Pate Fermentee, or Old Dough Method, is great for people who want to make a bunch of dough and freeze it for later use. Take a cup-full of old dough from the freezer, let it thaw and rise for an hour or two, and then you can use it as a starter. Bread made by this method is supposed to be chewier and have a fuller flavor. The only warning I’ve read is that you should be careful not to allow the old dough to weigh in at more than 10 percent of your overall batch. I previously tried this method with La Couronne de Figeac, and my proportions were off and the couronne had trouble rising.
Pain de Campagne Pate Fermentee
Country-Style French Bread with Old-Dough Addition
Adapted from The Village Baker
1 cup sourdough starter
2 ¼ cups warm water
1 cup 6-hour old dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups rye or whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
This recipe yields a bread almost identical to yesterdays, but I wanted to see if I could taste a difference between the sponge method and the old-dough addition. They look practically identical. I couldn’t taste a significant difference. This might say more about my bread-making habits than the recipes.
Follow the same directions as yesterday’s Pain de Campagne Sur Poolish—except with the oven at 450, and only bake the round for 40 minutes. I also tried a different slashing pattern
I assume this means my oven heats irregularly and/or I made one of the slashes too deep and weakened that side of the bread to excess expansion. But perhaps it could be construed as artistic intention—the bread as skull if you look at it from the right angle. Or bread as acorn. 5 stars.