Le Pain d'Aix Sourdough Bread

Another French bread that I tried a few years ago. If you follow my blog you can find it under Pain d'Aix post.
In particular, back then, I find it to be a very good looking bread and once again, with this bake it was confirmed.

What I didn't know back then was that people are seeing similarities between the shape of this bread with nothing else than woman breasts. It has a funny sense and honestly I was not convinced until I photographed the bread from different angles and I found myself laughing behind the camera. They are right...


  • 765g strong wheat flour (14% proteins) 
  • 100g whole rye flour
  • 532g water (lukewarm)
  • 175g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 20g salt 
  1. [Day 1, Saturday, 8:00] Scaling. Start by scaling your ingredients using a balance and put them on the table to ensure that nothing is forgotten.
  2. Mix water + flours. Mix only the flours with water until well combined. Do not knead at this stage, just ensure there is no unincorporated dry flour resting in the bowl and that's it. I used lukewarm water heated in the microwave for 1½ minutes. The exact temperature is not that important because, during the autolyse, it will arrive at the right temperature. For this recipe, you need to target a dough desired temperature of 26ºC. I actually set the bread proofer to 28ºC and kept the dough inside. However, due to the manipulation of the dough at room temperature, the dough temperature was around 26ºC.
  3. [Day 1 Saturday, 9:00] Sourdough starter. Add the preferment over the dough and mix by hand or with a standing mixer for 10 minutes.  After mixing, let the dough relax for 1 hour.
  4. [Day 1 Saturday, 10:00] Salt. Add the salt and mix again for 7 minutes. Then, let the dough relax again for  1½ hours.
  5. [Day 1, Saturday, 11:30] Divide and Stretch and Fold. Take the dough out of the bowl put it on the slightly wet table board and divide it into 2. Stretch and fold each piece on the board and place them in squared glass bowls. Let them sit covered for 1 hour.
  6. [Day 1, Saturday, 12:30] Lamination. Take each piece out of the bowl and do the lamination. Let the dough rests for  1 hour. 
  7. [Day 1, Saturday, 13:30] Coil fold 1. Start now a set of 3 coil folds performed straight in the bowls. Do the first coil fold set in each glass bowl and let them sit for 1 hour.
  8. [Day 1, Saturday, 14:30] Coil fold 2.  Do a second set of coil folds in the glass bowls and let them sit for 1 hour.
  9. [Day 1, Saturday, 15:30] Coil fold 3. Do a third set of coil folds for each dough and let them sit for 1 hour.
  10. [Day 1, Saturday, 16:30] Shape the loaves using the classical way the loaves on the lightly floured board. Then, flour and flatten 1/3 of the boule with a rolling pin. This is a flap to put on top of my dough. Stretch it also on the sides but not longer than the actual boule. To avoid that the flap sticks to the main boule, brush a border of 1cm with olive oil and also a middle line. Roll the dough over the flap (not the other way around !) to preserve the flap in place. Redo the same with the second piece of dough. Place the second dough in the same basket and with the straight side in the middle, so that the loaves support each other.
  11. [Day 1, Saturday, 17:30] Score. Before scoring, you need to preheat the oven and the baking stone at 250ºC. 
    Take the dough out from the fridge and reverse the basket on baking sheets. Cut the loaves almost in half on the flap side.  Immediately after, slide the loaves on the hot baking stone.
  12. Bake at 250ºC for 15 creating steam. After these 20 minutes, release the steam and continue to bake at a reduced temperature (~220ºC) for 20 minutes.
  13. [Day 1, Saturday, 18:05] Cool. The bread needs to cool for at least 2 hours until it reaches room temperature. The cooking process continues slowly even after taking the bread out of the oven, so this is why it is important to not skip this step and to resist cutting it too early. If you can, of course...
  14. [Day 1 Saturday, 20:05] Cut. Now is the big moment to enjoy a slice of bread... 


Post a Comment