Pain Rustique is one of the breads we made this month for the Mellow Bakers. Pain Rustique, as the name suggests, is a rustic loaf of bread. It is made with an overnight poolish and shaped freeform in a fashion similar to Ciabatta. Like Ciabatta, the dough is a rather wet dough that you fold during the bulk fermentation to give it more workability. It is a great dough to work with and the flavor is exceptional.
I used a mixture of about 40% bread flour to 60% all-purpose flour for the dough because I ran out of bread flour. The all-purpose flour was a mixture of whole wheat and white wheat flours so this really is a rustic bread.
I really liked this bread and so did my boyfriend. The only problem was the formula made three loaves and I couldn’t eat it fast enough. I freeze a lot of bread and usually give a loaf away when someone comes over, but I wasn’t sure if this bread would freeze well. So I gave a loaf to my youngest son. He’s in summer school (in college) and missing home cooking so he gladly accepted the gift of the loaf along with some olive oil and herbs for dipping. I also gave a loaf to my boyfriend, but I still had a huge loaf to contend with. Not that I was complaining mind you.
It’s really hot (and humid) in Atlanta these days so anything you leave on the counter for more than a day will mold. I didn’t want that to happen to this bread because it’s really good. So, I put it in the refrigerator. Well, you know what happens to bread when you put it in the refrigerator? That’s right! It gets hard.
Not to worry…I had a plan.
I decided to toast it and make brushetta with it. However, instead of rubbing it with garlic and dribbling it with olive oil, I used some Red Pepper Spread that I had canned last Fall for the tigress can jam challenge. It’s a very flavorful spread and I thought it would go well with this bread.
Turns out I was right. I had a couple of pieces for lunch today. Even though the bread had been in the refrigerator for a few days, it tasted great toasted and spread with the red pepper spread. It was really good. The bread didn’t taste stale at all. The red pepper spread provided a wonderful sweet and garlicky flavor.
This bread doesn’t need extra flavor. It’s great by itself – toasted or plain. However, if you find yourself with a loaf of French or Italian bread that is about to go stale, you can always do what I did and make Brushetta with it.
Thanks for visiting the Bread Experience bread-baking blog. I hope you’ll join me again soon.