Hamelman’s Pain Rustique

Hamelman’s Pain Rustique

Technically, he does credit other people for it, but my source for this recipe is his book, so I stand by the title.

This is an interesting recipe, because since the dough hasn’t been pre-shaped and isn’t proofing in a banneton, there are no other ways to judge the degree of proof than feeling the dough.  

The good bread in less than 3 hours bit is overly optimistic though. Basically with all of the yeasted recipes in the book the bulking and proofing times have been way too short in the home setting. Could it be that larger amount of dough ferment faster? Are the times intentionally shortened to account for dividing and shaping? 

Anyway, I used more yeast and let the dough ferment longer than what the recipe calls for. After 2h (instead of 70 min), the dough felt reasonably puffy and looked like this:

The way to proof it is putting it the good side down onto a floured parchment. Back into the proofer it goes:

And here comes the tricky part. How does one know it’s ready to be baked? The dough did rise and spread quite a bit and at some point I got worried it would just flatten out entirely. There were some large bubbles, but also some denser areas. Maybe there would still be enough structure for oven spring:

Maybe it’s time to bake it. A somewhat timid slash in the middle and into the oven it goes:

Not too ugly on the outside: 

 A bit dense on the inside:

 

It would have been a good idea to bulk longer and give it one last fold for structure. Needs more practice.