The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rebellious batards

Juls's picture
Juls

Rebellious batards

Hi everybody. I'm new here, I'd like to request your kind help... does anybody know some foolproof method for shaping a batard loaf? I started baking with a sourdough starter a couple of months ago, my first baguettes and boules were a complete success, but now the batard shaping is giving me headaches -and tears of frustration... sometimes. I have tried two methods:


a) make a rough rectangle, fold down the top, fold the corners in, rotate 180º, repeat the foldings on the other side and curl up the loaf, pinching the seam.


b) make a triangle and roll up the loaf starting at the narrow end, as an inverted croissant: http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=82


 


I proof my batards on a couche, I try to get good superficial tension, I make sure that the seam is well closed, and I place the seam at the bottom... and yet, and yet, a horrible protuberance emerges from the sides of my loafs. What am I doing wrong? Any guidance will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance! 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

There's plenty of them at the TFL videos tab above.


Starting here will be quite educational.


Does the bulge happen during the bake or before?  


BTW, welcome to TFL.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Juls.


Are your bâtards misshapen, or are they bursting during oven spring? 


David

Juls's picture
Juls

Hi Lindy and David, thanks :)


The loaves burst while baking... when proofing, they look perfect. 

bblearner's picture
bblearner

I had exactly the same experience of bursting batards no matter I use method a) or b) to shape.  I was also advised that it was due to over-handling of the dough, so paid a lot of attention to try not to do it but no improvement.   I finally corrected the problem by reading Mr Hamelman's book, p. 16 :


"Once the dough has been folded, there is a top portion that is seamless and smooth, more or less the outer surface skin of the dough.  And there is also an underside where the seams from the folding action come together.  From the time of the first fold throughout the rest of the dough's journey to baked bread, the smooth top and seamed bottom remain in the same orientation.  If there are further folds, the top remains the top and the bottom the bottom; when the dough is divided and preshaped, the orientation continues, as it does once the dough is shaped. ...."


Hope this helps,


Enid

Brot Backer's picture
Brot Backer

Two most likely reasons are under proofing or too dry an oven which causes premature crust formation. Is your oven gas or element?

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

"Blowouts" often occur due to failure to properly score your loaf before baking.


Glenn

Juls's picture
Juls

@ Lindy and Enid: So, I must keep the "seam" facing up always, even when scoring and baking? 


@Brot Backer: I have a gas oven, and I create steam inside by pouring boinling water into a preheated rimmed baking sheet, just before inserting the loaves. I have tried some of the sourdough recipes from chocolate&zucchini.com. My prefered method is retarding the first fermentarion in the fridge overnight; next morning I let the dough come to room temp, I shape the bread, I let it rest while the oven preheats, and bake. 


@Glenn: should the slashes open up as wounds, or does the scoring need to be softer? 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Jules--


Click on this link (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10121/bread-scoring-tutorial-updated-122009) and you will learn more about scoring than you asked.


Glenn

LindyD's picture
LindyD


So, I must keep the "seam" facing up always, even when scoring and baking? 



Hi Juls.  I made no mention of where the seam should be.  If you are referring to the video I linked, the seams are placed facing up when the bâtards are being proofed in a (preferably linen) couche.  Once the bread is fully proofed, it's flipped to a peel so that the seam is now on the bottom.  I find that the linen absorbs just enough moisture to allow easy scoring of the top (unseamed) of the bread just before it's loaded into the oven.


The blow-outs you describe are probably caused by underproofing or improper scoring....but I think mostly the former.


What Enid described from page 16 of Bread, are the instructions on folding the dough.   I don't think messing up on precise orientation causes blow-outs.

bblearner's picture
bblearner

Hi Juls,


My bursting existed no matter how well I shaped or scored until I had my doughs properly orientated as per Mr Hamelman's book.


As far as seams and scoring, Lindy's advice is perfect and I will also start following: use linen for final proofing as the bottom crusts of my loafs need to be improved.


Enid