Pain Façon Beaucaire – Making Wonderful French Bread with Only 4 Ingredients

This gorgeous bread is soft, light as air crumb and the crust is thin and delicate, reminiscent of ciabatta.
By Amy TA

Richard Bertinet’s book, Dough is a fabulous book for novice bread makers like myself. The book concentrates on technique and timing. There are some great informative step-by-step pictures and includes an in-depth 30 minute DVD. The book uses fresh yeast, I was unlucky on my last visit to the local deli, they had run out of fresh yeast and were not getting a delivery until the following week. With some advice from a friend on twitter I substituted it with instant dried yeast.

The result was glorious. This gorgeous bread was made with only 4 basic ingredients. It created a wonderfully chewy, soft, light as air crumb and the crust is thin and delicate, reminiscent of ciabatta. The whole process didn’t take more than 2 hours. All of the hard work was in the first 30 minutes and the rest of the time the dough was rising in my microwave.

The unusual thing about this bread is its shape. The slit in the middle is deliberate and makes for a very sexy roll of bread.

Pain Façon Beaucaire
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
a very sexy bread made with only 4 basic ingredients
Author:
Recipe Type: Baking
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g (17.63oz) unbleached bread flour
  • 350ml (350g or 12.34oz) water at room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons (4g or 0.14oz) instant dried yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons (8g or 0.28oz) fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the yeast. Add the salt and water. With a wooden spoon combine ingredients until it just comes together. Scrape the mixture onto a lightly floured board and knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (approx 20 minutes – try not to add more flour). Place the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl and allow to rise for an hour in a warm, draft-free place.
  2. Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F).
  3. When the dough has risen to double its size gently push it out to a 6x12 inch rectangle. Brush the top of the dough with some water and dust with some flour. Fold the dough over to make 6x5 inch rectangle leaving 2 inches. Brush the 2 inches with water and fold it back over the dough and seal. Layout a clean tea towl and dust it generously with flour. Lay the dough – seam side down – on the tea towel. Loosely wrap the dough with the tea towel and leave to rise for 30 mintues.
  4. Unwrap the dough and with a sharp knife divide the dough into approx 6 pieces. Lay the pieces back onto the tea towel, wrap it back up and allow to rise again for another 30 minutes.
  5. Bake the bread for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Amy Ta

Amy Ta

Amy Ta started her cooking career in her late-twenties. She baked a chocolate cake and never looked back. She is now the author and photographer of the food blog "tinytearoom".

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10 Comments
  1. This bread looks delicious! Do you think there is any way to freeze the unbaked dough? Or would it be smarted to fully bake the bread and then freeze? I’m only feeding two of us, so 6 piece of bread…dangerous! :-) Thanks!

  2. I’ve always been wary of making bread and working with yeast but this was a great recipe and a lovely bread to make even for the novice. Many thanks for posting and I plan on making lots more bread!

  3. This is just the recipe I need! My sons love bread such as this, and I can’t wait to surprise them after school tomorrow with a loaf right out of the oven! Thanks!

  4. I’m wondering how you shaped the bread exactly…The photo of the three loaves after shaping/before baked, you can see the “line/flour seam” down the middle of the bread. I believe this is from flouring the rectangle and then folding the dough after the bulk fermentation. I baked this bread yesterday, and I guessed that after dividing the dough into 6, you must have turned the loaves onto their side..? in order to see that nice flour seam down the middle. However I think your dough must have been more slack than mine because it stayed pretty upright, whereas yours are more ciabatta looking.
    thanks.

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