe and enjoy the process as much as the final product.

Read Also: I Stopped Buying Bread Since I Started Baking This Recipe!

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