Pain d'Aix

Here you have a bread that takes its name from its shape. Do you remember an old bread I made called La tabatière ? This one is not that far from that one. It requires the same way to do it. When it's about shaping it, make a boule, take a rolling pin and flatten half of it. Stretch it enough so you can cover the other part of the bread with it. Flour well the dough and pack the half of the boule with the stretched part. Now you have a loaf that looks like a half sphere, with one side straight and the rest is round. Put this loaf on a baking sheet, take your dough cutter and on the round side almost cut the loaf in 2. Actually, do not cut completely but let a portion uncut on the straight side of the bread. With your hands, take the extremities and try to distance the cut. What you get is a loaf that looks like a bow. Cover the loaves with a towel and let them rise again. Finally, before baking them, score them with a nice pattern.
After the final rise, I realised that the part that I packed over the bread was totally merged with the rest of the bread and normally this shouldn't have happened. Maybe the bread was not enough floured or the dough was not firm enough but in the end, it was just a matter of aspect. However, the bread kept its bow shape and raised nicely in the oven.
As a conclusion, it is a shape that you can use with any firm dough, no matter the recipe. It makes your bread look fancy and nice. If you are a home bread maker you should try to do it at least once in your life.


  1. Mix flour with water for 4 minutes in a standing mixer and let it rest covered for the autolyse for 1h.
  2. Add sourdough, yeast and salt and mix 4 minutes on a low speed and 10 minutes on a higher speed.
  3. Bulk fermentation 2h at room temperature.
  4. Shape 2 round loaves and use a rolling pin to flatten half of each bread. The flattened part should pack the other half of the bread, like a lid. Move the bread on a baking sheet. Take a cutter and almost cut it in 2 to look like a bow.
  5. Final fermentation, covered with towel for 1h20 at 24ºC. 
  6. Preheat the oven at 260ºC with the baking stone inside.
  7. Score and bake with steam in the first 15 minutes at 260ºC and continue for another 30 minutes reducing the temperature to 220ºC.

This recipe was inspired from Le Larousse du pain - Eric Kayser, page 262.


Unknown said...

Your bread recipes are quite wonderful. The photos are beautiful and they make me want to go and bake immediately. Thanks for an enjoyable blog.

HungryShots said...

Thank you very much, June for your nice comment!

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