Pain Sancerre

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Pain Sancerre... a bread that is inspired by the beautiful Medieval town of Sancerre, overlooking the Loire Valley.

Sancerre, just two hours south of Paris, is on a hilltop, overlooking the River Loire and known for its award-winning wines. 

So what better than to make a bread that celebrates wine...any wine. 

This is a recipe adapted from A Taste of History - French Bread Recipes bu Christopher North who travelled the length and breadth of France collecting recipes and adapting them to suit the occasion and the vicinity. 

This recipe for Pain Sancerre has higher than usual salt to slow fermentation. It also is cut so that it resembles the vine - represented by the wine in the poolish.

Yes...I know it's a Chilean red wine....the rack is a little low at the moment....try and use French white, if you've got any left...


Note on ingredients. This recipe calls for fresh yeast. Remember, that you'll need to activate your yeast before use. 

Alternatively, you can use dried or active instant yeast. 

(Poolish) 2 gms of fresh yeast = 1 gm of dried yeast = 0.5 gms of active instant yeast

(Dough) 12 gms of fresh yeast = 6 gms of dried yeast = 3 gms of active instant yeast

Stage 1 - the Poolish

Add 2 gms of fresh yeast, 


200 gms of room temperature good quality water (filtered or very low chlorine levels), 


50 gms of wine (red or white). 

Then add

250 gms of strong white bread flour

Stir everything together and leave at room temperature for 15 - 18 hours. 

Stage 2 - the Dough

By now, the poolish will have grown. 

Add 240 gms of water of the same quality as you used for the poolish 


12 gms of fresh yeast and stir. 

Then add

500 gms of strong white bread flour 


10 gms of crushed sea salt. 

Now add the poolish to the mix and mix slowly for 15 - 20 minutes (you can do this by hand or in a stand mixer on 'low') 

Cover and leave to ferment for 45 - 60 minutes. 

De-gas (knock back) and weigh out portions of 175 gms. 

Mould into boules and leave to rest for 15 minutes

Roll out into small (demi) baguettes. 

Place on baking sheets and cut the end of the baguette into a 'Y' and slash three cuts on each baguette. 

The stylised 'Y' represents the root of the vine and the three cuts are the branches.

Prove at 25⁰C for 30 minutes (or proportionally longer if you have a cooler environment) while the oven preheats to 230⁰C.

Mist the baguettes and the oven. 

Place in the oven and mist once more. 

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes and mist again when they are removed from the oven. This will ensure that the crusts are softer. 

Happy baking....


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