Troubleshooting BBA Pain de Campaigne

Troubleshooting BBA Pain de Campaigne


New bread baker here; just going through Reinhart’s BBA and doing some breads… Last weekend I tackled his Pain de Campaigne and was a bit surprised by the outcome…

His recipe produces 3 breads/boules/loafs. After splitting the dough in 3 equal parts (using scales), my end result was 3 rather small breads. I’m sure someone here baked these breads before, are end results suppose to be this small? Now, I know I probably overproofed a bit (and lost some oven spring) – it’s much hotter in house (it was probably around 75 in the kitchen when I started and probably close to 80 by the time bread went into the over), and as I originally planned on the timeline provided in the book, I just couldn’t get oven hot enough in time. Still, the finished breads appear to be too small to me (maybe next time I’ll just do two or even one boule instead).

Of more concern to me though is that my bread came out pale looking compared to pictures in the book. Reinhart’s bread are nice dark brown color, where mine are very light in color (picture below). Any idea what could have gone wrong? Is it because there was not enough heat in the oven? I’ve heated it for somewhere around 35min (see my comments above, originally I planned to preheat it for an hour, but had to cut it short), but oven temperature was at 500 when breads went it (as suggested in the book). I did use baking steel and had deep cookie tray filled with lava rocks for steam…

Is this the case of not enough temperature or was this because dough was to some extend overproofed by the time it went into the oven? Bread tastes just fine to me, though my wife said she taste was a bit yeast-ish to her. Crumb is dense, but my understanding is that this is how it suppose to be in this type of a bread… Just trying to see where and what I did wrong, planning to tackle this bread this weekend again and hopefully get to something I could be satisfied with.

Source: Fresh Loaf