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Dec 21, 2008 07:54 AM

Country style bread?

A Mushroom Strata recipe calls for day-old country style bread -- what is that exactly? Pepperidge Farms has country white and country french bread. How about using supermarket (Safeway) in-house baked french loaf -- would that work? Thank you.

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  1. A country loaf or pain de campagne refers to the sturdy breads baked by French farm women as opposed to the white, airy baguettes made from refined flour.

    Pepperidge Farms would totally not be the right thing. If Safeway is what you have available, they probably have an "artisan" style bread that would do for a strata. Look for a large round loaf (a boule) that's made with unbleached flour. It should have a sturdy, open crumb that will keep it's integrity when saturated in the egg custard mixture.

    Lacking that, a good baguette -- even a day old one -- would do. Here's a pic of what you're looking for

    1. Yep, Sarah, the Safeway "in-house" country style bread should work just fine. It's on sale in my neighborhood for a dollar per loaf this week; and I have a freezer ;>}
      Just be sure to allow it to sit out for a while before using it in your strata so it takes on that "day old" texture.

      3 Replies
      1. re: todao

        t - they have a baguette too -- would that be better?

        1. re: Sarah

          I would go with the country style instead of baguette. Country style would have less crust overall (since loaf is bigger), a coarser crumb, and a bit of a sourdough tang that would work better I think.