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.