What's cooking Yeast Breads

Pain Brie| Crushed Bread of Normandy

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I am not sure whether I should be happy or sad about this loaf. Pain Brie is a traditional bread of the Normandy region of France and it gets its name because ‘brier’ means ‘to pound’ and ‘pain’ is french for bread. So Pain Brie is pounded bread because the dough is pounded many times before it is baked and that leads to a tight crumb. I have been after getting an open crumb for ages now and when I finally get it, it is for a bread that needs a tight crumb. Should I be happy or sad? No clue really.

Why I love the Pain Brie?

This is the first time I have pounded the dough and it was exciting to try this unique method for baking bread. It is a classic bread and involves only the 4 basic ingredients for a delicious loaf – flour, salt, yeast and water. It is a bread with a starter and I simply love them because of the beautiful texture and taste that starter lends to the loaf. So, in other words, this loaf is amazing and nearly impossible to resist.

For other French breads, check out Baguettes, Rosemary Fougasse, Eggless Brioche, BouleMultigrain Fougasse and Pain d’Epi


Recipe from here

Makes 1 medium sized loaf


180 gms All purpose flour

2 tsp Instant yeast

1 tsp Salt

2/3 cup Lukewarm water



  • In a large bowl, add the yeast, 1/3 cup of water and 40gms of flour and mix well
  • Add another 40 gms of flour and knead to make a smooth dough that is not sticky
  • Cover and let it rise overnight
  • Add the balance 100 gms flour, 1/4 cup water and salt
  • Knead well to get a tight dough, around 10 minutes by hand
  • Use a rolling pin to pound heavily on the dough and flatten it
  • Fold it and pound again
  • Repeat the process 7-8 times
  • Rest the dough for 10 minutes
  • Shape it like a ball and place it on a baking tray or parchment paper
  • Cover and set aside and let it rise for around 2-2 1/2 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Make 4-5 slits on top of the dough
  • Bake for 40 minutes or till the top starts to turn brown
  • Cool completely before cutting into it
  • Enjoy!


  1.  I kept the starter for around 8 hours overnight and it had a slightly sour taste. So if you live in warm climates, around 5-6 hours should be enough for the starter.
  2. When you cover the dough for the final rise, ensure the top is not too wide because the dough will then spread and you won’t get a good rise on the bread




Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

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  1. You have so many type of bakery stuff on blog… all are just perfect.. and for me now you are perfect person in baking specially… no words left for your baking skills… just mesmerizing me always.

  2. The bread looks amazing Sowmya. The name of the bread intrigued me. I was wondering why the name of bread starts with pain….you have given the explanation though, but my explanation would be all that pounding results into lot of pain so the name is Pain brie…Lol

  3. fabulous work done by pounding and baking. Look at those crumb, that resulted after doing all hard work. Loved this one.

  4. Sowmya, that’s a the sad part of the story, when we want something, we may have progressed from that spot..lol..imho this bread looks fantastic..I am not a pro baker and the limited bread that I have baked makes me say this looks awesome..hehe..great job yaar!

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