1 minute reading time (288 words)


I think poems and recipes have a lot in common. Sometimes they can even be combined.

Pain de Campagne[1]

Day 1:

Mix these things in a roomy bowl:

  • 8 ounces of strong white bread flour
  • A scant dessertspoon of table salt
  • 8 fluid ounces of tepid water
  • A little dried yeast (a scant half teaspoon)

Cover with a plate and leave till next day.

At night dream richly. Record your dreams.


Day 2:

Return to the bowl.

Add 4 fluid ounces of luke-warm water

and then 4 ounces of whole-wheat flour.

As you stir the mixture, remember your dreams.

They will rise to the surface in tiny bubbles.

Cover and leave. Sleep well that night.

Record your dreams.

Day 3:

Beat in more water—4 fluid ounces

and then add 12 ounces of strong white flour—

enough to make a workable dough.

Knead at length, remembering your dreams.

Add flour if needed. Continue to work

until the dough is beautifully smooth.

Leave to rise till doubled in size.

Take a nap, if you like, while the bread rises.

Two hours later:

Punch back the dough.

Knead briefly and form a long oval.

Place on a baking tray covered in flour.

Shake more flour on top of the loaf.

Lightly cover and let it rise.

This loaf will grow.

When the size impresses you

slash the top with diagonal cuts

and bake very hot[2] for a quarter of an hour,

then somewhat cooler for twenty minutes[3].

The crust of this loaf will be domed and firm,

the crumb dreamy.

It will make great sandwiches, keep well

and prove that poetry can be useful.

[1] Tired of living in the country

[2] 230C

[3] Or perhaps a little longer, at 180°


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Friday, 06 August 2021

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