02 May 2017

Petits pavés de pain de campagne

Last week I decided to make some more bread, even though our bread deliveries had started up again after the village baker's Easter break. We had run short. It wasn't a delivery day (those are Tues., Thurs., and Sat.) and it was either make bread or go get in the car and drive to a bakery somewhere.

I decided to make little rolls, which I've seen and bought in the supermarkets under the name « petits pavés » — "little cobblestones." I wanted to see how fast they would cook compared to the larger loaf I had made a few days earlier. Well, they cooked in half the time, and they were good, if I do say so myself. Mine actually were not quite salty enough, so don't skimp on the salt unless you really need to.

Here's the recipe. It's mine, and it might be considered unconventional in France because it contains ingredients beyond the standard French flour, salt, yeast, and water. This recipe calls for 500 grams of flour in all — that's 1 lb. 2 oz. I use a KitchenAid stand mixer to mix and knead the dough. The rye flour makes it into pain de campagne — country-style bread.

Petits pavés de pain de campagne
200 g bread flour (farine de blé dur)
200 g all purpose flour (farine ménagère type 55)
100 g whole rye flour (farine complète de seigle)
325 ml (11 fl. oz.) lukewarm water
1½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (olive, sunflower, or walnut)
1 Tbsp. molasses,  black treacle, or honey
1 package (8 g) baker's yeast (levure boulangère)

In a large bowl or the mixer bowl, mix together the flours and the salt. Add the lukewarm water, molasses, oil, and yeast. Knead by hand or in the mixer to make a soft, smooth dough. Add a few drops more water if needed.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.

On a floured work surface, or again in the mixer, knead the rested dough for 5 or 10 minutes more. then cut and shape it into 10 or 12 rolls. Put the unbaked rolls on an oven pan lined with parchment paper, cover them with a kitchen towel, and let them rise in a warm place for another 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 450ºF / 230ºC. Use a sharp knife to cut gashes in the top of each unbaked roll. Cook them in the middle level of the oven and, optionally, set a little pan or ramekin of hot water in the oven to make some steam. That will help crisp up the bread's crust. Let them bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are nicely browned and sound hollow when you tap on them.

I think you could leave out the molasses and oil and still get a good result, but I haven't tried it. Molasses or black treacle adds some sweetness, but very little. It also gives the bread a brown color.


  1. These rolls look so mouth-watering !!

    1. They were good with dinner (to sop up a sauce or gravy), good with butter and jam for breakfast, and good with cheese any time.

  2. I'll give those a try, I bake bread nearly every week.

  3. Is that a Charleston Sweetgrass basket, holding the rolls?

    1. I don't know. It's a bread basket that I bought in the Latin Quarter in Paris about 10 years ago.

  4. I don't want to bake bread.
    It never works out.
    But I want to eat the bread you bake :)

  5. I need to try this recipe soon.

  6. I'll try these!
    All the recipes I have ever used require 25gms of butter...
    except for the foccacia and pizza dough recipes which call for oil-of-olives....
    but I now use Vigean's "Fruity & Nuts"...
    their 70/30 Colza and Walnut blend instead of butter...
    quicker, easier to measure and tastier.


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