Friday, June 4, 2010

Pain de l'Abbaye

I'm going to let another bread blogger speak for me this week. "MC," as she goes by, who writes the blog Farine (the French word for flour) decided to try making my pain de l'abbaye this past weekend. This is the recipe I developed on the spot while trying to restore the lost tradition of baking to a 1300-year-old abbey in Normandy. It's a bit unusual in that it uses both a poolish and a levain, the reason being that, with the volume of bread they were making, keeping enough levain going for a pain au levain (with no commercial yeast) would have been difficult for the monks, so I came up with a recipe using an overnight poolish (a batter of flour, water, and just a pinch of yeast) for flavor, with a little of my levain thrown in for both flavor and texture.

The result: pain de l'Abbaye St. Wandrille. Read MC's experiences with it and see her mouth-watering photos (that's hers above) here.


  1. Turns out pain de l'abbaye may be catching on (unlikely as they may sound). See the post at

    Any other takers? (You might want to reduce the yeast a bit if you do. I'm not sure my translation from the fresh yeast I used in France to dry, instant yeast was spot on.)

  2. I was able to make this recipe last weekend. I reduced by 1/3 to make two pretty big loaves. The poolish ratios are not equal so some math had to be done to get a true 1/3 recipe, but the results were terrific. I'm hoping to find more recipes that utilize levain, and hopefully some quicker recipes fr things like rolls and small batch baking. I did find a recipe for pizza dough using levain and will work that into the rotation. If interested, you can read about this on my blog at



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