FRENCH BATARD

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This is a happy moment!

From basic white bread to artisan bread that bakes in a pot, I’ve been trying to search for the recipe to make the kind of crusty bread that I like to be my daily staple. It was until I chance upon a 6 part video posted by King Arthur’s flour baking factory (click here for the first video) demonstrating French Baguette and Batard using the traditional way. It seems time consuming but the result is amazing and just the way I like it.

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The overall preparation time takes 5 hours but I realized it is not a trouble at all as I normally spend Sundays tidying up my home and explore new recipes so I can still carry on with my activities while the dough is rising.

The little drama came during my second attempt when my dough was in the final rising stage. During pre-heating, my oven decides to retire after a 10 good years of partnership.

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In that split moment, I was lost. Don’t know what to do with the dough. Throwing it away is my last option. Purchasing a new oven won’t make it in time. Then Mr Raju appears in my mind. He is the helpful neighbor who brings us nice food during Deepavali. When I approach him for help, he stopped whatever he is doing and lends me his oven without a slight hesitation.  

The over rising time and the transferring flattened the dough. My hard earned French Batard came out a little flat but it was good just the way I like it.

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This recipe makes one small loaf.

1/4 tsp dry instant yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

All-purpose flour (enough to mix until it sticks together and away from the bowl)

 

My Sunday routine

8:00 am- Mixing and Kneading

In a bowl, mix two cups of flour with salt and sugar. Mix yeast into water. Pour yeast with water into flour and start mixing. Add in more flour and mix until the dough sticks together into a ball and away from the bowl. Sprinkle some flour on table and knead dough for 10 minutes. Sprinkle more flour when dough gets sticky during the kneading process. Place it back to the bowl and cover with moist towel to rise for 2 hours.

8:20am – Morning run

10:00 am – Folding

Sprinkle some flour on table. Spread dough on table and stretch out on 4 sides. Fold all sides inwards like wrapping a present and place dough seam side down back into bowl. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.

10:05 am – Breakfast and grocery shopping at the local market

11:00 am – Pre-shaping

Sprinkle some flour on table. Place dough seam side up and pat on it to release extra gas. Fold the sides to the centre and shape it into a ball. Place dough seam side down back to bowl. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.

11:05 am – Tidy up home

12:00 noon – Final shaping

Sprinkle some flour on table. Place dough seam side up and pat on it to release extra gas. Shape it into a Batard and place dough seam side down on baking dish. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.

12:05 pm – Rest and relax

1:00 pm – Baking

Pre-heat your oven to 425F. After slitting the dough, spray with water and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

I am now baking with my new oven that produces great results.

french batard 1b

french batard 2

 

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37 thoughts on “FRENCH BATARD

  1. wow that looks fantastic. looks as if you have done it 100 times! i can’t believe bread costs so much over there. its about the same price here unless you get bleached white sandwich bread. i wasn’t hungry before i saw this now i realise its lunch time…

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment. There is still room for improvement. I should not cover the dough with damp towel during final rising stage. The weight is preventing it from rising properly. Using a big plastic bag may work better.

      Bleached white or wholemeal sandwich bread is not expensive over here too. But crusty bread cost a bomb.

      Happy New Year and Best Wishes to You in 2013!

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment Sarah. I really appreciate it. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. And Happy New Year in advance!

      Best Wishes in 2013,
      Danny

    1. Thank you very much! I’m so happy you like it. That’s my neighbors oven. I’ve settled for a Baby Belling so no more glass door for me to take pictures from now on…

      Happy New Year and Best Wishes in 2013!

  2. A thousand times.., wow!!! You have a wonderful neighbor. This looks absolutely divine. You did a great job with it!! I wish I could have a slice with the butter right now 🙂

    1. Thank you for your nice comment Judy. You are too kind. I like it with butter too. Best when it is still warm and the crust is crispy 🙂

      Best Wishes in 2013
      Danny

    1. Thank you for your nice comment. I’ve just started 2 months ago and still in the process of learning and gaining more knowledge. I find it interesting.

      After knowing more, I am actually quite shy to even call this a batard. Although the recipe is ok but the scoring and final shape does not resemble how a standard batard should look like. However, I’ve decided to leave it as a reminder for myself to achieve it right with a lot more practice.

      Please share your experience with me if you try. Would love to know. 🙂

  3. Hello! I just stumbled upon your blog and it’s really lovely! This bread recipe looks fantastic… I’ve never quite experienced success with bread baking (it always ends up a little too dense) but I might give your recipe a go. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh bread baking 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Laura, thank you for stopping by with your nice comment. After I tried to make my first white bread, I am obsessed with bread baking. I simply love the process and excitement of cutting the bread to see how it is done when ready. I’ve failed many times before getting the kind of texture that I like. And there is still plenty of room for improvement. From my experience, things to note to achieve a light bread is the hydration of the dough, effective kneading, enough proofing time and correct oven temperature.

      This recipe calls for long proofing time because I prefer to use less yeast. But the process is fun! If you try, do let me know how it goes. You can also email me at dannylohbk@hotmail.com

      Sincerely
      Danny

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