Pain Rustique

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield: About


    loaves at 1 lb , 2 oz each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

Pain Rustique, or Rustic Bread, is unique in its own way. After bulk fermentation, the dough receives no preshaping or final shaping, so in that respect it is similar to ciabatta dough. The cell structure of Pain Rustique is open and airy, the crumb is delightfully creamy, and this humble bread, while a good companion to a wide assortment of foods, is also flavorful enough to be eaten alone. Half the flour in the formula is pre-fermented, which enables the baker to produce good bread in less than 3 hours, not including the ripening time for the poolish. The bread’s origin is attributed to Professor Raymond Calvel, author of Le Goût du Pain and widely considered the world’s foremost expert on French breads. The present formula is the work of James MacGuire of Montreal, with a couple of changes I’ve made through work at the bench.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 50%


Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 20 lb 10 kg 2 lb 100 %
Water 13.8 lb 6.9 kg 1 lb, 6.1 oz 69 %
Salt .4 lb .2 kg .6 oz 2 %
Yeast .3 lb, fresh .15 kg, fresh .17 oz, instant dry 1.5 %
Total Yield 34.5 lb 17.25 kg 3 lb, 6.9 oz 172.5 %


Bread Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb (3⅝ cups) 100 %
Water 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb (2 cups) 100 %
Yeast .02 lb, fresh .01 kg, fresh ( tsp, instant dry) .2%
Total 20.02 lb 10.01 kg 2 lb

Final Dough

Bread Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb (3⅝ cups)
Water 3.8 lb 1.9 kg 6.1 oz (¾ cup)
Poolish 20.02 lb 10.01 kg 2 lb (all of above)
Salt .4 lb .2 kg .6 oz (1 T)
Yeast .28 lb, fresh .14 kg, fresh .17 oz, instant dry ( tsp)
Total 34.5 lb 17.25 kg 3 lb, 6.9 oz


  1. Poolish: Disperse the yeast in the water, add the flour, and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for 12 to 16 hours at about 70°F.
  2. Mixing: Pain Rustique is mixed with an autolyse: Add the final dough flour, water, and the ripe poolish to the mixing bowl. Do not add the salt or yeast. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed just until the ingredients come together in a shaggy mass. Cover the mixing bowl with a sheet of plastic and let this rough dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes. At the end of the rest period, sprinkle the salt and yeast over the dough and turn the mixer to second speed. Mix until the dough is fairly well developed, 1½ to 2 minutes (adjust the mixing time accordingly for other types of mixers). The dough should be supple and moderately loose. Desired dough temperature: 76°F.
  3. Bulk Fermentation: 70 minutes.
  4. Folding: Give a quick fold to the dough twice, once after 25 minutes of bulk fermentation, and again after 50 minutes.
  5. Dividing: Gently divide the rectangles into even pieces, also rectangular, weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces (larger or smaller pieces can be cut too, with good results). Place scrap pieces of dough on top (on the unfloured side of the dough). Place the weighed-out pieces onto lightly floured baker’s linen, with the floured side of the dough still down and the scrap side up, and cover with plastic.
  6. Final Fermentation: The dough will only need 20 to 25 minutes of final proofing at 76°F.
  7. Baking: Invert the dough onto the loading conveyor or peel so that the floured side is up. Slash the bread with one quick stroke of the blade. Lightly presteam the oven, load the bread, and steam again. Bake at 460°F for about 35 minutes, opening the oven vents about halfway through the bake in order to finish the bake in a drying oven.