Originating from Normandy, this bread is baked since the 14th century. It was really appreciated by the fishermen because of its long conservation (up to 1 week), due to a really dense dough and a low hydration. Sometimes, the bread was completely dry and didn’t contain salt at all.

The fishermen would then soak them in the sea water while on the boat, which would add water and salt necessary to be edible. The shape could be representative of the hull of a boat.


Pain Brié

This bread has a very interesting taste and texture due to a lot of pâte fermentée or pre-fermented dough used in this recipe. It is very dense and has a sour taste but you can keep it up to a whole week.
TYPE: Bread
YIELD: 1 loaf
KNEADING: 12 mins
FERMENTATION: 2 hrs 30 mins
BAKING: 25 mins
TOTAL TIME: 3 hrs 7 mins


For the “pâte fermentée” or pre-fermented dough

  • 210 g white bread flour
  • 125 g water at 35°C
  • 4 g salt
  • 5 g fresh yeast or 2g dried yeast

For the rest of the bread

  • 125 g white bread flour
  • 20 g water at 35°C
  • 2 g salt
  • 2 g fresh yeast or 1g dried yeast
  • 20 butter


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the “pâte fermentée” together in a mixer for 5 min in 1st speed. Put it in the fridge and let it rise for at least 12 hours. You can keep it longer, up to 3 days. The more it ferments, the better.
  2. Take out the “pâte fermentée” from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (about 2 hours). Put everything together and mix for 6 min in first speed then 6 min in 2nd speed.
  3. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Shaped it into a ball and let it rest for 15 min.
  5. Shape into a bâtard.
  6. Cover it and let it prove for 2 hours.
  7. Cut 7 lines and let it prove for 15 more minutes.
  8. Bake it for 25 min at 240°C with a bowl of water in the oven.
  9. Take it out and let it cool down on a tray.
  10. Enjoy!
  11. Don’t forget to check out the timelapse of the baking on my Instagram below.

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